2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Z51 vs. 2014 Porsche Cayman S Comparison Test

2014 Porsche Cayman Coupe

(3.4L 6-cyl. 6-speed Manual)
  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray vs 2014 Porsche Cayman S Track Test Comparison

    In a shootout of $60,000 sports cars, Edmunds.com compares the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray versus the 2014 Porsche Cayman S at its test track. Tests include 0-60 acceleration, quarter mile, 60-0 braking, slalom and skidpad. | September 30, 2013

1 Video , 52 Photos

Go With Your Gut

  • Comparison Test
  • 2014 Porsche Cayman S Specs and Performance
  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Specs and Performance

Forget the numbers and know this: The 2014 Porsche Cayman S is quite simply one of the best sports cars you can buy. It's a behemoth of packaging, weight and price relative to the world's great performance cars. And it's those very qualities that make it a candidate for comparison with the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The Stingray (on paper, at least) dominates the Cayman with more power, bigger tires and a reputation for comparison test domination.

Though each company's sports-car-building philosophy is wildly disparate, neither is wrong. The Cayman S is a sneaky predator: less powerful, but lithe and incredibly responsive. The C7 Corvette is a brute of a car, a snarling beast that's at its best when reined in with electronics. It's also quicker in virtually every measurable way. But does that make it better?

This test aims to find out.

Here's What the Numbers Say
The Corvette's base price of $54,795 gets you a 460-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, while the $63,800 Cayman S and its 3.4-liter flat-6 comes to play with only 325 hp. Our generously equipped test vehicles kick the as-tested prices up to $69,375 and $87,485, respectively. Despite the many extras, both are equipped with manual transmissions: six speeds in the Cayman and seven in the 'Vette. And without our Cayman's $6,730 Burmester premium audio system, more than $80 grand is a hard pill to swallow for an entry-level Porsche.

Chevy Corvette vs. Porsche Cayman S

Then there's performance. The Corvette hits 60 mph in 4.3 seconds (4.1 seconds with 1-foot rollout as on a drag strip) on its way to a quarter-mile time of 12.4 seconds at 113.7 mph. The Cayman S requires 4.6 seconds (4.4 seconds with 1-foot rollout) to get to 60 mph and runs in 12.8 seconds at 108.8 mph at our drag strip. The Stingray scores again in the handling tests, weaving through the slalom at 73.5 mph while the Porsche trails slightly at 72.3 mph. The same goes for the skid pad, with the 'Vette circling at 1.05g to the Cayman's 1.0g.

And at the Streets of Willow road course, a track that distinctly favors handling over power, the Corvette clocked a lap time of 1:24.6, smoking the Cayman's 1:27.0. Pit them against each other at Willow's big track and the Porsche would be even further outclassed.

The question, then, is this: Do better numbers make the better car?

Numbers Are for Accountants
Driving the Stingray hard is an exercise that demands both skill and commitment. Disable the 'Vette's advanced stability control and you're left with a car that wants to powerslide: especially once its tires exceed their optimal temperature. And that, for lesser drivers, can easily mean a visit to the runoff.

In stark contrast, the Cayman S is intuitive and tidy. It's a second skin reacting as an extension of your central nervous system. There is an instant trust and understanding of what the midengine Cayman will do beyond its performance envelope, and it's an absolute joy to explore those limits.

Chevy Corvette vs. Porsche Cayman S

With Sport Plus driving mode engaged, the Cayman S is a mind reader. Lift the throttle mid-bend and the tail swings ever so gently to the outside, allowing you to maintain that slip angle as long as you choose. Sport Plus also engages rev-matched downshifts that perfectly synchronize the engine speed with the next lowest gear. Slam down a gear and release the clutch — no thought required.

Rev-matching is also featured in the C7, but you have to be more deliberate about your timing. Rush it, and you're greeted by a clunk and a lurch that rebounds through the driveline.

Are These Electronics Really Helpful?
Selecting Sport mode in the Stingray triggers an ever-present second-guessing of your intentions. And it's not elegant. The throttle ignores your inputs until you unwind the wheel. Then the engine springs back to life abruptly and unexpectedly. Forget about rotating the Stingray in Sport mode, as the system ungracefully shuts down any oversteer.

