Twinned with the new 718 Boxster that we drove a couple of weeks back, Porsche's new model offensive continued at the Beijing Auto Show with the launch of the 718 Cayman. The hard-top coupe twin version to the Boxster's drop top, the 718 Cayman holds no huge surprises for those paying attention to what Porsche has been up to recently.
This means, bar potential future special models, the Cayman loses two cylinders compared to before — this is now a turbo-charged four-cylinder zone. The Cayman comes in two specs: standard and S. The standard car uses a 2.0, four-cylinder engine, producing 300 horsepower; the S kicks out 350bhp from 2.5 litres. Interestingly, the Cayman for the base Chinese market runs just 250bhp.
All engine options are more torquey than the earlier model, meaning the Cayman will feel quicker and quite different to before: you won't need to rev the nuts off it to make serious progress any more. Whether or not that's a bad thing will depend on your driving disposition. Still, with the optional PDK auto gearbox and sport chrono pack, the base Cayman can run 0-62mph in 4.7-seconds, the S in 4.2-seconds. That's seriously fast for a mid-range sports car.
As with the Boxster, most of the Cayman's exterior panels are redesigned and the details — most notably things like the lamps — get a new design with a greater emphasis on showing off technology. The Cayman has always been a pretty car, with this redesign sticking to Porsche's "evolution over revolution" philosophy. Although we think it just looks a little fussier than before, which is a shame.
The more welcome news comes in the interior. The Cayman was previously behind-the-curve in-car tech gets a bump with the same equipment seen in the Boxster and the new 911, too. That means a thin, hollowed-out steering wheel that feels great in your hands, and — so long as you tick the Sport Chrono pack option (our advice: do) — you get Porsche's new mode selector wheel to twist between normal, sport and sport+ modes. And in cars equipped with the PDK, the sport response button in the middle, which you hit for a 20-second hit of "everything the car can give you" fromthe engine, gearbox and suspension.
Thankfully, Porsche now fits its PCM, navigation and communication system as standard. With it you get bluetooth, 150W sound package plus and a touchscreen that's got a glass surface which supports multi-touch operation. You still need the Connect module option to get Apple CarPlay, USB and real-time traffic info, plus support for the Porsche App. After Sport Chrono, this is probably the second box that we'd tick.
Expect to pay around £50k for a lightly specified Cayman. Noteworthy is the fact that it's now cheaper than the equivalent Boxster; Porsche has flipped the pricing strategy of the models to align them with the rest of the car industry, meaning you now pay extra for the convertible.
The 718 Cayman is available to order now. It goes on sale in Europe and the UK in September 2016.