The 2017 Porsche Cayman is the company's entry-level coupe, but don't let that fool you. This is one of the best-performing sports cars for any price, with a mid-mounted engine for perfect balance and a driving experience that will leave you breathless.
Porsche has redesigned the Cayman for 2017, in tandem with its drop-top sibling, the Boxster. It gets a new "718" to go along with its name, too. Visually, the car looks a lot like last year's Cayman, but there are significant changes underneath.
Most notably, the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman no longer has six-cylinder powerplants. Instead, it has turbocharged four-cylinders. The base model gets a 2.0-liter engine that produces 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, while the Cayman S gets a 2.5-liter engine putting out 350 hp and 309 lb-ft. Both engines can be had with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. Edmunds has not yet track-tested the Cayman, but Porsche tells us that the 2.0-liter car with a PDK and the Sport Chrono package will get to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, while a Cayman S will do it in 4.0 seconds.
The 718 Cayman's interior is nicely set up for two. Quality, as we have come to expect from Porsche, is impeccable, and the 718 Cayman has a long list of options that allow the driver to create a cabin environment best suited to his or her tastes. The dash layout features a lot of buttons, but Porsche has grouped them logically. Like the Boxster, the 718 Cayman splits its storage space into two small trunks, offering 5.3 cubic feet of space in the nose and 4.4 behind the mid-mounted engine. You can pack in a lot, but large suitcases and golf clubs will need to ride in the cabin.
As for the driving experience, we haven't had enough seat time to pass judgement, but our experience with the closely related 718 Boxster has us very optimistic. We were big fans of the outgoing Cayman, which was quick, lively and electrifying to drive. We've been equally impressed by the new 718 Boxster, though we do miss the six-cylinder soundtrack — the four-cylinder engine just doesn't sound as good — and we're not sure the hard ride of the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management is worth the improvement in handling over the standard setup.
Porsche sells the Cayman in Base and S trims, the primary differentiator being the engine. Standard equipment is pretty thin compared to other luxury-sport coupes, but like other Porsche models the 718 Cayman offers an extraordinarily long options list, with enough expensive goodies to literally double the price of the car. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.