The 2015 Subaru WRX STI and 2014 Porsche Cayman are both saddled with unfair reputations. The STI with its huge wing and gold wheels has the title of the ultimate boy-racer. On the other hand, Porsche brand snobs look down on the base Cayman as just a wannabe 911. In reality, they are both pretty fantastic performance cars. But what would happen if the two of them lined up at a stoplight, and maybe the guy in the suit in the Cayman started throwing some revs at the young man in the STI? Automobile decided to find out in a recent video pitting the two stereotyped hot rods against each other in a standing-mile drag race.

In terms of raw numbers, they are surprisingly close. Both use flat engines and six-speed manual transmissions here, but the Subaru has more power and torque. However, the Porsche makes up for it with 300 pounds less weight. Neither should have a problem with traction either thanks to the STI's sophisticated all-wheel-drive setup, and the Cayman's mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout.

The comparable specs certainly show themselves in the real world for the race. We're not going to give away the winner here because it's too exciting, but let's just say the finish is very, very close. Scroll down to watch both of them shrug off their stereotypes and show off their real performance.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 135 Comments
      Ross
      • 5 Months Ago
      Not sure who deserves the credit...the Cayman for catching up with the more powerful STi or the 4 door STi for being able to hold its own against the much more expensive sport car (Cayman).
        mbukukanyau
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Ross
        porches are not worth the price they want for them.
          theblackporsche
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          Actually, they are. You've probably never driven one.
          theblackporsche
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          I wasn't trying to be insulting. It's just highly unlikely you've ever driven one if you don't think they're worth the money. I could try and sell you all day on them, but until you climb behind the wheel, you won't understand. If a Porsche isn't worth the money, then neither is a Ferrari or a Lamborghini or a Mclaren.
          mbukukanyau
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          you can buy your Porsche, its your money.
          SloopJohnB
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          Well, the 911s aren't. The Cayman is a pretty good deal.
          theblackporsche
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          I wasn't trying to be insulting. It's just highly unlikely you've ever driven one if you don't think they're worth the money. I could try and sell you all day on them, but until you climb behind the wheel, you won't understand. If a Porsche isn't worth the money, then neither is a Ferrari or a Lamborghini or a Mclaren.
          ravenosa
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          80's Porsches drive like absolute junk. You could ALMOST compare a 90's 911 to a basic WRX (not an STI), but come on, an 80's 911? My buddy owned one, there is absolutely NOTHING enjoyable about driving or riding in the thing. He tried having a weenie measuring contest with me in a 2002 WRX. Got CRUSHED in drags, could not keep up with me in ANY fashion on windy roads. We were driving along Skyline Rd. in Silicon Valley - I wound up pulling over, letting him pass, catching up and blowing past him and pulling over again to wave him by. He was pissed. "Your old car handles terribly, the shifter/clutch stink, the slippery seats don't keep you in place, and that old gasping engine is nowhere near as responsive as a WRX. You're basically driving an old Beetle and you think you could even beat a Prius in a race? Come on, buddy." He finally got rid of the thing and got a real car. NOTHING good about an old Porsche other than sentiment...
          ravenosa
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          Needless to say, growing up with a Dad that owned a 1983 911, I have no good memories of the old thing... But to appreciate what Subaru did with the WRX: www.automobilemag.com/reviews/coupes/0103_carrera_4_impreza_wrx/
      Douglas Hamner
      • 5 Months Ago
      So the STI has superior traction and low end torque. But the Porsche has better aero, power to weight ratio and gearing. Close matchup for a mile, but the STI dominates the street light race.
      waetherman
      • 5 Months Ago
      As a longtime Porsche fan, I can say that this video did raise my eyebrows a bit. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to buy a Porsche than 0-60 and quarter-mile times, but after seeing that video I'd think twice about buying a Cayman. Or perhaps a better way of saying it is that I'd take a second look at the WRX. It's a great value for a car, and the fact that it can do some nice track times while still having room in the back for a childseat - well, that just makes it more justifiably "practical".