Yes, switching to Track mode solves the problem by granting the driver more direct control while boldly daring him to push harder. But in the end, the reins are again tightened as Performance Traction Management begins to do the driving for you. The Cayman, on the other hand, playfully encourages you to stay balanced on the edge all day long. And it's this honesty of character that gives it a rewarding advantage, even if it's not as quick.

The Porsche is intuitive in a way that a car relying on electronics (however good they are) could never be. It's also just a better-handling car. By virtue of having its engine both between the axles and behind the driver, the Cayman rotates, responds and balances on the edge of grip better than the Stingray. Aggressive pitch and dive motions common to midengine cars are pleasingly absent in the Cayman.

Its strengths lie in its subtlety. The fact that no component of the Cayman's personality dominates the driving experience is its greatest asset. It is the very definition of balance. Power, handling and braking meet in perfect measure. And it is very, very good.

Justifying the Price
Being slower but feeling better is the automotive equivalent of "having a great personality." Those who live on emotion alone will love the Cayman. But even those folks must resolve the right- and left-brain conflict when it comes to the bottom line. It's a problem that's easily assuaged with the knowledge that the Porsche is the better-built car.

Chevy Corvette vs. Porsche Cayman S

Though "attention to detail" is an overused expression, it's appropriate in this comparison where the differences can be can be seen, felt and even smelled. Everything about the Cayman's interior exudes a custom-tailored fitment. The wheel, pedals and gearshift feel as if they were molded just for you, blurring the line where the driver ends and the car begins. Buttons have a positive click and all controls are intuitively placed. Open the door and you're instantly intoxicated by the smell of luxuriant leather.

The C7 is undoubtedly the best Corvette built to date, but it's still unmistakably an off-the-rack Corvette. You don't get the feeling that it becomes part of you; rather, it's a powerful machine that (most of the time) reacts to your commands. Knobs and buttons in the 'Vette are wobbly compared to the Porsche and the cabin seems to be more flash than substance. Crack open the door and you're hit with a wall of off-gassing adhesives and chemicals.

On the road, neither car is punishing in everyday driving. Both Porsche and Chevrolet do a masterful job of quelling bumps and ruts while still maintaining the kind of suspension stiffness that sports cars require. The Cayman does have the upper hand in terms of refinement, though. Wind and road noises are quieted in the Porsche to grand touring levels, while the Corvette's tires create a hollow drone on some surfaces and an intrusive rush of white noise on others.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is fast. Terrifyingly fast at times. It dares even the best drivers to dial back the electronic nannies. And whatever your skill level, the Stingray's safety nets remove the driver from the equation in a way that also removes some small bit of the experience.

The 2014 Porsche Cayman S is the sports car distilled down to its most pure components. It mixes power and handling in such perfect proportion that driver aids are laughably unnecessary. And its higher build standard yields a sophistication the Stingray can't match. The little Porsche lacks the Corvette's bravado (it won't even do burnouts), and it struggles in any objective measure of speed relative to the Stingray.

