2014 Porsche Cayman S Track Test on Edmunds.com

2014 Porsche Cayman S Track Test

More Power, More Better

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments directly from the test-drivers. Enjoy.

Since its introduction, the Porsche Cayman has been begging for greatness. Held down by the glass ceiling of the 911, the Cayman has done the best it can with what Porsche gives it.

For 2014, the base model didn't get much. With 275 horsepower and 213 pound-feet of torque from a 2.7-liter flat-6, the Cayman is outgunned by the 278 hp/252 lb-ft-producing 2013 Honda Accord V6 and makes similar acceleration numbers. In base trim, the 2014 Cayman goes from zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds and clears the quarter-mile in 14 flat at 101.1 mph.

But you don't have to settle for those numbers. For just about $10,000 more, you can step up to the 2014 Porsche Cayman S. Instead of the modestly powered 2.7-liter, there's a 3.4-liter flat-6 producing an Accord-slaying 325 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque.

We think this step up is worth it in mental well-being alone, but is it worth it where it counts? We took it to the track to find out.

Vehicle: 2014 Porsche Cayman S
Odometer: 2,505
Date: 7/16/13
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $63,800

Drive Type: Midengine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Seven-speed automated manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, direct-injected flat-6, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,436/209
Redline (rpm): 7,600
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 325 @ 7,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 272 @ 4,500
Brake Type (front): 13-inch ventilated cross-drilled discs with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.8-inch ventilated cross-drilled discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, driver-selectable two-mode adaptive dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, driver-selectable two-mode adaptive dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 235/35ZR20 (88Y)
Tire Size (rear): 265/35ZR20 (95Y)
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,141

Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 1.7 (2.8 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 2.9 (3.5 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.5 (5.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.2 (4.8 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 6.4 (7.2 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.7 @ 106.8 (13.2 @ 106.8 w/ TC on)

30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 107

Slalom (mph): 71.3
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.99 (0.98 w/ ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 2,000

Acceleration: Pinning the throttle in default Drive with the PDK results in a little bit of clutch slip prior to flight, costing time. Utilizing launch control and Sport Plus cuts more than a second to 30 mph and quickens shifts considerably. Still, looking at the accel curve, one can scarcely see a shift. Also, unlike with some other "launch control" systems, we performed five back-to-back launches without losing any performance (in fact, it got better), and not a single warning light that the mechanicals might be fatigued. Wow.

Braking: Thinking that the PCCB brakes would improve with some heat, I did five of the seven stops from 100 mph rather than 60 but the car cared not. Same stops (surface irregularities not withstanding) from first to last. Firm pedal, immediate jump-in, arrow straight.

Slalom: Unlike the base Cayman, the S with its P Zero tires and adaptive suspension feels amply tired for the abilities of this chassis. Also predictably, the quickest pass was with the shocks in "Normal" mode rather than firm. The result is near-supercar levels of grip and athleticism, but with the kind of compliance and confidence that only sometimes is included. The steering is precise, crystal-clear and supplies plenty of information. I could place the car within an inch of each cone and use the throttle to alter direction at will. This is so good that it feels unfair.

Skid pad: Only a slight advantage in the firmer shock setting, but the same throttle-adjustable course and informative steering. Even with the lenient ESC left on (in Sport Plus), the 2014 Porsche Cayman S is an amazingly athletic car.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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