The Platonic Excellent Sports activities Automobile

The Platonic Excellent Sports activities Automobile
The Platonic Excellent Sports activities Automobile

If you happen to’ve learn any of my work, you in all probability know that I’m Jalopnik’s largest Porsche 911 fanboy. I like them. When everybody says, “Miata is all the time the reply,” I say nope and level to a 911 as a result of it could possibly do all the things higher – which it ought to, because it’s method, far more costly. Objectively, nonetheless, whereas the 911 is Porsche’s greatest all-around automobile, I can acknowledge that it’s not the corporate’s greatest sports activities automobile. That honor goes to the Cayman, and particularly, the GTS 4.0.

The GTS 4.0 is the candy spot within the 718 Cayman lineup. The GT4 and GT4 RS are higher observe automobiles, and the bottom Cayman is a extra comfy day by day driver (with a horrible-sounding engine). The GTS 4.0 manages to supply an excellent stability of these bookends.

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A 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 in side profile on wet pavement.

Photograph: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The center of the Cayman GTS 4.0 is, in fact, its 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six. That is successfully a detuned model of the GT4’s 4.0-liter engine, producing a nonetheless very wholesome 394 hp at 7,000 rpm and 309 lb-ft of torque between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm. For comparability, that’s 44 hp greater than the Cayman S and the identical torque, although the turbocharged S delivers its peak twist decrease within the rev vary, between 1,900 and 4,500 rpm.

The GTS 4.0 provides the Cayman purchaser a extra basic Porsche driving expertise. You’re rewarded for retaining the engine on boil and punished for lazy shifting and poor gear selections. Round city, this makes for a automobile that doesn’t really feel as fast from stoplight to stoplight because the turbocharged Caymans (Caymen? Cays-man?), however on a quick, open highway, the thrill that comes with excessive revs – together with that basic Porsche flat-six howl – makes a robust case for the GTS 4.0’s value premium.

That sweet 4.0-liter engine can be paired with either a very nice six-speed manual transmission or Porsche’s quick-shifting seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Honestly, neither is a bad choice, but given the very driver-focused nature of the Cayman GTS, I’d definitely make a case for getting three pedals. Still, my test car’s PDK makes dealing with LA’s hot garbage traffic a lot more pleasant.

The black interior of the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Photo: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The 718 Cayman’s chassis at any trim level is a thing of beauty, but in the GTS, it’s almost a higher truth, a Platonic ideal. This car offers tack-sharp steering with reasonable amounts of feedback. The MacPherson strut suspension used at all four corners shouldn’t be as good as it is, given the design’s origins as a cheap-to-build setup. It’s taut without being harsh, even around town over broken pavement, and does a superb job of controlling the car’s mass in a way that makes it feel as though the Cayman is pivoting around the driver.

It’s this chassis that makes the Cayman such an incredible sports car. It does what older, lighter, smaller 911s did for many years however provides fashionable conveniences, security gear and a level of predictability and playfulness on the limits of grip that these older ass-engined automobiles don’t have.

The Cayman’s metal brakes are wonderful, they usually don’t make me miss Porsche’s stronger carbon ceramics, which aren’t obtainable on the GTS 4.0. The metal stoppers provide distinctive pedal really feel that enables me to brake confidently simply on the fringe of ABS intervention, and achieve this repeatedly with out a lot concern for fade. Porsche’s sports activities automobile brakes are all the time a spotlight and the Cayman GTS’s 13.8-inch entrance and 13-inch rear brakes (with six- and four-piston calipers, respectively) are not any exception.

A satin black wheel with perforated steel brake rotors behind it on a yellow 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Photograph: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The GTS recipe within the Cayman is just about the identical because it’s all the time been. Take the Cayman S and add all the preferred efficiency choices, like 0.8-inch decrease journey peak with Porsche’s Energetic Suspension Administration and stiffer dampers, the Sport Chrono bundle, rear-axle torque vectoring, a sport exhaust and lively engine mounts. Then slap on the Sport Design entrance and rear bumpers and cost marginally much less for the GTS than you’ll by including these choices individually to an S. This type of GTS remedy has been successful since Porsche launched it on the 997 911 Carrera and it’s straightforward to see why.

