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Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Platonic Best Sports activities Automobile

In the event you’ve learn any of my work, you in all probability know that I’m Jalopnik’s greatest Porsche 911 fanboy. I like them. When everybody says, “Miata is all the time the reply,” I say nope and level to a 911 as a result of it may possibly do the whole lot higher – which it ought to, because it’s manner, far more costly. Objectively, nevertheless, whereas the 911 is Porsche’s greatest all-around automobile, I can acknowledge that it’s not the corporate’s greatest sports activities automobile. That honor goes to the Cayman, and particularly, the GTS 4.0.

The GTS 4.0 is the candy spot within the 718 Cayman lineup. The GT4 and GT4 RS are higher monitor automobiles, and the bottom Cayman is a extra comfy each day driver (with a horrible-sounding engine). The GTS 4.0 manages to supply an important steadiness of these bookends.

A 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 in side profile on wet pavement.

Picture: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The guts of the Cayman GTS 4.0 is, in fact, its 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six. That is successfully a detuned model of the GT4’s 4.0-liter engine, producing a nonetheless very wholesome 394 hp at 7,000 rpm and 309 lb-ft of torque between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm. For comparability, that’s 44 hp greater than the Cayman S and the identical torque, although the turbocharged S delivers its peak twist decrease within the rev vary, between 1,900 and 4,500 rpm.

The GTS 4.0 provides the Cayman purchaser a extra basic Porsche driving expertise. You’re rewarded for maintaining the engine on boil and punished for lazy shifting and poor gear selections. Round city, this makes for a automobile that doesn’t really feel as fast from stoplight to stoplight because the turbocharged Caymans (Caymen? Cays-man?), however on a quick, open street, the joy that comes with excessive revs – together with that basic Porsche flat-six howl – makes a robust case for the GTS 4.0’s value premium.

That sweet 4.0-liter engine can be paired with either a very nice six-speed manual transmission or Porsche’s quick-shifting seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Honestly, neither is a bad choice, but given the very driver-focused nature of the Cayman GTS, I’d definitely make a case for getting three pedals. Still, my test car’s PDK makes dealing with LA’s hot garbage traffic a lot more pleasant.

The black interior of the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Photo: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The 718 Cayman’s chassis at any trim level is a thing of beauty, but in the GTS, it’s almost a higher truth, a Platonic ideal. This car offers tack-sharp steering with reasonable amounts of feedback. The MacPherson strut suspension used at all four corners shouldn’t be as good as it is, given the design’s origins as a cheap-to-build setup. It’s taut without being harsh, even around town over broken pavement, and does a superb job of controlling the car’s mass in a way that makes it feel as though the Cayman is pivoting around the driver.

It’s this chassis that makes the Cayman such an incredible sports car. It does what older, lighter, smaller 911s did for many years however provides trendy conveniences, security tools and a level of predictability and playfulness on the limits of grip that these older ass-engined automobiles don’t have.

The Cayman’s metal brakes are wonderful, and so they don’t make me miss Porsche’s stronger carbon ceramics, which aren’t accessible on the GTS 4.0. The metal stoppers supply distinctive pedal really feel that enables me to brake confidently simply on the fringe of ABS intervention, and achieve this repeatedly with out a lot concern for fade. Porsche’s sports activities automobile brakes are all the time a spotlight and the Cayman GTS’s 13.8-inch entrance and 13-inch rear brakes (with six- and four-piston calipers, respectively) are not any exception.

A satin black wheel with perforated steel brake rotors behind it on a yellow 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Picture: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The GTS recipe within the Cayman is just about the identical because it’s all the time been. Take the Cayman S and add all the preferred efficiency choices, like 0.8-inch decrease trip top with Porsche’s Lively Suspension Administration and stiffer dampers, the Sport Chrono bundle, rear-axle torque vectoring, a sport exhaust and lively engine mounts. Then slap on the Sport Design entrance and rear bumpers and cost marginally much less for the GTS than you’d by including these choices individually to an S. This type of GTS therapy has been a success since Porsche launched it on the 997 911 Carrera and it’s simple to see why.

After all, the Cayman isn’t excellent, and it’s inside the place this automobile actually falls behind the 911. The 982-generation Cayman is fairly previous now – it debuted in 2016 – and it exhibits. The place the 911 has a beautiful digital sprint and a extra refined inside total, the Cayman makes do with the 991’s little infotainment display and button-laden console. The gauges are largely analog, which I truly desire in sports activities automobiles, however the design actually dates the automobile. Admittedly, they’re much less purposeful than the brand new digital ones, too.

The center console of the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0. There are many blank switches.

Picture: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

So far as inside room goes, for most individuals, the Cayman will possible be simply superb. Nevertheless, at six-foot-four (with quite a lot of my top in my torso) I discover the Cayman’s cabin to be a little bit cramped, however I acknowledge that I’m taller than most folk. One factor the Cayman completely crushes, although, is cargo house. Being mid-engined, the Cayman has two trunks. The entrance trunk provides 5.3 cu-ft of house, whereas the rear provides 4.4 cu-ft, which makes it surprisingly capacious. My spouse and I had been in a position to pack two sleeping baggage, two folding chairs, a tent, garments and snacks for an evening of tenting, and whereas it was tight, we didn’t have to depart something behind for need of extra room.

The Cayman’s infotainment system consists of a small 7-inch touchscreen. Its performance is fundamental, however this setup not less than provides Apple CarPlay, and phrase ‘around the campfire is which you could allow Android Auto with some laptop computer coding, however I don’t actually suggest doing that your self. Curiously, the 7-inch PCM system within the Cayman is sort of an identical to the Porsche Traditional PCCM Plus system that I simply purchased for my 996 911 (full story coming quickly).

My take a look at Cayman GTS 4.0 is as near optionless as you’re ever more likely to see within the wild. Which means that it’s received the bottom, semi-power, four-way adjustable seats versus the carbon buckets or a lot heavier 14-way energy seats. It additionally comes with navigation, and Porsche’s Entry & Drive system which helps you to lock and unlock the automobile with out utilizing buttons on the fob. It additionally has black brake calipers (a $900 possibility) and physique coloration headlight washer covers. That’s it.

The rear cargo area on the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Picture: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

That is truly an important spec as a result of the GTS trim stage takes care of principally all of the efficiency tools and choices you’d need anyway, and in the long run, you get a world-class sports activities automobile for $99,800, together with a $1,450 vacation spot payment. It’s exhausting to think about rivals that provide this type of driving engagement and efficiency for this type of cash, however the Lotus Emira appears possible to offer the Cayman a run for its cash, not less than on paper. The BMW M4 Competitors makes a case for itself, regardless of its bigger dimensions and front-engine setup. The BMW can also be cheaper – till you begin throwing choices at it, anyway.

In comparison with a 911, a Cayman actually looks like a cut price, since you may’t get Porsche’s bigger sports activities automobile for lower than six figures today. To get a comparable expertise with a handbook transmission within the 911, it’s important to shell out a naked minimal of $118,050 for the Carrera T. Certain, that $18,250 value soar buys you numerous in a 911, however I can’t say the Carrera T is a extra compelling sports activities automobile than the Cayman GTS 4.0.

The Cayman is an total friendlier and extra playful automobile that encourages you to push its limits. It shrinks round you as you drive sooner in a manner that the present 992-generation 911 doesn’t, however older 911s did. The Cayman GTS merely provides a extra visceral expertise and on the subject of sports activities automobiles, that’s key.

The front three-quarter view of a yellow 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Picture: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The rear of the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Picture: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

The base front seats of the 2022 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0

Picture: Kyle Hyatt/Jalopnik

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