But it doesn't matter. The Cayman S is a masterfully executed sports car that makes the numbers virtually irrelevant. It lulls its driver into a state of oneness unmatched by the Stingray. And in doing so it wins this test.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Vehicle
Model year2014 Porsche Cayman S
Year Make Model2014 Porsche Cayman S 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 6M)
Vehicle TypeRWD 2dr 2-passenger Coupe
Base MSRP$63,800
Options on test vehicleInfotainment Package With Burmester Audio ($6,730 -- includes navigation, satellite radio, HD radio, Internet streaming audio); Adaptive Sport Seats ($3,465); Leather Interior ($2,385); Sport Chrono Package ($1,850 -- includes dynamic transmission mounts, stopwatch, sport plus button); PASM ($1,790); 20-Inch Carrera S Wheels ($1,560); Porsche Torque Vectoring ($1,320); Premium Package ($1,170 -- includes auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated seats, xenon headlights with cornering lights and washers); Front and Rear Parking Assist ($860); Ventilated Seats ($730); Rear Wiper ($360); Telephone Module ($265); Sport Design Steering Wheel ($250).
As-tested MSRP$87,485
Assembly locationOsnabruck, Germany
North American parts content (%)4
Drivetrain
ConfigurationLongitudinal, midengine, rear-wheel drive
Engine typeNaturally aspirated, direct-injected flat-6, gasoline with auto stop-start
Displacement (cc/cu-in)3,436/210
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing and lift
Compression ratio (x:1)12.5
Redline, indicated (rpm)7,500
Fuel cutoff/rev limiter (rpm)7,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)325 @ 7,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)272 @ 4,500
Fuel typePremium unleaded (required)
Transmission typeSix-speed manual
Transmission ratios (x:1)I: 3.31; II: 1.95; III: 1.41; IV: 1.13; V: 0.95; VI: 0.81; R: 3.0
Final-drive ratio (x:1)3.89
Chassis
Suspension, frontIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric speed-proportional power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)16.5
Tire make and modelPirelli P Zero
Tire typeAsymmetrical summer, high-performance, (30 psi cold front; 30 psi cold rear)
Tire size, front235/35ZR20 88Y
Tire size, rear265/35ZR20 95Y
Wheel size, front20-by-8 inches
Wheel size, rear20-by-9.5 inches
Wheel materialAlloy
Brakes, front13-inch one-piece ventilated cross-drilled with four-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, rear11.8-inch one-piece ventilated cross-drilled with four-piston fixed calipers
Track Test Results
Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)1.8
0-45 mph (sec.)2.9
0-60 mph (sec.)4.6
0-75 mph (sec.)6.4
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)12.8 @ 108.8
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.4
0-30 mph, trac ON (sec.)2.1
0-45 mph, trac ON (sec.)3.3
0-60 mph, trac ON (sec.)5.2
0-75 mph, trac ON (sec.)7.1
1/4-mile, trac ON (sec. @ mph)13.2 @ 107.7
0-60, trac ON with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.9
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)26
60-0 mph (ft.)101
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)72.3
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) ESC ON69.3
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)1.0
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) ESC ON1.0
Road course lap time (sec.)01:27.0
Sound level @ idle (dB)54.5
@ Full throttle (dB)86.8
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)68.6
Engine speed @ 70 mph (rpm)2,600
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsObviously a bit more technique involved here with the manual six-speed versus the PDK's launch control, which is just set it, floor it and hang on. The Cayman S needs lots of revs (about 6,000-6,200 rpm) and a drop-clutch launch to break the tires loose and keep them spinning through most of 1st gear. Otherwise you lose some time to bogging. It easily hits 60 mph in 2nd gear. The flat-6 sounds terrific right behind your head. This manual transmission is absolutely fantastic, light action yet with utterly precise gates. Can shift it with incredible speed and never miss a gear. In Sport Plus it will blip the throttle for you as you downshift, though I wish it did not, as it screws up my own throttle blipping.
Braking commentsGood firm pedal, but with a huge degree of feedback through the pedal as to the grip the tires are encountering. Pedal stayed consistent. First stop was longest at 106 feet. The fourth stop was shortest at 101 feet. The sixth and final stop was 102 feet.
Handling commentsSlalom: In some ways I prefer the Cayman S's maneuverability through the slalom over the 911 Carrera S, as it exhibits less understeer and feels a bit more precise. Being smaller and lighter definitely helps, and the narrower tires don't appear to hurt it that much in this exercise. Skid pad: As with the 911, the Cayman S can be steered around the skid pad not with your hands, but rather with your right foot. It's incredibly sensitive to throttle inputs, but not in a knife-edge kind of way. Instead, it transmits everything it's doing back to the driver. 1.0g? Pretty impressive.
Testing Conditions
Test date8/20/2013
Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (F)83.0
