Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Will the New Porsche Cayman Threaten the Porsche 911 Carrera’s Performance

December 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured Content

This past week Porsche unveiled the new Porsche Cayman and it looks to be quite a car. The new base Porsche Cayman will be powered by a 2.7 liter 275 hp engine that, coupled with the Sport Chrono package, will be capable of a 0-60 mph time of just 5.1 seconds. As good as that sounds things get much better in the new Porsche Cayman S model that will be powered by a 3.4 liter engine producing 325 hp and is capable of a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds (when coupled with the PDK transmission and the Sports Chrono package).

These numbers are pretty good; in fact they are so good that the new Porsche Cayman S threatens to be as quick as a base Porsche 911 (991) Carrera. The base Porsche 911 (991) Carrera also has a 3.4 liter engine, but it manages to produce 25 more horse power. However, the new Porsche Cayman is a lighter car which puts gives it the possibility of being just as quick. In fact when you check out the official specs from Porsche the new Porsche Cayman S has a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds, which is exactly the same as the base Porsche 911 (991) Carrera. So, at least from 0-60 mph the cars have identical performance. Which means if you aren’t on the track and are driving at legal speeds there will be little performance differences (at least on paper).

This may make for a tough decision for many Porsche buyers. Do you buy the mid-engined Porsche Cayman S with its more neutral handling, or the tried and true Porsche 911 Carrera with its incredible traction? It should make for some interesting back-to-back test drives for potential buyers.

I have driven the new Porsche Boxster S as well as a Porsche 911 Carrera and at legal road speeds it was difficult to choose the better performing car. I personally thought between the two that the Porsche 911 Carrera was the better car, but not by that much. Now with the new Porsche Cayman, I’m not so sure if this will continue to be the case. The new Porsche Cayman may be the better of the two in pretty much every way, except for possibly one. That would be the emotional connection.

There is a certain emotional connection that one makes with the Porsche 911 Carrera partly due to its rear engine design. Even though many of the characteristics that made past 911s so distinct in their handling have been engineered out, Porsche has left enough of the 911s characteristics to keep this emotional connection.  With the new Porsche Boxster S, I didn’t get the same emotional connection, although it is still a great car (and it does have an emotional connection, just not the same type of connection). It will be interesting to drive the new Porsche Cayman and to see if it offers an emotional connection similar to the 911 or more like the Boxster. Either way it will make it tough to decide between the Porsche Cayman and the base Porsche 911 Carrera.


David Hurth is a guest contributor to 9 Magazine and Porsche enthusiast that writes more of his thoughts about Porsches at The Sports Car Guys.


Photo: Porsche