Every once in a while Porsche comes out with a brand new model that threatens to completely redefine a segment of the automotive market. The Panamera sedan, the Boxster roadster, and the Cayenne SUV were three such vehicles, and the 2014 Porsche Cayman is another. With the previous generation of the car already lauded as one of the best-handling sports coupes under $100,000, the updated version of the Porsche Cayman significant ups the ante in almost every conceivable area. The end result is a potent package that marries luxury, performance, and sheer grace together at a level seldom seen amongst its rivals.
Let’s take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Porsche Cayman.
01. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Is All-New
The 2014 Porsche Cayman rides on a fresh platform that marks a definite improvement over that which was used by the already excellent 2013 model. 66 lbs lighter than the outgoing version of the car the Porsche Cayman checks in with a curb weight of less than 3,000 lbs in base form, and amazingly, it’s also 40 percent stiffer. The Cayman’s unibody construction incorporates generous quantities of aluminum in order to achieve this athletic balance, and a longer wheelbase (2.4 inches in total) contributes to better stability at speed. Electric power steering also makes its debut in the 2014 Cayman, to the despair of purists everywhere, but the vehicle’s road feedback remains top-notch.
02. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Is Related To The Porsche Boxster
A refreshed Porsche Boxster appeared on the scene last year, and the similarities between the roadster and the 2014 Porsche Cayman coupe are more than just skin deep. These two entry-level wonders share the same platform, but visually the Porsche Cayman has been given a more distinct styling identity of its own for the current model year. The vehicle’s roofline now appears more streamlined with relation to its enlarged rear quarters, and inside both driver and passenger will enjoy roomier accommodations thanks to the stretching mentioned in the preceding section. Mechanically, Porsche has also given the Cayman a slight power advantage over its Boxster sibling to help further differentiate the two automobiles.
03. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Comes In Two Models
Despite its overall sporting competence on the circuit and on the street, the 2014 Porsche Cayman is divided into two distinct models. The base Porsche Cayman features menacing looks and a stiff but not impolite suspension system, along with a CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, and 18-inch rims. The Porsche Cayman S truly shines on a road course thanks to its track-tuned dampers and springs, and it also makes available a wider range of features and options, including Porsche Active Suspension Management and a torque-vectoring rear differential that helps the car feed power to the wheel that has the most traction while cornering.
04. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Can Be Had With Several Additional Packages
Also available with the 2014 Porsche Cayman S is the Sport Chrono package, a feature which installs a number of performance-oriented items as well as an analog/digital stopwatch mounted on the dashboard that is suitable for keeping track of lap times. The Sport Plus setting, which hones throttle response and other vehicle parameters to razor sharpness, is the main payoff for checking the Sport Chrono box on the options sheet, but it also comes with a launch control system for flawless sprints from a standing start. Further feeding the flames that stoke the right foot are the Sport Exhaust feature which transforms the Cayman’s tailpipe note from raspy to rapturous, as well as available carbon ceramic brakes for the ultimate in fade-free stopping power.
05. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Offers A Pair Of Transmission Choices
The 2014 Porsche Cayman and Cayman S are each available with a traditional six-speed manual transmission, and when ordered in conjunction with the Sport Chrono package this unit automatically blips the throttle on downshifts for smoother power delivery. Optional on both cars is Porsche’s popular PDK dual-clutch automated manual gearbox, which offers seven forward speeds and which can be left in full automatic mode or controlled via shift paddles grafted to the vehicle’s steering wheel. The PDK box is faster than any human driver could ever be when engaging each successive cog, but there’s a lack of engagement associated with its computerized design that still makes the manual transmission a viable option.
06. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Provides Two Engine Options
The 2014 Porsche Cayman starts out with a 275 horsepower, 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine that also generates 213 lb-ft of torque. Willing to rev, the motor is the same one found under the hood of the Boxster but with a more aggressive tune that sees it generate 10 additional ponies. The Cayman S graduates to a 3.4-liter horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine that churns out a respectable 325 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque. Fuel mileage for the smaller-engined Cayman is marginally better, showing as 22-mpg in stop and go driving and 32-mpg on the highway.
07. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Offers Stunning Performance
As you may have surmised from reading about the power and handling specs associated with the car, the 2014 Porsche Cayman is perhaps one of the best semi-exotic sports car bargains around. The Porsche Cayman can leap to 60-mph in a scant 5.1 seconds when equipped with the quick-shifting PDK transmission, a number that is carved down to 4.4 seconds for the Porsche Cayman S. Even better is the preternatural way in which the Cayman tackles a corner, with its crisp turn-in informed by the placement of its engine amidships as opposed to in front of the driver. The car’s lightweight chassis rounds out handling that can only be described as ‘sublime.’
08. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Features Surprising Luxury
Another major upgrade awaiting 2014 Porsche Cayman buyers is its substantially revised cockpit. Whereas once the Porsche Cayman’s premium pricing might have only been reflected by its performance and not by the degree to which it coddled its occupants, the current model adopts the kind of soft-touch materials, fine leathers, and pleasing designs necessary to draw attention from those perhaps more interested in a BMW or Mercedes-Benz coupe. In addition, a new TFT screen in the gauge cluster presents vehicle information in an attractive and legible manner, and Porsche allows buyers to endlessly configure the car’s interior appearance and comfort level via individual options.
09. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Is Safe
The 2014 Porsche Cayman is loaded with safety gear, including dual forward airbags as well as seat-mounted side impact airbags and overhead airbags that help to keep the compact coupe’s occupants protected in the event of a rollover accident. Electronic stability control, which has multiple stages for use on the street and in high performance situations, is also standard, as is electronic stability control. Finally, electronic brakeforce distribution works together with the car’s anti-lock braking system in order to provide quick and controlled stopping power – something the sports car is notorious for.
10. The 2014 Porsche Cayman Nips At The 911 Carrera’s Heels
There was once a time when the difference between a Porsche 911 Carrera and a Porsche Cayman could be measured with several yardsticks, but those days are now behind us. The 2014 Porsche Cayman S is every bit the in-house competitor to the base 911 Carrera that the brand has so desperately tried to keep it from becoming. It may lack the vestigial back seats and GT-style cruising comfort of the 911, but from a performance perspective the Cayman S is a much more entertaining ride around the track. Not only that, but the car comes in with a price tag that is nearly $20,000 cheaper than its older sibling, making it an even more appealing alternative to the brand’s flagship sports coupe.