New 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman Coupe New 2019
Porsche 718 Cayman Coupe

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

As Porsche’s smallest and most affordable sports car, the 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman isn’t some watered-down VW wearing a fancy badge, it’s a genuine performance machine that in its most potent form can easily rival performance giants like the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang GT350 and even the Porsche 911. The 718 Cayman, and its muscular stablemates, the 718 Cayman S and Cayman GTS, employ a choice of powerful horizontally opposed turbocharged engines, near-perfect front-to-rear balance and an impressive suspension setup that makes the 718 Cayman as comfortable on a track as it is on the open road. Starting just under $60,000, the 718 Cayman’s price can quickly push north once options are added, but even the most stripped-down model will still thrill.

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You'll Like This Car If...

While the 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman can’t outrun a top-of-the-line Corvette, Challenger Hellcat or Mustang GT350, it can certainly make quick work of them in the curves. And while the Nissan GT-R proves a worthy rival, it costs nearly twice as much.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need your performance car to growl like an old muscle car or achieve world-class zero-to-60-mph times, the 718 Cayman isn’t going to float your boat. For the money, you’ll get more from a loaded Chevrolet Camaro SS or Ford Mustang GT350.

What's New for 2019

For 2019, the 718 Cayman gains a new sport exhaust and some minor trim and color changes.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

When it comes to cornering, the mid-engine 718 Cayman, Cayman S and Cayman GTS are three of the world’s greatest performers. Quick and agile, the 718 Cayman demonstrates remarkable stability and balance, responding without hesitation to even the slightest driver input regardless if it’s during a feverish twisting uphill run, or a simple lane change on a freeway. As part of its rebirth, Porsche engineers improved on the 718 Cayman’s rigid core structure by widening the rear track, stiffening the damper settings and retuning the suspension to be more responsive during aggressive driving. The Cayman’s electromechanical steering is lifted directly from the 911 Turbo, while larger brakes all around deliver impressive stopping power. Those looking to push their 718 Cayman to the limit will want to opt for the multi-mode Porsche Active Suspension Management system that, on the Cayman S and GTS, offers a low-riding Sport-spec mode, as well as a revised Sport Chrono Package and Porsche Torque Vectoring.

Favorite Features

PDK TRANSMISSION
No ordinary auto-manual, the marvelous Porsche PDK dual-clutch automatic gets off shifts faster than any manual, even in the hands of a pro. Besides delivering better starts and acceleration than its 6-speed counterpart, the PDK also returns better fuel economy and is much more enjoyable to drive in stop-and-go traffic.

PORSCHE TORQUE VECTORING (PTV)
The 718 Cayman can be equipped with Porsche Torque Vectoring, a performance-enhancing system that engages the mechanical rear differential and anti-lock braking system to route torque in such a way as to improve cornering and prevent the tires from breaking free from the pavement.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Familiar and yet new at the same time, the 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman’s interior is as beautiful as it is functional. The cockpit-oriented design caters first and foremost to the driver, with a functional sport steering wheel derived from the 918 Spyder and well-bolstered front seats offered in a plethora of colors and coverings. The interior is roomy enough to fit drivers as tall as 6-feet 4-inches, although getting in and out of the low-slung cabin may require a bit more flexibility than with a standard car. Storage space is ample, and thanks to the mid-engine design, two trunks are provided: a large one up front and smaller one at the rear.

Exterior

Although it shares much of its exterior body with the stunning 718 Boxster, the Cayman coupe looks so different anyone could be forgiven for thinking the two cars were completely separate models. Sharp edges, bold lighting elements and prominent side air intakes -- the better to feed and cool turbocharged powerplants -- give the 718 Caymans a more intense visual presence set off by an aggressive rear-quarter treatment featuring an auto-extending spoiler and single or dual exhaust outlets. While the Cayman rolls on an 18-inch wheel/tire package, the Cayman S features a more-aggressive 19-inch upfit.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 718 Cayman feature a solid roster of standards headed by comfortably supportive and leather-covered sport buckets with power-adjustable backs, a tilt/telescoping steering column, automatic climate control, 6-speaker audio with CD, SiriusXM and HD Radio, Porsche Communications Management system and front/rear Park Assist. In addition to eight airbags, the 2019 718 Caymans come with a wide range of electronic stability aids, tire-sealing compound plus an air compressor in place of a spare tire, and complimentary roadside assistance for the duration of the limited warranty.

Notable Optional Equipment

In typical Porsche style, the 718 Cayman, Cayman S and Cayman GTS offer a huge selection of optional upgrades and personalization touches. On the performance-related front, the cars can be upfitted with a multifunction GT steering wheel, Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Torque Vectoring, the Sport Chrono Package, Adaptive Cruise Control with Porsche Active Safety, Lane Change Assist and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes. Complementing a bounty of available interior and exterior cosmetic touches, both models offer LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, Navigation and Porsche Connect modules, a selection of seat upgrades with up to 18-way-power adjustability plus Bose and Burmester premium audio systems.

Under the Hood

The 2019 718 Cayman, Cayman S and Cayman GTS derive power from a set of horizontally opposed 4-cylinder turbocharged engines. The Cayman employs a 2.0-liter engine generating an impressive 300 horsepower with 280 lb-ft of torque coming on at a low 1,950 rpm. The Cayman S gets a larger 2.5-liter engine employing the same 911 Turbo-style variable-geometry force feeder to up horsepower to 350, while the GTS takes that figure to 365 horsepower. Both engines are equipped with a driver-selectable stop/start feature and each can be paired with either a slick shifting 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic that include a Sport button for faster throttle response and shift times.

2.0-liter turbocharged flat-4 (718 Cayman)
300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 1,950-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (6-speed manual), 22/29 mpg (7-speed dual-clutch automatic)

2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 (718 Cayman S, 718 Cayman GTS)
350 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
365 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm (GTS)
309 lb-ft of torque @ 1,900-4,500 rpm

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Pricing Notes

The 718 Cayman has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $58,000 with the Cayman S just over $70,000 and the GTS around $82,000. The Audi TTS Coupe, Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang and Corvette Grand Sport start around $55,000, $58,000 and $67,000, respectively, while the Nissan GT-R Premium pushes past $112,000. Optioning any new Cayman can send its price skyward in a hurry. Adding extras like the PDK automatic, Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Torque Vectoring, the Sport Chrono Package and a Navigation Module will kick the bottom line up by almost $10,500, and loading a Cayman S with optional convenience/cosmetic elements can move it perilously close to 6-figure territory. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what folks in your area are paying for Porsche’s 2019 Caymans. The good news is that the Cayman has a great residual value history that will get even stronger in these 718 variants.

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