We’ve seen GTS Porsches before, be it versions of the Panamera, Cayenne or previous-generation 911 – but this is the first Cayman GTS. While Porsche harps on about the 1963 904 Carrera GTS, the real inspiration for this car has been the GTS formulae that we’ve already seen in other Porsche model lines. And there's a Boxster GTS on the way too.
What is the GTS formula for this new Porsche Cayman?
For the Cayman, there are some significant changes. There’s 15bhp more, for a total of 335bhp and 280lb ft of torque (7.4lb ft more) from that stunning 3.4-litre flat-six. There’s also a 10mm drop in ride height and PASM – that’s Porsche Adaptive Stability Management, normally a £970 extra – including adaptive dampers. It’s part of the standard Sports Chrono Pack (usually a £1376 option) that the GTS has been armed with, as well as 20in alloys, bi-xenon adaptive headlamps and blacked-out front and rear bumpers.
Hang on – isn’t all of this available as options on the Cayman?
Yes – apart from the power increase and the cosmetic changes. The benefit of the GTS pack, though, is that it’s £55k price makes it less than if you optioned up a Cayman S – the car that it’s based upon. You also get interior tweaks, including alcantara and leather seats, as part of the GTS treatment. If you want a harder-edged GTS, you can forgo the PASM and take the sports chassis as a no-cost option. It means a 20mm ride-height drop and no adaptive dampers. Whichever you choose, the GTS is faster for the money…
Does it drive any differently?
Unless you drive it back to back, you probably won’t be able to tell. Yet this is the best combination of Cayman options and spec money can buy – and that makes this a car to shake the 911. From the moment you turn the key, that flat-six wins you over with its cackle, and that transforms to a bassy howl when you select Sport and pin the throttle. You won’t want to do this around town, as it turns the Cayman from an obedient coupe into a toey, angst-ridden machine that kicks down and runs through its seven-speed dual-clutch ’box like a bucking bronco.
That eagerness translates to throttle response and a tactility like nothing else this side of, well, a 911: the Cayman kicks back and launches, but not with a neck snapping wallop – despite cutting a substantial 0.3sec off the 0-62 claim, now 4.6 sec – but with a steady, even-handed urge.
While it may not rip your head off in a straight line, it’s when you start to attack corners like you’re suicidal that the Cayman’s utter ability shines through. The grip, the road holding and the accurate steering, which is weightier and has the edge over its drop-top Boxster brother – makes this one of the easiest and fastest cars to drive point—to-point.
Throw in £5.6k for the carbon-ceramic brakes that our test car was fitted with, and the balance, poise and composure of the GTS is near unrivalled – especially for the money.
If you’re after a base Cayman to take to the hills, the GTS is probably too much extra coin for you. Yet a large chunk of Cayman buyers tick the options box for larger alloys, Sports Chrono, etc, and have been urging Porsche for a model with a bit of added kick – and this is the car for them. The fact that it’s the best value Cayman – an S with added lustre – makes this the best Cayman. That makes it one helluva car.