The folly of a £64k Porsche Cayman
21 November 2008 09:00
Porsche fans have been clamouring for a Cayman RS. You know the sort of thing: put the body on a diet, send the engine to the gym, and kit out the suspension and brakes with some expensive sporting equipment. Sounds great, only they’ve never done it.
Why? Well, if you’re a bit cynical, you might imagine it’s because Porsche doesn’t want to cannibalise 911 sales – the Cayman is always pitched below the base 911 for power and price. So imagine CAR’s surprise when a kitted-out Cayman is delivered to the office. No, not an RS, but a heavily optioned Cayman S with a list price of £63,779. That’s £709 more than a base 911.
Don’t worry, at 295bhp it undercuts the Carrera 3.6 by a full 50bhp. But, get this: it’s Porsche’s way of saying there’s no need for a Cayman RS. This does the job instead.
Okay, fair enough, it scores if you’re hell-bent on spending as much as possible on a Cayman. And, as Porsche is keen to point out, with a full day’s driver training free with every Porsche, you might get to try out its ceramic brakes (worth £5349 on their own) in anger. You might savour the fact that they trim unsprung weight by 50% all-round. And you might even trim a thou off a trackday time because your carbon bucket seats (£1949) weigh only 20kg apiece. But we doubt it.
Don’t get us wrong, the Cayman S is a wonderful thing. And Porsche’s plan was merely to show us the myriad ways in which you can personalise yours, be it with red seatbelts for £163 or £2773 for an aero kit. And the £1102 sports exhaust is a must for tunnels.
But honestly, the best way to enjoy your Cayman S is to keep it simple. And pay just £44,250. Okay, yes, go for that sports exhaust, and maybe the active suspension management (£1030), even the Sport Chrono Package Plus package – £530 is a lot for a big stopwatch but, importantly, it brings recalibrated throttle mapping. That comes to just under £50k – and leaves enough room for, say, leather and Bose sounds within the 10% of list price that customers typically splash on options.
It keeps your Cayman well under that £63,070 911 (or should that be £69,377?). But it’s no RS. And not even the limited-slip differential that’s set to become an option on the revised Cayman in February 2009 will do that job.
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