Relative humidity (%)43.0
Barometric pressure (in. Hg)28.85
Wind (mph, direction)3.0, head/cross
Odometer (mi.)853
Fuel used for test91-octane
As-tested tire pressures, f/r (psi)30/30
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)23 combined/20 city/28 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)21.0
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)16.9
Driving range (mi.)473.2
Audio and Advanced Technology
Stereo description12-speaker Burmester premium audio
iPod/digital media compatibilityOptional iPod via USB jack
Satellite radioOptional Sirius
Hard-drive music storage capacity (Gb)Not available
Rear seat video and entertainmentNot available
Bluetooth phone connectivityStandard
Navigation systemOptional hard drive, 7-inch display screen (measured diagonally)
Telematics (OnStar, etc.)Not available
Smart entry/StartNot available
Parking aidsOptional parking sonar front and rear
Blind-spot detectionNot available
Adaptive cruise controlOptional
Lane-departure monitoringNot available
Collision warning/avoidanceOptional
Night VisionNot available
Driver coaching displayOptional
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)2,910
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,078
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)45.3/54.7
Length (in.)172.4
Width (in.)70.9
Height (in.)51.0
Wheelbase (in.)97.4
Track, front (in.)60.1
Track, rear (in.)60.5
Turning circle (ft.)36.0
Seating capacity2
Trunk volume (cu-ft)9.7
GVWR (lbs.)3,649
Payload, mfr. max claim (lbs.)761
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain4 years/50,000 miles
Corrosion12 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistance4 years/50,000 miles
Vehicle
Model year2014 Chevrolet Corvette
Year Make Model2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl 7M)
Vehicle TypeRWD 2dr 2-passenger coupe
Base MSRP$54,795
Options on test vehicleBlade Silver Metallic, Custom Sill Plates With Stingray Logo, Preferred Equipment Group ($8,005 -- includes standard equipment; Bose advanced 10-speaker system with bass box; HD Radio with additional 9 months of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio service (1 year total); Memory Package with recall for 2 driver "presets" for 8-way power seat, outside mirrors and tilt-and-telescoping steering column; frameless, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror; Universal Home Remote with garage door opener and three programmable channels (located on driver visor); heated and ventilated driver and passenger seats with power bolster and lumbar; head-up display with color readouts for street mode, track mode with g-meter, vehicle speed, engine rpm; cargo net and luggage shade; theft -deterrent system for body content security and unauthorized electrical entry; body-color, heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming; navigation with 3D maps; premium leather-wrapped leather instrument panel, center console and door panels; perforated napa leather seating surfaces), Visible Carbon-Fiber Roof Panel ($1,995 -- includes removable, visible carbon-fiber roof panel with body-color surround), Magnetic Selective Ride Control ($1,795 -- includes Magnetic Selective Ride Control; Performance Traction Management), Dual-Mode Performance Exhaust ($1,195 -- includes dual-mode performance exhaust with additional horsepower, aggressive exhaust sound and 4-inch polished stainless-steel tips ), Carbon-Fiber Interior Appearance Package ($995 -- includes carbon-fiber instrument panel trim), 19" x 8.5" Front and 20" x 10.0" Rear Black Aluminum Wheels ($495), Carbon Flash-Painted Rear Spoiler and Outside Mirrors ($100)
As-tested MSRP$69,375
Assembly locationBowling Green, Kentucky
North American parts content (%)100
Drivetrain
ConfigurationLongitudinal, front midengine, rear-wheel drive
Engine typeNaturally aspirated, direct-injected V8, gasoline with cylinder deactivation
Displacement (cc/cu-in)6,162cc (376 cu-in)
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainPushrod, 2 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)11.5
Redline, indicated (rpm)6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)460 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)465 @ 4,600
Fuel typePremium unleaded (recommended)
Transmission typeSeven-speed manual with automated rev-matching
Transmission ratios (x:1)I=2.97, II=2.07, III=1.43, IV=1.0, V=0.71, VI=0.57, VII=0.48
Final-drive ratio (x:1)3.42
Differential(s)Electronically controlled clutch-type limited slip
Chassis
Suspension, frontIndependent double wishbones, transverse leaf spring, self-adjusting magnetorheological dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent double wishbones, transverse leaf spring, self-adjusting magnetorheological dampers, stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assist, speed-proportional, variable-ratio rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio (x:1)17:1 to 12:1
Tire make and modelMichelin Pilot Super Sport ZP
Tire typeAsymmetrical, high-performance summer performance
Tire size, frontP245/35ZR19 89Y
Tire size, rearP285/30ZR20 95Y
Wheel size, front19-by-8.5 inches
Wheel size, rear20-by-10 inches
Wheel materialAluminum
