Porsche Cayman (2012-2016) review - Engine and gearbox

Everything you could ever want from a sports car

Evo rating
from £39,694
  • Too good to be regarded as 911’s budget alternative
  • Styling still jars from some angles; fantastic GT4 sold out far too quickly

Engine and gearbox

The previous generation entry-level Cayman was powered by a 261bhp, 2.9-litre flat-six engine. For the current version, peak power is up 10bhp to 271bhp, despite the reduction in engine capacity to 2.7 litres. Being naturally aspirated, the rev limiter doesn’t call time until 7800rpm, but the downside is that peak torque drops 7lb ft to 214lb ft, delivered between 4500 and 6500rpm.

This has to be set against the extensive use of aluminium in the Cayman’s body structure, which means a 40 per cent increase in torsional rigidity and a reduction in kerbweight of up to 30kg. And while the improved outputs might not look that dramatic (up 5bhp to 321bhp in the 3.4-litre Cayman S), both motors have more generous power curves, so they produce more power than the old engines across the rev range. The 3.4-litre engine in the GTS model has 336bhp, which makes it slightly quicker to 62mph than the more expensive base 911 Carrera, at least when fitted with the double-clutch PDK gearbox rather than the standard six-speed manual.

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The GT4 borrows the 3.8-litre flat-six from the 911 Carrera S but with a specific tune by Porsche Motorsport and a 7800rpm redline. Power is 380bhp at 7400rpm supported by a strong 310lb ft from 4750rpm-6000rpm and it all goes to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox (although PDK may be offered in future). Read our full coverage of the Cayman GT4 here.


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