Little Porsche 718 Cayman punches above its weight

By JAY WONG | 16 November 2017

The 718 Cayman is not exactly a Porsche that gets many hearts going from zero to ‘racing’ in an instant, but it can sprint to 100kph from standstill in under 5.0 seconds.

Much like the smaller species of crocodile that this two-seater Porsche is named after, the little Cayman is arguably an under-rated sportscar that looks inherently similar to its stablemates, but yet easily distinguishable.

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It is undoubtedly a sensual looker with its fluidic curves that start from the front and melts away towards the rear.

For this review, it is the entry level Cayman which sits under the more potent Cayman S model variant and comes dressed in Carrara White Metallic sheet metal, while fitted with over RM82,000 worth of features on top of its standard fitment.

Such goodies include keyless entry, LED headlights, BOSE surround sound system, 20-inch Carrera S wheels, stiff 14-way powered sports seats and a GT sports steering wheel to name a few, bringing its total net selling price to RM617,108 while being accompanied by a four-year warranty and four years or 100,000km free service and maintenance.

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Not to mention, it is also available under the Porsche 360 Financing programme for those looking to dive deep into the world that is Porsche.

Despite its compact dimensions, this ‘little’ Porsche doesn’t come lacking in driving potency.

The rear houses a 295hp and 380Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged horizontally-opposed engine in the rear that has a raspy tone befitting of its smooth and punchy power delivery.

Inside, the cabin’s been wrapped in black leather with the Porsche logo prominently embossed onto the headrests and it seemed like a tight fit for this 175cm-tall writer coming from a more spacious cabin environment, but in all honesty, it didn’t take long to get used to it.

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After a few short stints of full-throttle application, the experience is much akin to getting strapped into a fighter jet versus a commercial jetliner’s.

The chassis feels ‘uber’ inflexible and the suspension has a stiff-yet-compliant feel to it - according it some acceptable comfort levels. Activating Sport or Sport+ mode only makes it less compliant with the suspension taking a 10mm dip to up the car’s communicative drive.

This sports car just keeps wanting more corners thrown its way and it’ll keep smiling while negotiating curves and soaking up the bumps.

Extending the rear spoiler helps keep the rear end in check especially while engaging the ‘twisties’ and barrelling down long straights, in which case the spoiler pops up automatically.

Under Normal circumstances, the engine feels light and very much peppy, yet able to drive smoothly off the line. Even though steering response is nothing short of being firm when at speed or feather-light when in traffic, regardless of the situation, it always has a direct feel to it.

For the more adventurous, Sport mode makes the car feel high-strung and ready to bolt the very instant the throttle gets punched.

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In Sport+ mode, for those who are new to the Porsche experience, it’s much like how a crocodile explodes out of the water when flooring off the line.
Definitely not meant for the faint-hearted.

This mode deems it perfect for those track days, giving drivers the impression of a race-bred car that all Porsche vehicles have been imbued with for that raw unadulterated driving experience that purists demand and enjoy.

Here, the car’s throttle response has clearly become overly sensitive, the steering significantly more weighted and the rear wheels get a little more slip for some torque steer.

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The PDK’s gear shifts are now absolutely abrupt and having no concern for comfort levels. They’ll engage very quickly and directly with slight jerks on the up and down-shifts while at high engine speeds.

Stand on the brake pedal and there’s no complaints from the cross drilled discs. They feel very robust and direct with a high level of stopping power, regardless of driving mode.

The disparity between the three driving modes is noticeable and aren’t overly differentiated. Drivers can easily decide if they want a little more or not and the car will simply comply.

It’s a perfect introduction to Porsche’s line-up, being small and more than nimble. This Cayman can be the everyday commute that simply enjoys bending to a driver’s whims and fancies - be it civilised or not, and it’ll also add a new dimension to our repetitive lives.

Home. Work. Race. Repeat.

SPECIFICATIONS: Porsche 718 Cayman (982) fourth generation
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Engine: 1,988cc four-cylinder turbocharged boxer
Maximum power: 300hp at 6,500rpm
Maximum torque: 380Nm from 1,950 to 4,500rpm
Transmission: 7-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission

Top speed: 275kph
Acceleration (0-100kph): 4.7 seconds

Standard features: Dual-zone automatic climate controls, front and rear Park Assist, Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), power steering plus, wheel centres, active suspension management, floor mats, tyre pressure monitoring system,

Added options/upgrades: Automatically dimming mirrors with integrated rain sensor, power folding exterior mirrors with courtesy lighting, LED main headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus, Porsche entry and drive, reverse camera, headlight cleaning system covers, Sport Chrono package, 20-inch Carrera S wheels in satin black, black sports exhaust tips, 14-way powered leather sports seats with Porsche crest embossed, light design package, matching cabin inserts, multifunction GT ports steering wheel, key FOB in matching paint and Bose surround sound system with connectivity.

Price with standard equipment: RM530,000
Price with added options/upgrades: RM617,107





CarSifu's Rating: 8.0