Brakes, front13.6-inch one-piece ventilated slotted cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, rear13.3-inch one-piece ventilated slotted cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Track Test Results
Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)1.9
0-45 mph (sec.)2.9
0-60 mph (sec.)4.3
0-75 mph (sec.)6.0
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)12.4 @ 113.7
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.1
0-30 mph, trac ON (sec.)2.0
0-45 mph, trac ON (sec.)3.0
0-60 mph, trac ON (sec.)4.4
0-75 mph, trac ON (sec.)6.1
1/4-mile, trac ON (sec. @ mph)12.42 @ 113.96
0-60, trac ON with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.1
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)25
60-0 mph (ft.)99
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)73.5
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) ESC ON70.9
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)1.05
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) ESC ON1.00
Road course lap time (sec.)84.55
Sound level @ idle (dB)51.8
@ Full throttle (dB)88.8
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)72.2
Engine speed @ 70 mph (rpm)1,500
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsLaunch control did a good job of regulating wheelspin, yet it hardly made a difference from a data perspective. A near-bog no-wheelspin run essentially matched it and I beat it by a couple tenths with traction control shut off. I tried various amounts of spin and they all produced shockingly similar and highly consistent results. I did try the no-lift-shift feature and as cool as it is because it's typically forbidden, in reality it is no quicker than my usual shifts. The short gearing forces a 1-2 shift prior to 60 mph and even requires a shift to 4th for the quarter-mile. The Stingray is quick (quicker than C6 base coupe), sounds glorious, but it falls short of OMG-fast. I guess that's what a Z06 and ZR1 will be for.
Braking commentsInitially firm pedal feel ends with a little squish at the end of its short travel. The shortest stopping distance occurred on the seventh stop, proving these brakes have plenty of thermal capacity. Straight, steady, no drama.
Handling commentsSlalom: After I had dialed in the mode(s) that best suited my preferred feedback and the demands of slalom test (Track, Sport 2), then it became a matter of chipping away at the times with subtle techniques that exploited the car's electronic aids as well as the limits. It's easy to discover the limits and either avoid them or step right over them and file it in the manifest of things the Stingray does or doesn't want to do. I especially appreciated the crystal-clear and highly precise steering, the zippy turn-in, the progressive break-away of the tires and the sophisticated traction control on exit that doesn't merely chop the throttle, but stutters it to maintain momentum and direction. Although I couldn't hear it (like in the Nissan GT-R), I could sense the diff hard at work sorting out which side of the car needed/wanted power at every moment. Immensely capable and highly accessible performance without the C6's vaguely threatening demeanor. Wow. Skid pad: Absolutely nutty amount of grip for a road (not race) car. Steering remains informative and precise despite the tremendous loads. The Stingray will either under- or oversteer at will, which speaks to its impressive balance. With ESC fully on, the throttle fades out right before the car would need more driver involvement (e.g. steering and/or throttle modulation) to go any quicker. It's likely a "civilian" wouldn't even notice this happening at 1g. Impressive.
Testing Conditions
Test date8/20/2013
Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (F)91
Relative humidity (%)28.00
Barometric pressure (in. Hg)28.81
Wind (mph, direction)3, headwind
Odometer (mi.)1,621
Fuel used for test91 octane
As-tested tire pressures, f/r (psi)30/30
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)21 combined/17 city/29 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)15.9 (20.5 best/worst 12.8)
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)18.5
Driving range (mi.)536.5
Audio and Advanced Technology
Stereo description10-speaker Bose audio system with bass enclosure
iPod/digital media compatibilityGeneric aux jack, multiple iPod via USB (3)
Satellite radioStandard with 1 year of Sirius included
Bluetooth phone connectivityStandard with phone and audio streaming
Navigation systemOptional with traffic, 8-inch display screen (measured diagonally)
Telematics (OnStar, etc.)Standard OnStar
Smart entry/StartStandard ignition/doors/trunk/hatch
Parking aidsStandard rearview camera
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,298
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,443
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)49.8/50.2
Length (in.)176.9
Width (in.)73.9
Height (in.)48.8
Wheelbase (in.)106.7
Track, front (in.)62.9
Track, rear (in.)61.7
Legroom, front (in.)43.0
Headroom, front (in.)37.9
Shoulder room, front (in.)55.2
Seating capacity2
Trunk volume (cu-ft)15
Warranty
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/100,000 miles
Corrosion6 years/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance5 years/100,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenance2 years/24,000 miles