In fact, the Cayman isn’t excellent, and it’s inside the place this automobile actually falls behind the 911. The 982-generation Cayman is fairly previous now – it debuted in 2016 – and it exhibits. The place the 911 has a beautiful digital sprint and a extra refined inside total, the Cayman makes do with the 991’s little infotainment display and button-laden console. The gauges are principally analog, which I really choose in sports activities automobiles, however the design actually dates the automobile. Admittedly, they’re much less useful than the brand new digital ones, too.

The center console of the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0. There are many blank switches.

Photograph: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

So far as inside room goes, for most individuals, the Cayman will seemingly be simply fantastic. Nonetheless, at six-foot-four (with a number of my peak in my torso) I discover the Cayman’s cabin to be a little bit cramped, however I acknowledge that I’m taller than most folk. One factor the Cayman completely crushes, although, is cargo area. Being mid-engined, the Cayman has two trunks. The entrance trunk provides 5.3 cu-ft of area, whereas the rear provides 4.4 cu-ft, which makes it surprisingly capacious. My spouse and I had been in a position to pack two sleeping baggage, two folding chairs, a tent, garments and snacks for an evening of tenting, and whereas it was tight, we didn’t have to depart something behind for need of extra room.

The Cayman’s infotainment system consists of a small 7-inch touchscreen. Its performance is primary, however this setup not less than provides Apple CarPlay, and phrase ‘around the campfire is that you could allow Android Auto with some laptop computer coding, however I don’t actually advocate doing that your self. Curiously, the 7-inch PCM system within the Cayman is nearly similar to the Porsche Traditional PCCM Plus system that I simply purchased for my 996 911 (full story coming quickly).

My check Cayman GTS 4.0 is as near optionless as you’re ever prone to see within the wild. Which means that it’s acquired the bottom, semi-power, four-way adjustable seats versus the carbon buckets or a lot heavier 14-way energy seats. It additionally comes with navigation, and Porsche’s Entry & Drive system which helps you to lock and unlock the automobile with out utilizing buttons on the fob. It additionally has black brake calipers (a $900 choice) and physique shade headlight washer covers. That’s it.

The rear cargo area on the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Photograph: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

That is really an excellent spec as a result of the GTS trim degree takes care of principally all of the efficiency gear and choices you’d need anyway, and in the long run, you get a world-class sports activities automobile for $99,800, together with a $1,450 vacation spot charge. It’s exhausting to consider rivals that supply this type of driving engagement and efficiency for this type of cash, however the Lotus Emira appears seemingly to offer the Cayman a run for its cash, not less than on paper. The BMW M4 Competitors makes a case for itself, regardless of its bigger dimensions and front-engine setup. The BMW can be cheaper – till you begin throwing choices at it, anyway.

In comparison with a 911, a Cayman actually looks like a discount, since you’ll be able to’t get Porsche’s bigger sports activities automobile for lower than six figures lately. To get a comparable expertise with a guide transmission within the 911, it’s a must to shell out a naked minimal of $118,050 for the Carrera T. Certain, that $18,250 value bounce buys you numerous in a 911, however I can’t say the Carrera T is a extra compelling sports activities automobile than the Cayman GTS 4.0.

The Cayman is an total friendlier and extra playful automobile that encourages you to push its limits. It shrinks round you as you drive quicker in a method that the present 992-generation 911 doesn’t, however older 911s did. The Cayman GTS merely provides a extra visceral expertise and in the case of sports activities automobiles, that’s key.

The front three-quarter view of a yellow 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Photograph: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The rear of the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Photograph: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The base front seats of the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Photograph: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

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