2013 Porsche Cayman: First Drive
People who know me will tell you I come across as quite a happy-go-lucky fellow, who loves to laugh away most things good or bad. While it might not take much to get a chortle out of me, it does take a mighty doing for a car to amuse a bunch of serious motoring journos who have gathered from all corners of the world to have a go at Porsche’s latest baby, the all new 2013 Porsche Cayman. So does the new Porsche succeed in doing so?
Before we get to the laughing matter, let’s delve into a little bit of history about Porsche’s middle ground sportscar. The fact is that not many purists were actually happy about the Cayman coming into this world. Well I don’t blame them considering, the Cayman is actually derived from Porsche’s entry level sportscar, the Boxster but is actually meant to give you thrills more akin to the iconic 911. While that might not go down well with many who would rather choose a Boxster and upgrade to a 911, I think the Cayman slots in perfectly between the Boxster and the 911 and is perfect for those who find the Boxster too meek but can’t afford the 911.
Now I’m a pretty big Porschephile and I simply love the 911, but my obsession with the brand pretty much ends there. The Cayman has always been an amazing sportscar to begin with, but it didn’t really tingle my fantasy buds as far as the looks were concerned. For me it always ended up looking confused. While the 911 always had definite proportions with Porsche working on it subtly for every new model, the Cayman came across as a cross between the Boxster and the 911 but was pretty as neither.
But Porsche has worked hard on the new car and this time not only is it as focused a driving machine as it always was but also looks the business while at it. First glimpse of the car standing at the Dubai Autodrome left an immediate impression. The first thing that hits you is that the front is more 911ish than ever, and flows well with the more compact dimensions of the Cayman. A walk-around tells you that the styling is marked by precise lines and razor-sharp sculpted edges which emphasise the car’s low, extended silhouette with the windscreen shifted forward and the roof line that reaches far back.
Especially expressive and characteristic are the dynamic recesses in the doors, which guide induction air into the distinctive air scoops on the rear side panels and then directly to the engine. This offers the most prominent visualisation of the basic concept of the mid-engine. Overall there are a lot of minor changes all around which spruce up the looks of the new Cayman and overall the new car comes across as more independent than before and is extremely well differentiated from its predecessor.