Comments

  • kyolml kyolml Posts:

    i guess that different author has different feeling toward the cars. While the GT-R comparison saying the vette is satisfying to drive and exciting, here is sort pretty much all negative. I understand those are different subject to try to clarify the points. Maybe a comparison bet ween the Caymen and GT-R will be good.

  • sharpend sharpend Posts:

    Too bad you pay all that money for the Cayman S knowing that if they only put the 911 engine in it - which they easily could - it would be that much better. Instead, they dumb it down intentionally and still make you pay an incredible amount of money for it.

  • 06sti 06sti Posts:

    I want the Cayman, but I'd hate myself for spending that much money for one. I need to see a shrink to sort out how to rationalize it. My wife might hate me too ;) Maybe I'll bribe her with a mink coat (an equally logical purchase)...

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I agree - pretty negative on the Corvette. The engine is within the wheelbase as in the Cayman, BUT it's not behind the driver - ? Huh? I get that the Porsche is superior in lots of subjective ways and that is a genuine consideration, but the 'Vette is superior in many objective ways and costs a lot less, and that has not been given genuine consideration. 2.4 seconds on a 1.6-mile handling-type track is forever. The fact that you're looking at tail lights from the Cayman S HAS to be accounted for in any assessment of these cars. And it's not being done.

  • ses184 ses184 Posts:

    I think the best way to understand this is to think of a big 1 pound burger from some greasy burger joint vs. a gourmet sandwich from a high priced restaurant. The big, cheap burger will fill you up more, cost you less, and still taste really good, but there are certain characteristics that the expensive place's meal is going to offer that you just don't get at a greasy spoon diner. At the end of the day, it would come down to how much you're willing to spend on a sports car and what you're personally looking for out of it. Either way, I think any car guy would be extremely thrilled to have either set of keys thrown his way with someone saying "go have fun and drive it like you stole it!"

  • cbrandi_ cbrandi_ Posts:

    I don't see these two as comparable. They appeal to two very different kinds of enthusiast. The writer is correct numbers are relative to the overall enjoyment of the car. With full throttle acceleration nearly impossible to do in todays congested roads, performance numbers don't mean much. These are both great cars in their respective spheres.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    Ultimately it does come down to price and exclusivity. If you threw the ten to twenty grand more into every Corvette the interior would be just as nice, the car might be more refined, but you would lose the target market. Hurray for choices, and for the fact that the Corvette can now compete very well against so many capable sports cars.

  • golfer38 golfer38 Posts:

    The tester seemed that he made his decision before the test, and just slanted his subjective view towards the Cayman regardless of the numbers and cost difference. When are these testers going to put more weight on capability and less on their seat of the pants feel. Both are very impressive cars, but to achieve the level of performance Chevy has accomplished with the new Corvette is groundbreaking.

  • cotak cotak Posts:

    It sounds a bit like the Cayman is for people who don't want to drive at the limit. Which is fine that's 99% of the drivers on the road and I'd like 90% of drivers are incompetent or nearly so anyhow. This is the same arguments between much cheaper cars in the hot hatch segment. You can buy something like a Mazdaspeed 3 or a Focus ST or a GTI. And as it stand before the new GTI came out it pretty much goes that same order in terms of driver focus vs refinement. You pick what you like. For me I know the stingray wins, but my wife she would prefer the more refined car.

