2017 Porsche 718 Cayman S Quick Spin

Sporty without being abusive. Attractive without being audacious.


Seven eighteen. These are magic numbers for Porsche.

They are linked to its great Motorsports heritage and its modern, mid-engine expertise. But what does that mean to you, the enthusiast, today? Let's take the 718 for a drive and find out.

So it's hard to beat the driving engagement of the 718 Cayman. The car has great reflexes and it keeps you on your toes. We're talking about the boxer four-cylinder engine here, which gives me 350 horsepower and has a top speed of 177 miles an hour. It's everything you want. I think it has just the right amount of power for this setup, for this chassis, for this car, for its purpose, for what it needs to do.

I think a lot of cars today are overpowered. Generally, that's a good thing. I'm glad the Mustang and the Challenger and the Camaros of the world have all this great horsepower. Even the Camry has a lot of horsepower. I think Porsche has got the right sort of balance of knowing exactly what the cars that they make, what they mean, what the chassis dynamics mean, and what the enthusiast buyer that's going to be excited about driving their car is going to use it for. So, a long way of saying it; 350 is just about right for this car.

The view is pretty good inside the car. Look around, you can see things. It's low to the ground, so the ride is very tight. It's definitely a true sports car dynamic. This cabin is a little too sparse for me. This model we're testing is beautiful on the outside, done up with a sapphire blue. Really sparkles. Inside, it's all black, a little bit of leather. It's a nice trim, but that's about it. And for 82 thousand dollars — that's the sticker here — this seems like just a little bit ... not quite enough. I feel like I want a little bit more going on. It's not so much that I need more fancy trims or more carbon fiber, any of that stuff. I just kind of want the materials to feel just a little bit better.

It's not the most powerful, it's not the most expensive. But the 718 Cayman is everything in perfect balance. It's sporty, without being abusive. It's attractive without being audacious, and for purists, the 718 Cayman is the answer.


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