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Porsche Cayman

Broadcast dates : 4th December 2005
10th December 2005

Who would ever have thought there was a need for the Porsche Cayman?

Looking at the Porsche range, there’s the iconic 911, absolutely irreplaceable in Porsche-lore, the Boxter entry model, and Cayenne for off-roaders – or quasi-off-roaders who want the ultimate in status.

But a Boxter with a roof? Was there a pressing need for such a car? 

According to Porsche market research, there was indeed.

And the little slope-roofed honey that Porsche has come up with gives it an identity very distinct from the Boxter, despite the fact it shares the basic mechanical underpinnings.

The Cayman is a mid-engined car – unlike the 911, which has its engine hung out behind the gearbox.

The Cayman is initially only available in "S" configuration, and is a pure two-seater.

The advantage of this is that there’s plenty of luggage space. 

Using the space in the rear, the nose and various oddment compartments, the total luggage space is claimed to be over four-hundred litres.

This is a luggage capacity as large as that enjoyed by some small sedans!
According to Car Magazine’s John Bentley, one of two South African motoring journalists to drive the Cayman in Europe, the car has a very relaxed ride on fast straights, more so than the direct approach peculiar to the 911.

This is due to Porsche’s new variable ratio rack-and pinion steering. Stability management dials out both excessive under and oversteer in a beautifully unobtrusive way.

And yes, you CAN switch it all off and drive by the seat of your pants.

As for power, the Cayman S has more grunt than a Boxter S, thanks to a larger capacity engine that produces 217 kiloWatts from this flat-six configuration.

Performance is Porsche-respectable for an "entry" model, with a 5,4 second 0-100, and a top speed of 275 kilometres-per-hour.

Tiptronic is also available, although why anyone would want an automatic Porsche is beyond us… a mystery that ranks up there with the pyramids and Ozzie Osborne’s continuing popularity.

As for the title, no this car is not named after a group of islands. And although it is feisty, it has nothing to do with pepper.

It’s named after a South American alligator. Long-snouted, small, and distinctly mean.

The Cayman’s interior is one of the most cheerful and light-hearted in Porsche’s rather businesslike history.

The use of pastel colours and a deep-tan colour interior has had the effect of lifting its mood tremendously.

The mid-engined design naturally restricts seating to two, but both occupants have a full range of airbags – front, side and curtain bags that deploy upwards from the doors.

All in weight is 1340 kilograms – only about 5 kilograms less than the Boxter, the Cayman benefiting enormously from the stiffness that a steel roof brings to the structure.

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