  • davisdvm davisdvm Posts:

    One of the best overviews of the porsche vs corvette comparison I have ever read, thank you for making the effort to get well past the numbers. The difference in cost is often mitigated if one shops the certified used market, where a lightly touched Caymen is readily available in the 40-45k range.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    I really think that all of these comparison articles would be a lot more enjoyable if we just pretty much ignored the last paragraph that declares the winner. These decisions always come down to a weighting of objective numbers and subjective impressions, and that weighing tends to be different for just about everybody. So instead of trying to prove to everyone else that x is better than y, let's just find the winner for ourselves and accept that someone might choose differently, because at the end of the day both x and y are both seriously phenomenal cars!

  • shriker66 shriker66 Posts:

    Good test...finally someone puts reality into the picture.....NO ONE cross shops a $65K Corvette with a 911 that is nearly double that (for an equivalently equipped car) ...... I have to say I am very surprised at just how much Edmunds seemed to dislike the new Corvette in this test. I understand everything is reletive, but it seems like you guys would choose this Cayman S over the new 911 S as well. Impressive for the Cayman S, it remains a SUPERB sports car...guess the writing is on the wall for the 911. All the Cayman needs now is the better engines. Why would anyone buy a 911 given this new Cayman OTHER than power (excluding the special models like the GT2/3, turbo etc.) and pay WAY more? Every individual would have to make the choice.....what is more important to you ? With such a chasm between this Corvette and the Cayman S (the Vette doesn't just edge it out by a hair , it POWERSLAPS it back into the middle of last week.....2.5 seconds around a track SPECIFICALLY favoring handling - the Caymans forte -....your grandma could drive the Vette in reverse with one arm tied behind her back and lap the Cayman S in a decent length race). It takes a LOT to overcome such lazy performance for significantly more money (though still pretty close). The Cayman's mix of great quality with excellent manners closes that gap for some apparently. What would YOU rather have ?

  • themandarin themandarin Posts:

    Corvette already looks dated

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    The Vette wins across the board on the numbers, and over a second better in the slalom is not just slightly better when it comes to vehicles, that's quite a bit better. I prefer the interior of the Porsche over the Vette, but not enough to justify selecting it over the Stingray. "The Cayman S is a masterfully executed sports car that makes the numbers virtually irrelevant." @ Mark T.- are you serious? Numbers are the predominant justification for the comparison to begin with.

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  • marcos9 marcos9 Posts:

    The mere fact that the 2014 Corvette is being compared to the 2014 Cayman S is a significant compliment to Corvette as a brand. Kudos!

  • tknn tknn Posts:

    The 986 was crappier than a 1980s Tercel in the interior. Glad to hear that it has improved.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Putting the raw figures aside (no apologies lions208487) I see what the author is getting at. The Cayman is a better sports car because it has a fundamentally better chassis that allows the DRIVER to get nearer the limit in comfort. The Corvette stability program knows darned well that things go South quickly when you get to the limit and intervenes hard and fast as you get there. That feature does not make for a satisfying sports car. Watching Fifth Gear on the Velocity channel the other night and both testers were bemoaning the nannies on the original MP4-12C and the Mercedes SL AMG. They said the electronics prevented them from driving the car at the limit, something they felt they should be allowed to do. Blame it on CYA or fundamentally flawed handling, your choice. Porsche have shown it can be done.

  • pommah pommah Posts:

    At this performance and price point its about how each car makes you feel because you're not going to be able to use the performance either one offers very often if at all. My tastes tend to the Porsche vs. the Vette but completely understand if somebody wants to go the other way, I wouldn't look down on somebody who made that pick now like I would on previous Vette generations. Even so, if I were going to spend that kind of coin on a car I'd do it on some cherry classic sports car instead. They make you feel even better than a shiny new Porsche

  • cliffsr cliffsr Posts:

    What a biased load of crap! First you slam the Vette,"Disable the 'Vette's advanced stability control and you're left with a car that wants to powerslide" for how it handles if you turn OFF the electronics and then praise the Cayman,"With Sport Plus driving mode engaged, the Cayman S is a mind reader". turned ON! Really, why did you even bother to do the comparison? Your obvious favoritism for the Cayman does a disservice to journalists everywhere who try to report objectively. I have driven both cars and there is no way I would say a Cayman S drives better than the Corvette. On top of that the price (+20k) and higher maintenance costs make the Porsche prohibitively expensive. You should resign from Edmunds and go put an application in at Porsche.

