2011 Cayman New Car Test Drive
The Porsche Cayman is one of the world's best-looking sports cars and it's just as enjoyable to drive as it is to look at it.
Two versions are available, the Cayman and the Cayman S. The Cayman has a 265-horsepower 2.9-liter flat-6 engine, and the Cayman S features a 3.4-liter flat-6 with 320 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed manual is standard on both, and Porsche's sophisticated, 7-speed double-clutch gearbox, called the PDK, is available as an option.
The 2011 Cayman comes with more standard features than last year's models. Bluetooth and an MP3 universal audio interface are standard on 2011 Porsche Cayman models, and new colors and options packages are available.
Among colors and interior trims alone there are thousands of combinations, so exclusivity with any one individual car is well within reach; Porsche's line of Exclusive options and paint hues to order merely expands the realm of possibilities. Those choices also potentially expand the cost by a huge amount, since you can get almost anything on a Cayman but doing so can as much as double the price.
The Cayman is related to the Boxster, and some will argue that the Cayman is merely a fixed-roof version of the Boxster, which is a convertible. We disagree. The Cayman has its own feel and character. It can serve as a luxury grand-touring car for two with heated and ventilated leather seats, Bose sound system, and navigation system. It can serve as a sports car with superb driving dynamics, wonderful sounds, and excellent driver involvement. It can serve as an entertaining commuter car with decent mileage, a view out, dual trunks and drive-everyday-versatility. It can serve as a weekend racer with adjustable suspension, advanced drivetrain, and racing-style brakes. Its two trunks offer significantly more cargo space than does the Boxster, making it the more practical choice. Plus, we love the looks. It's one of the prettiest cars sold today.
The Cayman was launched as a 2006 model and revised with new engines, transmissions and suspensions for 2009.
The 2011 Porsche Cayman comes in two models with options sufficient to make almost every car unique. There are numerous choices in seats, upholstery colors, exterior paint colors, wheel sizes and designs, custom colors and custom leathers, and an option list lengthy enough to rival a military supply officer's ordering form.
The Cayman ($51,900) has a 265-horsepower 2.9-liter flat-6 with 221 pound-feet of torque and 6-speed manual transmission. A 7-speed automated manual double-clutch gearbox (PDK, or Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) is available ($3,420). Alloy wheels measuring 17x7 inches in front and 17x8.5 inches in the rear are standard.
Standard features include Alcantara-center bucket seats, manually operated climate control, power windows and locks, power heated mirrors, Bluetooth, AM/FM/CD stereo, MP3 universal audio interface, cruise control, trip computer, leather-wrapped wheel and shifter, anti-theft immobilizer, and active rear spoiler.
Options include bi-xenon headlamps with cornering lights ($1,560); self-dimming mirrors and rain-sensor ($690); park assist ($530); rear wiper ($360); roof transport system ($400); Aerokit ($4,990); various painted and aluminum trim exterior upgrades; PASM Porsche active suspension management ($1,990); limited-slip differential ($950); Sport Chrono packages that allow for timing segments and making adjustments to car systems ($960-$1,320, plus $500 for a painted face dial); sport exhaust ($2,500); automatic climate control ($550); luggage partition ($270); heated steering wheel ($210); aluminum, Makassar wood, carbon fiber and Alcantara interior trim packages (to $2,225); painted instrument dials ($690); Porsche Communication Management with navigation ($3,110); Bluetooth ($695); sound system inputs and upgrades (to $1,690); 6CD/DVD changer ($650); XM satellite radio ($750).
Factory paint colors list to $3,140; wheels (varies to $3,675) may be painted and equipped with Porsche crest centers; leather and seating choices (up to $5,375) include sport seats, power adjustable, carbon-fiber race-style, heating ($510) and ventilation ($800).
The Cayman S ($62,100) adds to performance with a 320-hp, 273 lb-ft 3.4-liter engine and 6-speed manual or 7-speed PDK ($3,420) optional. Standard wheels are 8- and 9-inch by 18 alloys, brake calipers are painted red, and instruments have aluminum colored backgrounds. The S gets an upgraded audio system and HomeLink as standard, and wheel choices are reduced to seven since 17-inch wheels are not offered. Cayman S options are similar to the standard Cayman with one major exception: ceramic composite brakes ($8,150) with drilled, vented discs and yellow-painted calipers are offered only on the S.
Safety features on all models include front airbags and head-and-thorax side airbags, electronic stability control (PSM), antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (ABD), tire pressure monitors, and traction control (ASR).