Spring and damper rates and tuning are all new, though, not least because the 718 Cayman has a lower centre of gravity – marginally – than the six-cylinder car, although the addition of the turbo has left it – similarly marginally, at 1430kg versus 1415kg – heavier.
That engine, that aural downgrade, if you like, is a 2.5-litre horizontally opposed four instead of a 3.4-litre six, in as-tested S trim. (The standard 718 Cayman has a 2.0-litre donkey instead of a 2.7.)
Because it’s boosted, and despite a 0.9-litre decrease in capacity, power is up by 25bhp to 345bhp, but it’s torque that gets the big boost, here lifted from 273lb ft at 4500rpm to a wholesome 310lb ft developed from just 1900rpm all the way to 4500rpm.
Read our review of the Porsche 718 Cayman here
What's it like?
All of these alterations change the nature of the 718 Cayman as they did the 718 Boxster. That there’s less need to rev it and the steering is quicker to respond means that it always feels eager and keen (turbo lag below 2500rpm notwithstanding), and it’s easy to pin it down a road at a healthy rate of knots while it remains knitted to the asphalt over bumps and crests.
It feels more alert than a Jaguar F-Type, albeit without the noise, and feels like it has more integrity than a Lotus Evora 400, albeit without the delicacy. It’s also faster and more serious than a Toyota GT86 or Subaru BRZ, which are in some ways its nearest dynamic competitors.
Is it less delicate than it used to be? I think so. About half a decade ago this magazine ran a 2.7-litre manual Cayman on small wheels, and its steering and engine felt as delicate and interactive as removing metal from a block with a hand file.
Today’s 718 Cayman feels more like using a CNC grinder to do the same job. Today’s steering is lighte and, less analogue, the engine more effective but less engaging and interactive. Inevitable? I guess so. But that doesn’t stop it being a shame.
I’m splitting hairs, mind. Caymans had a lot of interaction to spare and, in sparing some it gains bruising ability and confidence. At its price point and even some way above – from an entirely reasonable £48,834 – it’s still the best there is, without question.
You’d spend more than that, though. Everybody does.
Should I buy one?
Yes, you should buy one. And having established that, let’s take a moment to consider what you should and shouldn’t leave unticked.
When it came to the 718 Boxster, some of my colleagues thought you should have the 2.0 rather than the 2.5 S. I haven’t tried a 2.0-litre but am content to think that a Cayman deserves more power, and therefore the bigger engine. I’d have a manual gearbox – a slick, easy six-speeder - but could understand if you lived somewhere sufficiently towny that you wanted a PDK dual-clutch automatic.
Do tick the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) adaptive damping, which is great in its standard mode and better still in stiff mode on smooth roads. I’m not sure what the 718 is like without PASM, but given I’ve never been able to find a modern Porsche that hasn’t had it, I’m prepared to take a punt that it’s worth having. There’s sufficient torque that you should have the mechanical limited-slip differential, which includes torque vectoring via braking, and there’s sufficient four-cylinderness that you should specify the sports exhaust, which makes the 2.5 sound more purposeful at low revs and is switchable.