New for 2015
The Porsche Cayman GTS is introduced for the 2015 model year, adding more power, some visual changes, and several performance upgrades. Otherwise, trim changes include interior and exterior color options, and park assist with front/rear sensors, and a rearview camera.
The Porsche Cayman is a hardtop mid-engine two-seat sports car from the iconic manufacturer that birthed the 911. In recent years the Cayman and its drop-top Boxster twin have become so capable and fun that they make a reasonable enthusiast’s alternative to the increasingly pricey 911. The Cayman and Boxster fits below the 911 as the least-expensive non-SUVs in the Porsche lineup.
The 2015 Porsche Cayman comes in three flavors, each with the option of a six-speed manual or the excellent seven-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic. Base Cayman models receive a 2.7-liter flat-six that produces 275 hp and 213 lb-ft of torque, which is rated by the EPA for 20/30 mpg (city/highway) with the manual and 22/32 mpg with the PDK. Buyers looking for more power can step up to the 3.4-liter flat-six in the S and GTS, which produces 325 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque in the Cayman S. EPA estimates are 20/28 mpg with the manual and 21/30 mpg with the PDK. Dangerously close to the base Carrera 911 is the Cayman GTS, which for $9,000 less produces 340 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which puts it within 10 hp and 7 lb-ft of the iconic sports car. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19/26 mpg with the manual and 22/31 mpg with the PDK. An even more performance-oriented Cayman model called the GT4 arrives for the 2016 model year.
Notable Cayman features include the Sport Chrono package (adds a stop watch, and selectable enhancements to chassis, engine, and transmission tuning), dynamic transmission mounts, torque vectoring, active suspension management, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, a Bose premium audio system, and ceramic-composite brakes. We prefer a Cayman with minimal options as the hardtop roadster is the most fun when driven hard.
The 2015 Porsche Cayman has not been crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.
What We Think
The 2015 Porsche Cayman is perhaps the Porsche to buy for driving enthusiasts. With the release of the Cayman GTS, the “entry-level” Porsche just about matches the base model 911, at a price that starts $9,000 lower. The Cayman offers balanced performance, as we mentioned in a Driven Review of a 2014 Cayman S. “The suspension blends decent ride comfort with entertaining handling properties, riveting grip, strong traction, and behavior at the limit that varies between docile and demanding.” Excellent brakes help keep the fun in check, and optional carbon-ceramic rotors make the ideal track tool.
We did note, however, that the new electrically assisted power steering gives up some feedback when compared with the previous hydraulic-assist system. Like the iconic 911, the Cayman is an “extremely spec-sensitive” purchase, as niceties can often bring the price closer to $100,000. The Cayman is an excellent tool for enjoying that road you’ve been looking to carve up. We recommend sticking with the standard 18-inch wheels, as one tester we drove felt skittish at the limit with 20-inchers. In a 2014 comparison between a Cayman and an Alfa Romeo 4C, we praised the Italian for being a more exciting and sporty roadster but said the Porsche is “the more complete all-around car and the safer bet for those who travel long distances and many miles.” You be the judge of how practical your fun car needs to be.
- 911-level performance for less money (GTS)
- One of the best electric-assist power steering systems available
- Comfortable while remaining a capable track tool
You Won’t Like
- The more exciting but more hard-core Alfa Romeo 4C is the same price
- Can get pricey in a hurry with options
- 20-inch wheels cause a skittish ride
- Nissan 370Z
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Audi TTS
- BMW Z4