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Porsche Cayman PDK 2013 Review

With its mid-mounted engine you could argue the Porsche Cayman is a better proposition than the hallowed 911. It's certainly better balanced, with incredible mid-corner poise that makes great drivers out of ordinary ones.

You've got to wonder however whether Porsche has arbitrarily limited development of the car to prevent it from challenging the 911? The potential is certainly there.

VALUE

You can get into the two-seat Cayman from as little as $115,500, or the more powerful Cayman S version from $150K. That's almost $80,000 less than a 911 Carrera and, as much as we love the naturally aspirated Carrera  we'd take the Cayman every time (unless you're a wally). There's just no downside.

In fact, we'd even be happy with the entry Cayman and wack on a few options like larger wheels and the PDK auto. PDK is an extra $4990, Sports Chrono $3890, PASM active suspension management $2710, and a set of 20 inch wheels $5420 (18s are standard). The $4790 sports exhaust system would be tempting too  not that it doesn't sound fine to start with.

TECHNOLOGY

Both engines develop maximum power at a higher 7400 revs. They're up to 15 per cent more fuel-efficient thanks to direct injection, along with thermal management and electrical system power recuperation.

Cayman gets a 2.7-litre boxer six with 202kW of power and 290Nm of torque. In standard form it does the dash from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds, 5.6 secs with PDK or 5.4 seconds with the optional Sports Chrono pack.

Cayman S on the other hand is powered by a larger, 3.4-litre flat pack six with 239kW of power and 370Nm of torque and is capable of putting away the dash in 5.0, 4.9 or 4.7 seconds respectively (with the same options added).

A six-speed manual is standard while a 7-speed PDK twin clutch transmission is optional. Fuel consumption for the two engines is 7.7 and 8.0 litres/100km respectively (both with the auto).

DESIGN

With this model Porsche has moved to put some distance between it and its convertible twin the Boxster. The look is wider, lower and more aggressive, with larger air intakes at the front. New from the ground up Cayman is 33mm longer with a 60mm longer wheel base and a 40mm wider track.

Almost half of the car is now made of aluminium making it 30kg lighter than before and 5kg lighter than Boxster. It also more powerful than a Boxster, at least in standard form.

Porsche Australia boss Michael Winkler said if you liked the previous model, then you'll find this one is a "huge" step forward. "It has more presence and is not as much of a toy" he said. "It's a fully blown sports car now."

SAFETY

It may be quick but it's also as safe as houses, with a full suite of safety systems and more powerful braking.

DRIVING

There's nothing disappointing in the way the smaller engined car performs. The big decision is whether to get the automatic. If you do a lot of city driving, then it will have to be the auto. If not then you may enjoy the greater involvement offered by changing gears manually  after all this is a driver's car.

The other big difference between the two cars we drove was in the size wheels and PASM active chassis management system. PASM is great way of modulating the ride, even with 20s fitted  but you can still leave it in sport for sharper throttle response.

VERDICT

What's not to like? It's lighter, stronger and more powerful than before and quicker than the car it replaces. It even uses less fuel thanks to the addition of auto stop/start (don't panic you can turn it off).

Porsche Cayman PDK (automatic)

Price: from $115,500
Warranty: 3 years/100,000 km
Engine: 2.7-litre six cylinder petrol; 202kW/290Nm
Transmission: 7-speed twin clutch auto; RWD
Thirst: 7.7L/100km, 180g /km CO2
Dimensions: 4.3m (L), 1.9m (W), 1.3m (H)
Weight: From 1319kg
Spare: none

Pricing guides

$82,340
Based on 7 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$74,900
Highest Price
$86,900

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 2.7L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $74,900 – 86,900 2013 Porsche Cayman 2013 (base) Pricing and Specs
S 3.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $54,890 – 63,140 2013 Porsche Cayman 2013 S Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$61,490

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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