By KBB.com Editors
Introduced in 2006 and 2007 respectively, the Cayman S and Cayman have wasted no time in serving notice of their intentions to rivals such as the Audi TT Quattro Coupe, BMW Z4 M Coupe and Mercedes-Benz SLK350. Although the Cayman is slightly less potent than its S sibling, it is still remarkably engaging, not to mention considerably more affordable. Both cars offer a close encounter with 911-style driving experiences for thousands of dollars less. While sharing a good deal of basic engineering with Porsche's entry-level Boxster line, the Cayman's more rigid, closed-body structure gives this mid-engine rear-wheel-drive two-seater even better handling and a more graceful appearance. Although a tad pricy, the 265-horsepower Cayman and 320-horsepower Cayman S still deliver a great return on your fun-to-drive investment.You'll Like This Car If...
If you pine for the dynamic thrill of a 911 – and with arguably even more styling flair – the 2009 Porsche Cayman could be the car of your dreams. The fact that pricing starts $10,000 to $20,000 below the 911 is just icing on the cake.You May Not Like This Car If...
If being inside a small sport coupe makes you slightly claustrophobic, or you demand good rear sightlines or need large amounts of storage space, the Cayman simply isn't going to cut it in your motoring world.What's New for 2009
The Cayman receives a new 2.9-liter boxer engine, while the Cayman S receives a new 3.4-liter engine, both providing more horsepower and improved fuel economy over last year's units. A new PDK (Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) double clutch auto-manual transmission is made available, while a six-speed manual gearbox is now standard on the base Cayman.Driving It Driving Impressions
Even among all the legendary Porsche models, it's hard to recall a car that feels so utterly right under virtually all dynamic conditions. The Cayman's super-stiff structure provides a rock-solid suspension platform that allowed chassis engineers to work true handling magic, complementing the excellent Porsche Stability Management system (PSM) with quick, responsive steering and a clutch-and-shifter combo that's near-perfect on both models. While the 265-horsepower base Cayman lacks the sheer acceleration of the pricier 320-horsepower "S" variant, it does offer a somewhat more complaint ride. And with both versions possessing prodigious stopping power and offering optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that lets you fine tune the ride characteristics with the touch of a button, either Cayman may prove to be all the Porsche that you'll really want or need.Favorite Features
Automotive theory holds that putting a car's engine between the two axles will contribute to superior handling, and the Cayman S is real-world proof. We're hard-pressed to remember a car that feels so "just right," in so many driving situations, as the Cayman S.
Porsche has a history of creating memorable automotive statements, but the Cayman's definitive combination of sensual form and delightful details seems destined to ensure it a place in the marque's Hall of Fame.