      Nine Elements
      • 5 Months Ago
      It'd be nice if they included a Cayman S comparo as well. Although this does look great for Subaru, it's kind of set back when you consider 15 years ago. The Subaru Impreza STi's and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo's were 4-door saloons that could take the fight to a Porsche 911 and possibly beat the snot out of them on a circuit or touge/canyon. Unless tuning is involved (as was the case when Top Gear showed Jeremy Clarkson chased down a Lamborghini Murcielago in an Evo FQ-400 and made it choke), the current STi will have to settle for the 911's little brother. 
      Jazzor
      • 5 Months Ago
      The Cayman for the wife to go shopping, and the Rex for you to go terrorize other Porsche owners and have them stereotype you as a hotheaded kid not knowing you too, have a glorified VeeDub at home. *Chuckles*
      GoFast
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hello, Its a base 6 speed manual Cayman with only 275hp 50hp less than the Cayman S and it still bested the WRX. (lol) So sad for the Subaru. Not to mention If the Cayman had PDK it would of been a even worse. The Porsche can also out handle that WRX any day of the week. Porsche is hardly underrated. Mid engine, Lighter, better chassis, better looking. need I say more.
        Flaps
        • 5 Months Ago
        @GoFast
        So it took Porsche $32,000 more to build a mid-engine 2 seater that can tie a 5 seat sedan and that is embarrassing for Subaru? I'm not sure I understand that logic.
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Flaps
          The Cayman is the better sports car, its better build, looks better, it's a Porsche, mid engine, great engine. It only has one flaw, its slow compare to cars half the price.
          me
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Flaps
          Lets see, more rigid chassis, lighter chassis, mid-engined, better transmission, better suspension, better exhaust, better build quality, better interior, more expensive bodywork, better paint quality. Need I go on?
          superchan7
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Flaps
          The Porsche was designed with fewer compromises. The STi is the ultimate compromise: as much power as possible in an upright 4-door body that can seat 5, carrying the best suspension and drive setup, all done to a price point.
          ravenosa
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Flaps
          Sounds like the Porsche is the one compromising - all that money for mediocre performance and zero utility, all packaged with the douche-bag stigma. And my oh my, isn't it frustrating for the people who buy them? I love it!
        DRO3000
        • 5 Months Ago
        @GoFast
        you forgot overpriced : )
          GoFast
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DRO3000
          Only if you can't afford it.
        ravenosa
        • 5 Months Ago
        @GoFast
        And if you CAN afford a Porsche, hopefully you're humble enough to accept the fact you're going to have Subaru drivers RIGHT on your butt. I can attest that people who care about image and spend a lot on cars to gain people respect get VERY upset VERY easily when they find out their weenie extension is not the end all be all. Heck, I tease my neighbor about his Bentley Continental GT all the time. Guy spent $200k on a rolling penile extension, can't keep up with me in my 2002 WRX. He HATES when I tease him about it.
      valve_addiction
      • 5 Months Ago
      Caymans top end advantage is zero surprise here. I'm betting not only is the drag coefficient lower but anyone familiar with turbo cars knows long duration wide open throttle especially in higher gears sends intake air temperatures skytrocketing as the intercooler becomes more and more hopelessly heatsoaked. This isn't an excuse, as a Suby fan I fully would expect the Cayman to really have a leg up at high speed.
      Sorten Borten
      • 5 Months Ago
      Do a lot of young men own $35K sport sedans?
        Jasonn
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Sorten Borten
        The best of us? Yes, yes we do!
        Eggmania
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Sorten Borten
        nah. they lease em for 2 years and then get rid of them by the time their insurance triples from tickets.
        11fiveoh
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Sorten Borten
        This young man has the good fortune to own a 50k sport sedan.
        wtrmlnjuc
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Sorten Borten
        If not first hand, second hand or more is definitely within reach.
