What happens when Porsche brings the 718 Racing spirit into their 2017 Cayman and Boxter range?
Strap yourself in, because you’re going to have a whole lot of fun.
Being the second Porsche I’ve ever reviewed, I was keen to experience their sports cars for longer than a day (after my Porsche Sport Driving School Experience earlier in the year). I was very much eager to take this car for a spin on the real roads.
The Cayman S was still perfect for my weekend away- with it’s ample front and back boot space. But given this car is a two seater, the cabin space is limited, but it sure as hell makes up for it by being an absolute thrill and pleasure to drive.
Naturally, I took the 718 Cayman S away down to Lorne and along the Great Ocean Road. On the way back, I took a very scenic drive through Kinglake and up to Healesville with my friend Tung, who was reviewing the MY17 Porsche Panamera Turbo at the time for Go Auto (see here for his review).
This is also the very first two-seater sport car that I’ve had the opportunity to borrow, so I jumped at the opportunity to learn more. You only live once, right?
I have a huge respect for Porsches. They are immaculate, proudly German engineered, and have a rich racing history. The road cars are no exception on this.
Entering the space, you’re surrounded by sublime luxury. Beautiful leathers fill the cabin space, and comfort is definitely at the forefront of the driver experience.
Exterior wise, the car is incredibly sleek and compact, yet also surprisingly spacious (which I’ll explain in practicality below). Every detail made with purpose.
For example the side vents purposefully sculpted with the doors to help direct headwind through, with the idea of supplying air to the turbochargers, for a powerful thrust.
Additionally Porsche changed up the 2017 Cayman, instead going with a compact flat-four (aka horizontally opposed) engine rather than the 6-cylinder engine offered in the predecessor. A rather interesting move from Porsche, but still lives up to the expectations, and greater.
The new Cayman is also made to be more fuel efficient and reduce emissions- a result of dropping down the cylinders and reworking engine efficiency. (Bet you didn’t expect me to be talking about fuel efficiency here?!)
Also, being a sports car, the ride height is quite low.
Performance wise, the 7-speed PDK (automatic transmission) 718 Cayman S I drove, with Sport Chrono package was quick. Pushing out 257 kW (350 hp) at 6,500 to achieve an acceleration of 0-100km/hr in 4.2 seconds (4.4 seconds without the Sports Chrono Package). This power all with the help of the 2.5L turbo-charged flat-four engine, and variable turbine geometry (VTG). (VTG is also seen in the Porsche 911 Turbo, but has been taken and adapted for the model S Cayman/Boxter).
In normal speak, this means that torque and power is maximised and consistently distributed through to the wheels, giving you that awesome exhiliration and acceleration ie. this car is fast!
Being a mid-engine sports car and rear-wheeled drive, it also comes with some bonuses such as additional storage, as well as dynamic corning and handling. Making the ride extra smooth, and a whole lot of fun, especially on winding drives like the Great Ocean Road.
This coupé grips to the road and hugs corners like nothing else.
With many cars these days, your car is truly what you want it to be.
With a plethora of customisation options, you will be well and truly set in being able to personalise the Cayman to exactly what you want.
Options Fitted to Test Car:
- 7- Speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK)
- Sport Chrono Package incl mode switch
- Sports Exhaust System incl sports tailpipes in silver
- Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) incl mechanically
locking rear differential
- Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM)
with ride height lowered by 10mm
- 20-inch Carrera S wheels
- BOSE Surround Sound System
- Metallic Paint (GT Silver Metallic/Black)
- Park Assist (front and rear) incl reversing camera
- Connect Plus
- GT-Sports steering wheel
With any Porsche, you have the opportunity to customise as you need and get the features you feel you need. But honestly, if you’re buying this car, you probably have another car on the side as your daily because if you’re driving this, you want to be enjoying every second of it… Avoiding being stuck in traffic wasting the sweet horse-power it’s capable of as you continue to roll forward on the Monash…
However, even if you’re looking to upgrade your daily you can rest easy knowing that for a sports car, it is actually pretty darn practical.
BOSE SURROUND SOUND SYSTEM (optional)
Music is an integral part of all my driving journeys. My passengers can attest to my need for loud music to always be playing.
The Bose Sound System is absolutely incredible and left me well and truly satisfied every time I got in the car. Rich bases and crisp notes (and I’m not just talking about the exhaust).
Although the 718 Cayman S alone is very sporty, the following were my favourites.
SPORTS EXHAUST SYSTEM (optional)
The sports exhaust button is by far my most used button of all time. If you thought the sports exhausts couldn’t sound any better, you’re about to be proven wrong. I drove with this function permantly on.
Think intense roars.
PORSCHE TORQUE VECTORING (optional)
An option you will grow to appreciate when it comes to cornering. Essentially
RETRACTABLE REAR SPOILER
For the wing to come up automatically you’d need to be traveling at speeds of approximately 120km/hr (according to Porsche)… So unless you’re on a race-track this might not come up automatically. In saying that, I did find that it come up on roads that were 110km/hr. It really depends on the configuration.
I really liked manually putting the wing up, and it’s just as easy to put down. But make sure to do it while you’re still traveling as it wasn’t always responsive while stationary.
The safety technology Porsche uses is pretty damn impressive and this is no exception in the Cayman(e.g. airbags and their rapid acting sport performance brakes).
However, it’s important to note that certain tech additions are at an optional cost, such as Park Assist (front and rear- including reversing camera) included in the model reviewed.
Now for a two-seater, you can comfortably go away for a weekend and bring a suitcase or two.
Being a mid-engine sports car, it had front and back boot space!
Suprisingly, the front boot space was quite generous, I could easily fit a small suitcase in there or even my drone and shopping. Additionally, front boot is an excellent place to store fast food. Just chuck your takeaway in the front, and you won’t have to worry about the odours sifting into your cabin space #lifehacks.
The back boot compartment is very ample and could fit weekend bag/s or a small suitcase.
In terms of Litreage, the front compartment holds 150L and the back boot holding 275L.
On top of this, there’s a bunch of handy compartments, clothes hooks, and of course, cup holders just above the glove box- perfect for our road trip coffees.
It goes without saying, but this car is much better suited for your day-trips and every day activities.
But it can certainly handle a long drive, if that’s what you’re into. (I know I am).
It goes without saying, I got many stares and many compliments which I gladly accepted. Porsches are appreciated cars for their design and engineering. After borrowing it, it was well and truly cemented why people love them.
Not only do people appreciate the appearance, but the car sounds just as amazing. (I may have done some cheeky loops in Lorne knowing that people’s jaws were dropping- at the car of course.)
The new sleeker design, definitely amps up it’s appeal plus the sporty twin-exhausts offer a sexy note every time you get in the car.
Porsche doing what they do best, surpremely engineering cars that are fun and sporty…
If you’re in the market for a two seater sports car, the 718 Cayman S is surprisngly practical and excellent, thrilling drive.
Comfortable, incredible engine notes, and practical enough for your weekend away. Who could say no?
The 718 Cayman S is priced at RRP $140,300, not including on-road costs. The car reviewed with options fitted (above) was priced at $173,340, not including on-roads.
For more information on the 718 Cayman S and other offerings head to Porsche Australia.
Review vehicle provided on behalf of Porsche Australia
Photography by Noah Esposito