  • vikasdesai vikasdesai Posts:

    the cayman is so dialed back from what it should be that it is pretty annoying, worse yet porsche not only didn't put more power but it make it somewhat skittish at the limit. The car is always being held back by 911. the cayman really should have 350Hp like the base 911. At least the vette is a full on balls to the wall job by GM. Its an amazing job to get these insane laptimes at a price under 60K(obviously giant tires has to with this), still ill take the cayman because it and the boxster are truly exotic looking with everyday livability and reliability, and will probably be a nicer place to be when you are slogging thru traffic at 45mph

  • ddnohn ddnohn Posts:

    Amazing...good car..I like it. Obat Herbal

  • tbone85 tbone85 Posts:

    I'm sorry, but for at least 8k more and losing every single performance category, this story comes across as an exercise in excuse desperation. The car that "handles better", but is only slightly slower, gets "smoked" on the track? Methinks thou doest protest too much.

  • vantageman vantageman Posts:

    This is a very odd review for so many reasons, Ill ignore the far negative opinion of this article for the corvette that seems a bit like a bias against it but how did they rule that the Corvette was better than the 911 Carerra S but somehow its not as good as the Cayman S. Are they saying the Cayman S is a better car than the 911??? Not to mention I think the fact they chose the Cayman to compare it to instead of the 911 kinda shows they were trying to engineer a result as the corvette was built to compete with the 911....

  • jimstar jimstar Posts:

    I'm sorry but why is this worded like the Corvette is some kind of GT-R clone, when others paint a stark contrast? I mean even if PTM was ever doing the driving for you, which is a way I've never ever heard it described, you do know you can just turn it off...right? And why do I feel like you're trying to oversell the Cayman's interior? I've only been in one for a few minutes, but it didn't seem THAT nice... And the Cayman isn't relying on driver aids? Didn't you mention Sport Plus? Rev matching? I'll bet my house that this test car also has PSM, PASM, and whatever other electronics are available on a Cayman. So yeah, I'm sure the Cayman is a better feeling car...but this write-up seems questionable at best to me.

  • lostcomma lostcomma Posts:

    One thing about the price, they are probably within $5000. The vette is now selling for msrp +++. "Let the gouging begin" as on blog reported. The pluses could be anywhere between what ever the market could bear and that could be as high as the price of the porsche. When the last vette was released there was no way you could walk into a showroom and pay just the cost of the sticker. Now with porsche, the price can be negotiated as per the experience of Edmonds staff that bought the current 911 cab with few options. Of course this would differ greatly between regions and the price will come down on the vette for sure but currently I would say the difference is probably not as profound as indicated.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    "Are they saying the Cayman S is a better car than the 911???" In a way, yes. There have been articles here before making the argument (that I'm inclined to agree with) that the Cayman, especially with its mid-engine layout, is a more rewarding car than the 911, especially considering Porsche seems to severely handicap it. No surprise that while the numbers were better for the Corvette, the Cayman was more rewarding.

  • cargirl52 cargirl52 Posts:

    I own a 2010 Corvette and absolutely love it! Great value for the money. It puts a smile on my face every time I get behind the wheel.

  • porsche1441 porsche1441 Posts:

    I have been a Corvette enthusiast my whole life and it is still one of my favorite cars. That being said and having owned both I can honestly state that when it comes to performance, ergonomics, and intuitiveness as well as quality, the Porsche Cayman is simply a finer automobile. The Corvette felt loose from door panels and overall interior, similar to most GMs after a few years of age. The Porsche simply did not feel that way. I recently traded in my 2006 and although it was very low mile vehicle, the precision inside and out was just tight. A 7 year Corvette with similar miles simply does not compare and I absolutely love the Corvette and owned a 6 year old Vette. The Corvette is the best value from a performance standpoint meaning horsepower, but from a long term investment that retains its value, precision and an overall better handling automobile, the Porsche wins hands down. Lastly, the Porsche offers significantly more advanced performance handling features which if you are a true performance person, it totally matters and you will pick up that second when you are in total control of your vehicle.

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