      TruthHertz
      • 5 Months Ago
      It's been my personal experience that the STI and EVO's of the world are great off the line, but that AWD mechanical drag kicks their asses at higher speed. Not to mention the aerodynamics versus a coupe. I think most of the moronic Subaru fanboys on here that are writing this off as a victory should consider that the Porsche engine is a scant 200 cc larger and didn't have a turbo charger. That's right, You have two cars that have engines that are about the same size, and the one without the turbo reeled the other in. From a rolling start, the Porsche would have easily won without the newbish AWD launch. In real track racing, there is only one start and it's on the first lap. That $18K base price difference is the technology, materials, chassis, lower center of mass, and the badge. The WRX handles well, but lets not pretend for 2 seconds that if both cars had the same rubber that the Subaru would be able to keep up with the lighter, better sprung, and lower center of mass Porsche on a racing circuit. You say you could spend $18,000 on upgrades? How about I spend $2,000 on an old Civic chassis and dump $51,000 into "overnight parts from Japan"... At the end of the day, you have a blue econobox that screams boy racer and sends girls into the hills, and on the other side you have a Porsche. Make all the VW Beetle comments you want, it will still pull more ass than 90% of the rides that people drive.
        DRO3000
        • 5 Months Ago
        @TruthHertz
        You obviously missed the point of the video..... but thanks for the useless essay on why someone should buy a base model porsche cayman for the sake of "pulling more ass" on an enthusiasts website.
          Bassracerx
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DRO3000
          i'm married so i don't have to worry about wich car pulls more ass i can just drive the car in whatever color i like without having to worry how women will view me. actually, i can do whatever i want now without being burdened with wondering how the fairer sex will judge me. I'll take the 'boy racer' car that fits two carseats in the back please! (you can keep the two seater and the ass, i'm more of a boob man anyway)
          Echelon Bob
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DRO3000
          I agree that "pulling more ass" is not a good reason to buy a Porsche. I can't say in reality I have really experienced "pulling ass" with either my Boxster or my 911S. Actually, dealing with preconceived notions other people have about why I drive a Porsche is one of the worst aspects of owning one... Hmm... then again... I just remembered that one time a stripper leaving the strip club waved/yelled at me for a ride when she saw my car. :) And there was another time I and a friend of mine offered a ride to two girls we met in a bar and they both practically ran to my car when they saw it to fight for who would ride with me instead of him. :) Hmm... and OK maybe there was another time when a girl asked me for a spin after a date. Hehe, so maybe there were some rare moments of "ass pulling" the cars did over the years! But I think I can safely say I never got any because of the car. In fact, a couple of times girls have been careful to say they liked me before they knew about the car, or they made a point to say they didn't care about cars, etc. It seems, like me, they're similarly trying battle preconceived notions. In their case, it's the notion that their "ass would be pulled" by some dude's car...
        superchan7
        • 5 Months Ago
        @TruthHertz
        I can testify that your comment on Porsches and popularity does not pass muster in real life. In fact, cars are better at attracting men than women.
        DRO3000
        • 5 Months Ago
        @TruthHertz
        You obviously missed the point of the video..... but thanks for the useless essay on why someone should buy a base model porsche cayman for the sake of "pulling more ass" on an enthusiasts website.
      Eggmania
      • 5 Months Ago
      the thing about subies, youll get attention for how fast you go, but then people will.. wonder how 3 cubic meters of steel condensed into the sheet metal equivalent of a sh*tstain. its almost 2020, theres no excuse for these cars being this goddman ugly.
        torqued
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Eggmania
        Congratulations, you're the first one to notice that the STI isn't as attractive as a Porsche. And check a calendar. It is in no way almost 2020.
      Junkyard Willie
      • 5 Months Ago
      Overrated beetle.
      mbukukanyau
      • 5 Months Ago
      After initial take off in a race, how a car puts power down, ratios and the likes, it becomes a pure horse power race... whomever has more power wins , if there is room, if there is a slight incline, torque comes into play, that is why, if you are driving lets say a BMW 328 and someone else is driving a Chevrolet traverse, you might jump ahead but in short order.. the traverse will leave you in the dust. Its got more torque and more horses etc, etc, these cars are just examples, If a traverse has AWD and the driver turns of traction control and mashes the floor and holds it in second gear to redline the 328 stands no chance...
