Thought I’d toss up more pictures and details of the car.
2011 Cayman S
2 seat, mid-engine, RWD, 3.4L 6 cylinder hard top coupe.
Sport Chrono: All the Caymans that come equipped with PDK (Porsche’s double clutch automatic) come equipped with a “Sport” button, which changes the gearshift mapping to something more aggressive, the sport chrono option gets you “Sport+” mode. Sport+ mode does the following:
- Changes the gearshift mapping to a motorsport-derived one. It’ll leave the car in a gear basically until red line before shifting, and on the way down, it’ll jump around and skip gears to keep you in optimal range for acceleration.
- Deactivates stability control (unless ABS kicks in – then it helps)
- Removes the soft rev limiter, and allows you rev the engine to dangerous levels
- Activates launch control, which is basically the craziest and most ridiculous option ever created for a street car.
- In cars with PASM, it activates sport mode, hardening up the suspension for more precise handling.
Its basically the mode you want to be in if you a) don’t care about your gas mileage, b) are looking to race someone.
PASM: PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) has two modes: regular mode and sport mode. Regular mode makes the ride pretty … regular. It’s a little tighter than my TSX, but still quite livable: you go over a speed bump or a pothole, and no big deal. Sport mode is noticeably stiffer. The cool thing about this option is that the suspension looks at how you’re driving and adjusts in real time the suspension to meet your needs. So if you have a little fun in casual mode, it’ll stiffen it up for you. If you’re just cruising in sport mode, it’ll soften it up a bit.
PVT: This is Porsche’s limited slip differential. It limits the amount of power the drive train allocates to a wheel that’s lost traction (normally, the drive train works to allocate power to restore traction when it senses a wheel is losing grip). This limits the amount of understeer one experiences in a corner.
Bose package: Speakers; I can’t really tell the difference from my TSX, but I guess it helps the resale value.
Carbon Fiber Sport Bucket seats: They should call these Carbon Fiber Diet Seats. They have high, hard bolsters that hold your ass in place when you drive. Unless, of course, you have a prodigious ass and hips like me, in which case, it is a constant reminder to diet and get to the gym. Additionally, the seat back hugs you more. And when it hugs me, it whispers, not so nicely “hey, there’s a lot of you that I have to hold on to, buddy.” Basically, I think my seats are jerks.
The 2011 Porsche Cayman is not a poseur’s Porsche. It doesn’t have the panache or straight-line performance of the 911 or any of its 20-some variants. It doesn’t have a convertible roof like the Boxster for those seeking sun as much as fun. Nor is it a Cayenne or Panamera — cars that, while fun, aren’t exactly what we’d call classic Porsches.
All of those other models sell in greater numbers, but ironically it’s the Cayman that delivers the purest driving experience. The Cayman’s beautifully balanced midengine chassis and telepathic steering not only reward a skilled driver but also keep the Cayman quite forgiving for less experienced drivers. Sure, the eye-popping acceleration numbers of the 911 Turbo will impress your friends more than the Cayman S’s 5.0-second 0-60 mph sprint [my edit: with sport chrono, the S will do 0-60 in 4.6 seconds]. But its flat-6 is still thrilling, and if going around corners truly gets your blood pumping, then the Cayman has few equals.
Having driven it exclusively for a week, I can only say that I’ve never looked forward to driving so much. Previously, I’ve only ever seen driving as a necessary evil, dead time between here and there. In the Cayman, both my hands stay on the wheel, and not only because I’m afraid of hitting something. There’s something very satisfying about the growl of the engine when you turn the key in the ignition, right behind you, as though you’re wearing some pissed off tiger in a backpack. If I step on it, the car pulls. And pulls and pulls and pulls. Where my TSX pretty much went into cruising mode at 70 MPH, the Cayman doesn’t even feel quite right at anything less than 65. Turning is where it truly shines, though, and the most fun is had on circular freeway on-ramps or windy back rounds out in the desert.
And even better, the Cayman is a very usable car! The coupe allows for a surprising amount of space in the back. I’m able to get 2 golf bags in it without any problem, with space for clothes and golf shoes. And the front truck is big enough to fit all of my hockey equipment, as you’ll see below. I can actually hold more stuff I use on a weekly basis in this car than I could in my TSX, if you don’t count passengers among that stuff.
Anyways, to the pictures!