Which Porsche Cayman Generation Is the Best?

Which Porsche Cayman Generation Is the Best? 1 photo
Photo: EverydayDriver/YouTube screenshot
The first-generation Boxster roadster was introduced in 1996, revitalizing the Porsche brand. However, it wasn't until 2006 that the automaker relented and introduced the coupe version. It's named after the alligator species, and when the Cayman arrived on sale, Porsche adopted four caimans at the Stuttgart Zoo.
Initially, buyers complained that Porsche was holding engineers back from developing the Cayman to its true potential for fear that it would replace the 911. It was true to a degree, as the fastback coupe had smaller engines and fewer performance enhancers.

For example, the Cayman S featured a 3.4-liter flat-six, while the base model had a 2.7-liter with a 5-speed. However, things began to improve with the arrival of the Cayman R, which extracted more power from the S' engine while adding a mechanical diff.

This review from EverydayDriver tries to compare all the generations of the Cayman, and one of them is the Cayman R. Back in 2011, the 326 horsepower and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque of the 3.4-liter allowed the PDK-equipped model to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.4 seconds.

The reviewers say the R is the best of the bunch, though not because it's the fastest or most powerful. No, they love the honest, raw driving experience it provides. The successor to the 987 series is the more modern 981 Cayman. This model came out eight years ago and is represented here by the GTS.

By this time, Porsche was offering all sorts of packages which drastically improved the handling of the car, such as Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and the Sport Chrono Package that includes active transmission mounts. The Cayman wasn't sitting in the 911's shadow anymore. In terms of power, the GTS offered 335 hp and 280 lb-ft (380 Nm). Of course, the pinnacle of the 981 series was the GT4 with its powerful 3.8-liter and big wing.

Lastly, we have the fourth-gen 718 (4th for the Boxster; Cayman skipped the first generation) platforms that came out in 2016. Porsche famously downsized to a new flat-four setup with turbocharging. In this review, the 718 is shown as a GTS, this time with a 2.5-liter making 360 hp and 317 lb-ft (430 Nm).

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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