Super Street Network

 |   |   |  2007 Porsche Cayman - First Drive
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2007 Porsche Cayman - First Drive

Corners are for going around, not cutting

Les Bidrawn
Jan 2, 2007
0702_ec_04_z+2007_porsche_cayman+front_view Photo 1/5   |   2007 Porsche Cayman - First Drive

A base Cayman rolled through our offices last week and I was surprised no one fought over the keys. This was a first. Then I remembered I made a point not to tell anyone it was in.

I noticed the five-speed manual immediately. When was the last time you saw a five-speed in a sports car? The second thing was the interior trim bits, pieces that a looked bit rough. I forgot about this once seated--Porsche seats are great and these are no exception. A good seating position and a fine three-spoke steering wheel further the effect. The Cayman's 2.7-liter flat six makes great sounds, sort of a growly-purr, and the trip through the deserted parking garage yielded the cat-like reflexes one associates with Porsche cars. Poking through traffic was uneventful right up to the point I needed to jet around two lanes of cars to make my on-ramp. The Cayman doesn't really wake up until 5000 rpm; low-end maneuvers like this are difficult. There's too much space between the gears, space I'm sure a six-speed could rectify.

0702_ec_03_z+2007_porsche_cayman+rear_view Photo 2/5   |   2007 Porsche Cayman - First Drive

At 80 mph, cabin noise is not an issue (although I keep searching for another gear) and the Cayman exhibits excellent straight-line manners. It's just as good in the curvy sections too--everything they tell you about the superiority of mid-engine vehicles starts to make sense.

Porsche was smart to introduce the Cayman S before the base model. Had journalists drove the car featured on this page, I don't think the Cayman would have so many fans. It's not that it isn't handsome or street-wise. It's just that to come in at this price, too many corners have been cut--it lessens the `Porsche' experience.

Apparently, there are two camps: those that love the new Porsche Cayman and those that hate it.

I'm in neither.

The nays claim it's not a real Porsche; destined for the same ill fates that befell the 914, 924 and 928. By serving as filler between the Boxster and the new 911, the Cayman makes too many compromises and dilutes Porsche's integrity. There should be no such thing as a `budget Porsche'.

The ayes expound on its handsome looks, dynamics and solid engineering. They also like the fact it's not as expensive as the 911.

I've listened to both sides for months now and can't totally agree with either.

At $40,000, the Cayman is a fine car. I'll leave it at that.


2007 Porsche Cayman

Layout
Longitudinal mid-engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine
2.7-liter flat six, dohc, four valves per cylinder

Transmission
Five-speed manual

Performance
Peak Power: 245 bhp @ 6500 rpm
Peak Torque: 201 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm
0-60 mph: 6.0 sec
Top Speed: 161 mph
Fuel Economy: 22 city/31 hwy

Price as Tested: $52,500

By Les Bidrawn
242 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE CARS

Marcel Lech used to think 450 hp was all he needed to enjoy his Supra. Instead, he ended up with nearly 1,000 hp that, at best, gets used, weather permitting, only a few of days and just 2 seasons out of the year.
Aaron BonkDec 6, 2018
A hot front-wheel-drive, turbocharged hatch that comes with the right kind of balance: not as "grown up" as a VW GTI, but not as aesthetically loud as a Civic Type R.
Austin LottDec 5, 2018
It almost feels rare to find an FD without an LS these days but there are still people like Ranj Jaaf who appreciate the joys (and woes) of the rotary Mazda intended for their RX-7.
Austin LottNov 29, 2018
The Koruworks 350Z has had a whirlwind first year in Formula D.
Bob HernandezNov 29, 2018
Veterans and newbs, die-hard gearheads, and total derps take note: This street-driven, 518-whp Evo IX is a fine example of what the tuning scene is all about.
Luke MunnellNov 28, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP