What is it?
The new Porsche Cayman GTS. On the surface Porsche’s GTS formula isn’t particularly revolutionary, it just seems to play the ‘ideal spec’ game very well, cherry-picking all the best bits from the options list. Yes the Cayman GTS gets power and torque increases to lift it above the Cayman S, but they’re hardly earth-shattering numbers, adding just 14bhp and 7lb ft to the totals, giving 335bhp and 280lb ft. However, the end GTS result is somehow more than the sum of its parts. Prices start at £55,397.
Distinguishing the new car from the rest of its brethren is fairly easy. At the front there’s a new black spoiler running across its chin to match the restyled black air intakes above. At the rear there is a revised lower apron and a black GTS badge on the boot. Meanwhile, the bi-xenon headlights have a black finish and the rear lights are smoked.
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There is one more very important (no-cost) option fitted to our test car that significantly changes the stance of the GTS: sports suspension. The GTS gets PASM adaptive dampers as standard, but the non-adaptive sports set-up lowers the car by a full 20mm and, combined with the 35-profile tyres and 20in wheels that come as standard, it looks extremely hunkered down. The Sport Chrono package with dynamic transmission mounts also comes as standard on the GTS, but you still have to pay extra (£4977) for the carbon-ceramic brakes that are fitted to our test car.
The GTS is a tenth of a second quicker to 62mph than the Cayman S, taking 4.9sec with the six-speed manual gearbox and 4.8sec with the optional PDK transmission. However, I’m pleased that our car has been left with the manual ’box, because it is a sublimely slick joy to use. If you pop it into Sport Plus mode (part of the Sport Chrono package) then it will rev-match every downchange perfectly for you.
What’s it like to drive?
Even pottering slowly in town you can feel the effects of the Sport Suspension through the steering, as there’s just a bit more weight in your palms and the reactions immediately either side of the straight-ahead are more direct. It’s away from town, though, where the chassis really comes into its own.
Turn in and the GTS immediately leans onto its firmer springs and starts working the tyres (Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2s), allowing you to feel the grip and then play with it. There’s a lovely sense of the car’s grasp on the road ebbing and flowing, giving you a wide band of adjustment before the rubber threatens to give up its grip entirely. It fills you with the confidence to carry speed into a corner, feel the front push a little and then get on the throttle to switch the balance rearwards, smearing the rear tyres round in a way that’s not lairy, just very satisfying.
One road that we find is exceptionally bumpy and tight, but the GTS seems happy to tackle it at speed and never loses its composure. Then through a particular set of smoother corners the Cayman deals with quick left-right direction changes sublimely, never leaving you guessing as you load the suspension one way then the other. It will even allow you to brake deep into the corners and get the rear moving round so that you can pick up the throttle smartly as you hit the apex.
How does it compare?
The Cayman S is already a pretty sublime car, and while the GTS is an additional £6500, it’s appreciably sharper, and this is a sum easily spent on options anyway. Its most exciting rivals are the new BMW M4 coupe (423bhp, £56,635) and the Jaguar F-type V6 S Coupe (375bhp, £60,250), both of which are front-engine/rear-drive and therefore more practical than the Cayman, though bigger and heavier.
Anything else I need to know?
The only small complaint is that the gearing remains a touch tall. Shorten the ratios and not only would you reach those spine-tingling upper reaches of the rev range more easily, but you could enjoy slicing up and down the gearbox more frequently too. Perhaps a short-ratio ’box could be an option?
Also, if you crave the wind ruffling around your ears, there’s a Boxster GTS available for £52,879.
|Max power||335bhp @ 7400rpm|
|Max torque||280lb ft @ 4750-5800rpm|
|Top speed||177mph (claimed)|