        81waldron
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        So...gearing, aerodynamics, wheel size, weight and other variables have no effect? Once a car is rolling, it's really all just about horsepower and torque figures? Really? Your assertion that higher horsepower and torque figures always result in the faster car is literally smashed to bits by simply watching the embedded video. The base Cayman has 275 hp and only 213 lb/ft of torque. The STI brings 305 hp and 290 ft/lbs. of torque. Despite the obvious power advantage of the STI, the Cayman managed to not only finish the mile race at the same times the STI, but actually finished with a 5 mph higher trap speed showing that if the race continued, the Cayman would've continued to walk away from the more powerful STI. And your BMW 328i/Chevy Traverse example? That was quite simply the dumbest, most uninformed thing I read all day. I'm simply staggered that anyone could say something so false in such a public display for all to see. Compare: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2012-bmw-328i-sedan-automatic-test-review http://media.caranddriver.com/files/2009-honda-pilot-vs-ford-flex-and-four-other-crossoversbeat-of-a-different-drummond-1.pdf It's not even close. At all. Relevant data points include the top speed, the trap speed, the 30-70 time and 0-100 time. Note that the tested Traverse had AWD and at no point would it remotely threaten to overtake a BMW 328i no matter how long the roadway. Your statement makes me wonder if you're even old enough to have a drivers license...
        Nicholas Maher
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        Get real. No Traverse would beat a 328 in an instrumented test or a contest like the video above. Ever. The Traverse has more torque and more HP. And more weight. About 1000 lbs. That's not going to affect the Traverse somehow? Sounds like someone has a Traverse and has gotten the jump on a few BMW drivers occasionally.
        U crazy
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        And what planet are you from ?
        clquake
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        A Caterpillar 725C Three Axle Articulated truck has 314 hp/1263 lb ft. A Nissan Versa sedan has 109hp/107lb ft. Are you going to tell me the Cat is going to win this drag race?
          mbukukanyau
          • 5 Months Ago
          @clquake
          did you not see me say ratios in my post? So, you have to take into account the gearing ratios. (holding certain factors constant), for example in this case the WRX has a top speed of 155 mph.. depending on how long the driver kept it in 5 and not six determined if it stays pulling or started to slow down and allow the porsche to catch up.
          clquake
          • 5 Months Ago
          @clquake
          Your entire post ignores ratios, gearing, etc, and you conclude that the race becomes high horsepower vs low horsepower. In your world the huge construction vehicle wins the drag race because of horsepower, and you're wrong and you know it.
        Nicholas Maher
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        With the TC off? Go ahead. The Traverse doesn't have enough balls to generate ANY wheelspin except in the snow. Maybe, And that's a big maybe.
        mbukukanyau
        • 5 Months Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        you guys are all fools, this is not a traverse vs bmw 328, its a higher horspower vs. low horse power thing.. Once the initial launch happens, the car with a higher horsepower always will catch up... As in if you took any AWD SUV with over 100 Hp over a sedan, the sedan might get of the line first, but very quickly the SUV with higher horsepower will catch up and pass. So, if you took a traverse or Explorer with AWD, turn off the stability control, it will not cut power to the wheels at launch, it will smack down your 255 hp BMW.. Its putting down close to 300 pound feet of torque and close to 300 hp.. so if the driver is smart and keeps it shifting at redline, about 5500 rpm, the BMW will be left in the dust... take a thing like a Denali 6.2 liter and even a 300 hp sedan.. no way the 300 hp sedan can win... that 450 hp thing will pull like a train.
          Patrick
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          Kid, you have no idea what you're talking about. There are other factors besides horsepower in determining how quick a vehicle is. Drag and weight are the other overarching factors. Do everyone a favor and spend some time studying more.
          Patrick
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          And don't forget gearing.
          lne937s
          • 5 Months Ago
          @mbukukanyau
          F = m a
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