In mid 2005 I started reading reports of a new Porsche called the Cayman. The only details I had were photos of a camouflaged test mule and a sound clip on Porsche.com. I was giddy.
A refundable deposit and six months later I picked up the car detailing. I have kept everything on it since. From the outside the car is stunning. Not at first, but when you throw some 19 inch, polished, HRE wheels on it, the car becomes exotic. Its amazing what wheels can do for a Porsche.
On the inside, the car is well crafted and bigger than you’d expect.
Everything clicks and turns like it should. Even when there is plastic, it doesn’t stick out as being cheap. The only thing Id fix is the plastic on the front of the gear shift. For $70k I was expecting my hand to fall on something finer. Other than that, it feels just like a sports car should: Thick, stitched steering wheel with notches at the perfect spot for your thumbs. The low-slung seat is a snug fit and feels fine even after several hours.
The navigation on a Lexus/Toyota is better. The nav. seems to get you on the destination street as fast as possible, even if there are miles of freeway left.
Note to prospective Porsche owners, be prepared to be nickel and dimed to death. Click here to see the options list.
To be honest, it is frustrating. I cant think of many $60,000 passenger cars that don’t have these options standard. Go price out an MZ4 coupe. There are a total of 6 options, not including color choices.
The Cayman has 53 options to choose from. If you want to add all the options for different interior trims, like leather, carbon fiber, etc., there are 151 options (I counted!) and you can easily option a Cayman into the six figures. If you want full leather, including the fuse box cover, that’ll be $13 grand. Dude, like seriously, how does a $60,000 car not have automatic climate control???
So, for nearly $70,000 I got a cool car that still has manual adjustments on the seats. After two years I admit its all completely worth it. I have experience in a 95 Cabriolet, a 96 Turbo and a 2003 350Z. This car is the most fun I’ve ever had. Its faster that the Cabriolet, more nimble than the Turbo and hugely more refined that the Z. Is it worth $70k? No, its not. Is it $35,000 better than a Nissan 350Z? No, its not. A similar BMW MZ4 costs $15 grand less and should beat you to 60 mph, but its like comparing Ruths Chris Steak House to Outback. You know that Ruths Chris is overpriced and paying a la carte sucks, but its the price you have to pay for perfection. If you have the money to spend, perfection tastes better, but if you don’t, you can get 9/10th’s the pleasure for much, much less.
The 350Z was an engine with a car. The Turbo is a weapon. Its tough to take quick trips to the store in a 500 horsepower, 3600 lbs. Porsche Turbo. That’s like taking an F-18 Hornet for a romantic flight up the coast.
The Cayman is a scalpel. Its a finely crafted tool that will remain fun, smooth and fast for years to come. Every time you tip into the throttle the car begs for more. The mid-engine layout makes for the most nimble car I’ve ever been in and the steering is true Porsche and the epitome of sports car precision. The 300 horsepower layout is not only quick and responsive, but sounds like wellpicture Heidi Klum and then imagine what shed sound like if she were a car. That’s what a Cayman sounds like : )