Most people assume that guys in the car industry are car freaks. For the most part, nothing could be further from the truth. Even if cars were the reason they got into the industry, most people in a dealership have lost that spark. I must admit, that after all these years, while I’m still a complete car fanatic, a new car has to be really special before I actually rave about it. I’ve been sick this week & was feeling pretty low, when I heard a ripping noise outside my office. I knew without even seeing it that there was a Porsche of some sort waiting for me to sample & suddenly my spirits came alive. Nothing like a quick shot of automotive adrenaline to cure the common cold! A silver 2006 Porsche Cayman S, just for me!
Silly nicknames aside, I must admit that I was smitten by the shape of the new Cayman when I first saw one. The rear 1/4 view has the look of a muscular cat waiting to pounce. Overall, the shape is undeniably Porsche and I think this will become one of Porsche’s defining models over time.
On first inspection, the large (12.5″ front, 11.8″ rear) brake discs and giant red calipers are visually stunning and really caught the eye. Looking around the car, the fit & finish were excellent. The rear trunk actually looks like you might be able to fit some clubs inside, though your Callaway driver would have to ride shotgun. Sliding into the cockpit, the interior feels quite snug, but there was just enough room for my 5′ 11″ passenger & my rotund frame fit nicely. The driver’s seat could stand to move back about another inch, but the engine compartment doesn’t allow room for that and the seats could be a bit lower to the floor. Owners who run their Cayman at lapping days will want to replace the driver’s seat with a lower profile racing seat, as there isn’t enough headroom for a helmet. One thing Porsche has done a great job of is creating storage space. There are little stoarge cubbies all over, not to mention a large glove box, making the Cayman a good car for real life. It even has 2 cupholders that are so exquisite that they could only have been designed by German engineers, it’s a shame that in the real world, they will likely get snapped off the dash.
A twist of the key and the 3.4 L 295 hp flat six growls to life. In todays world of fuel injected perfection, this engine is a bit of an anomoly. The idle is rough, with all the burps & farts that one usually associates with an all out race engine, not that of a street car. In fact, that rough idle is odd, given that the engine is striking in it’s smoothness once moving. The interior is quiet and calm at all speeds, which is quite a feat given that you are riding only inches from the engine. Porsche claims a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds and I believe it. With the short time we had with the car, we weren’t able to do any real testing, but pulled off a 0-60 of about 6 seconds without any drama. The car just hooks up and goes. On occasion the PSM (short for Porsche Stability Management) kicked in and is so subtle that many drivers won’t notice it. This is a hero car that will make many drivers feel much more talented than they really are! The top speed is reported to be 171 mph, but in the urban setting we weren’t about to test that number.
There are those who say that the new Porsche Cayman S may be the best handling street car that Porsche has ever built. We should be able to test that out this summer when we join our Data guy at a few local PCA lapping days. For now, I’m going to have to keep jonesing for a drive whenever I can because it’s been a long time since I’ve driven a car that cranked me up as much as the Cayman S did.
Photo courtesy of autopress.be