by Adam Lynton
The Porsche Cayman 718 has now received the GTS treatment, this means the addition of a number of aesthetic and performance enhancements all aimed at adding a dash of exclusivity and added dynamic ability to the already competent Cayman S.
Unlike in the past, the Cayman range is now priced below the mechanically identical Boxster and with its slightly stiffer frame may be the better option especially in the sportier GTS specification.
The basic interior design is unchanged from the standard models and the difference is in the detail. Partially covered Alcantara seats, and the option of a GTS interior pack add some nice model specific touches such as deviated stitching and carbon fiber inserts.
The standard seats are supportive and very comfortable and there is enough space for taller adults despite the compact exterior dimensions. Storage space is not going to be high on a potential shopper's priority list but the Cayman does offer a bit of additional cargo space behind the driver compared to the Boxster variants.
The Cayman GTS offers a similarly sharp driving experience to the rest of the range, the addition of larger 20-inch alloys along with wider tires, adaptive dampers and other detail changes add to the Cayman's dynamic abilities without compromising too much on the ride quality.
Other than some tire noise which is evident in the rest of the range, the Cayman GTS is a consummate cruiser too, and despite its obvious sporting intentions, makes for a capable daily driver too. Visibility is good for a mid-engined coupe although you sit a lot lower than a family sedan and negotiating rush hour traffic amongst big SUVs can be intimidating at first.
The Cayman GTS shares its uprated 2.5-liter flat-four with the Boxster GTS and you get an additional 15 horsepower over the Cayman S, this means 365 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque are now sent to the rear wheels. A slick 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission are available and while the PDK gets you to 60 mph the quickest, the manual transmission is still a great option.
The 0-60mph benchmark time is now claimed to take 3.9-seconds with the PDK or 4.4-seconds with the self-shifter, both very rapid times and the strong mid-range torque provides effortless progress in just about any gear. The aural quality of the flat-four is not going to have you winding the windows down through a tunnel and the rush of revving the engine out to the redline is not quite so satisfying as it was with the older naturally aspirated six-cylinder cars.
That said, the level of performance is now basically on par with a base 911 Carrera and fuel economy levels should be better than the older engine too.
The Cayman GTS is essentially a Cayman S with some of the most desirable Porsche options on the list ticked as standard. Why not do it yourself then, well the additional power, GTS styling details and partial Alcantara interior trim are unique to the GTS and the pricing also undercuts a similarly specced Cayman S.
Standard equipment includes 2-way sport seats, cruise control, park assist, 6-speaker audio system with 11GB hard drive music storage and climate control. GTS models also get Porsche torque vectoring, 20-inch Carrera S alloys and PASM active suspension management as standard and there is also a GTS interior package which adds detail upgrades such as contrasting stitching, GTS logos in the headrests, seatbelts in a contrasting color and carbon fiber interior trim.
There are two Premium Packages which add features like adaptive 18-way power sport seats, 2-zone climate control and heated seats.
There is also a comprehensive range of optional extras to choose from such as power steering plus, ceramic composite brakes, PASM sport suspension and LED dynamic headlights. Thanks to the slightly lower pricing of the Cayman over the Boxster, you can some convenience and luxury items such as a Bose (or Burmester) audio system as well as a heated multifunction steering wheel without encroaching too much on the base 911 Carrera pricing.
The Cayman GTS is essentially a well-specced Cayman S with some unique design touches and a touch more power on offer. The result is an overall package that makes this mid-engined coupe a class act in a tough segment.
The availability of a host of customizations and the fact that the GTS upgrades cost less than if you were to do it yourself may make this the most desirable Cayman in the range.