A few months after the Cayman S coupe hit dealerships in January 2006, Porsche unveiled a base Cayman. Both cars are based on Porsche's soft-top Boxster, one of the brand's most affordable models. Aimed at sports car enthusiasts, the Cayman S has a 295-horsepower flat six, while the Cayman uses a smaller 245-hp engine.
Both two-seaters boast slipstream styling, hip-hugging seats and quick acceleration. An optional Porsche Active Suspension Management system allows continuously variable damping based on road conditions, as well as driver-selectable modes. There are no significant changes to the Cayman S for the 2007 model year.
Riding on 17-inch wheels, the base Cayman looks unmistakably Porsche. Large brake discs have black calipers. Bulging rear fenders emphasize the fixed roof's teardrop shape, while the nose looks much like the Boxster's. In back, a trapezoidal tailpipe sits dead center.
The Cayman S has 18-inch wheels and dual exhaust pipes, also grouped in the center. Brake calipers are painted red, and 19-inch wheels are optional. For better high-speed downforce, a rear spoiler automatically extends when the car reaches 75 mph.
Both Caymans have interiors modeled after their respective Boxster siblings. In the base Cayman, the instrument portals have black faces; they're white in the Cayman S. Otherwise, the layout is similar, with a steep dashboard, three-spoke steering wheel and well-bolstered seats. Due to the mid-engine design, the Cayman has two trunks — one under the hood, one under the rear hatch. Combined space equals 14.5 cubic feet in the Cayman and 14.1 cubic feet in the Cayman S.
A Sport Chrono Package includes a dash-mounted stopwatch to record excursions to the track or drag strip. The package also includes revised engine mapping and revised suspension for better performance.
Under the Hood
A horizontally-opposed, six-cylinder engine has Porsche's advanced VarioCam Plus variable valve timing system. The base Cayman's engine displaces 2.7 liters, producing 245 hp and 201 pounds-feet of torque. A 3.4-liter engine in the Cayman S makes 295 hp and 250 pounds-feet of torque.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard in the Cayman. A six-speed manual is optional in the Cayman and standard in the Cayman S. Both models can also be equipped with Porsche's Tiptronic S five-speed automatic, which includes a manual-shift provision.
With a manual transmission, Porsche says the Cayman accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. In the Cayman S, that time drops to 5.1 seconds.
All-disc antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard. For even more stopping power, ceramic composite brakes can be installed in the Cayman S. Dual front, side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard on all Caymans.