The Porsche 911 is arguably the most iconic sports car among enthusiasts worldwide, but it has faced serious in-house competition since the German carmaker launched the Cayman nearly 10 years ago.
Thanks to the Cayman’s mid-engine layout, it is inherently more dynamic compared to the 911, which has a rear-engine configuration. Between the two models, the Cayman has superior balance and a more neutral feel through corners. If you’re a 911 fan, you’d have undoubtedly heard Cayman enthusiasts going on about how the Cayman “sounds the knell” for the 911.
The new Cayman GTS model, then, is going to make life even more difficult for 911 fans, because this model is even sharper than the knife-edged Cayman S.
Setting the Cayman GTS apart from the “lesser” Cayman S are its smoked headlights and tail-lamps, bigger air intakes and larger wheels (20-inch versus 19-inch).
The body of the Cayman GTS also sits 10mm closer to the tarmac, thanks to the standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system (a $5809 option on the Cayman S), which electronically adjusts the dampers in reaction to road conditions and current driving style.
Apart from PASM, the Cayman GTS is also equipped with other standard-fit goodies (which are optional on the Cayman S), such as the Sports Exhaust, Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and the Sport Chrono Package. The last item includes dynamic gearbox mounts, which vary the mounts’ stiffness in response to cornering loads, and also throttle-blips during downshifts.
Engine-wise, the 3.4-litre flat-6 has been given a slight bump up in output – it now produces 340bhp and 380Nm, or 15bhp and 10Nm more than to the Cayman S. Both cars’ century sprint times, however, remain similar.
The difference between the two coupes is in their handling. If the Cayman S is like a surgeon’s scalpel, the Cayman GTS is more akin to a precision laser used to etch identification numbers into diamonds.
Indeed, the Cayman GTS does not disappoint. Show it a series of corners and it slices, rather than carves, through them. Tackling a bend that starts off wide before it narrows and becomes twisty? Simply apply more steering lock and you’re good to go.
Complementing this is the helm, which is wonderfully accurate. You always know just how much more lock to give the wheel in order to point the car’s nose in the direction you wish to go.
Accompanying all this is the rumbling flat-6 soundtrack, whose mechanical clatter is amplified by its close proximity to the cabin. The exhaust notes are already loud to begin with, but activate the sports exhaust system and it becomes downright raucous.
Punch the throttle and bystanders’ neck hairs will stand on end. In the cockpit, you’ll feel your chest vibrating and your eardrums ringing. If anyone ever said that modern Porsches are soulless, a ride in this coupe will probably make them eat their words.
As a sports car, the Cayman GTS is nearly perfect. Its engine is responsive, its steering is crisp and its chassis is poised. The PDK (dual-clutch) gearbox is unfailingly smooth and snappy as well.
About the only thing this coupe lacks is the special ability to evoke sentimental feelings, because unlike the 911 (which is in its seventh generation), the Cayman is only two generations old.
So if you’re a 911 fan being confronted by Cayman GTS enthusiasts, this should be your response to them. It may not change the way they feel, but it should be enough to put a wistful smile on their faces.
ENGINE 3436cc, 24-valves, flat-6
MAX POWER 340bhp at 7400rpm
MAX TORQUE 380Nm at 4750-5800rpm
GEARBOX 7-speed dual-clutch with manual select
0-100KM/H 4.8 seconds
TOP SPEED 283km/h
CONSUMPTION 12.2km/L (combined)
CO2 EMISSION 190g/km
PRICE INCL. COE
$430,688 (no CEVS rebate/surcharge)