If anything, the bar here is set higher than even our expectations of the engine.

The Cayman’s perennial place in our affections is, after all, based more on the way the car gets round a corner than how it arrived there.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Braking in the 718 Cayman can be left outrageously late thanks to superb stoppers and general stability

Unexpectedly, it is the GT4 that offers the most meaningful comparison here, too, chiefly because it is in that direction – faster, grippier and ever more purposeful – that the car appears to have been taken.

Given the 718’s technical kinship (not least its adoption of 10in-wide rear wheels) and Porsche’s professed desire for greater lateral stability, perhaps that was inevitable.

It certainly means that a modicum of the previous car’s deft adjustable poise has been whittled away.

The Cayman’s stern hold on the road now feels almost at 911 levels. However, if the coupé needs to be driven that bit faster to access the chassis’ talent, then that’s probably appropriate because the 2.5-litre engine tends to have you pedalling faster than you might have been in the previous S.

Key yourself into all the available energy and the 718 harnesses it with real aplomb. The steering, probably sweeter with the addition of the lower-mass carbon-ceramic brakes, is a model for electric assistance.

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It’s densely progressive, communicative, beautifully benign with any slip angle in the mix and sharper now without feeling the least bit overactive.

But the real enhancement, doubtless embellished further by the lower PASM suspension, is the sublime amalgamation of body control and ride quality.

The higher spring rates that supply the superbly managed turn-in and mid-corner control don’t constrict its ability to stay wonderfully pliant on the average B-road.

In its most comfort-orientated default setting, the 718 soaks up the huge punishment presumably being taken by the optional 20in rims, leaving its driver serene in a matchless brand of tacked-down composure – even as the car’s appetite for speed edges you towards ever more frenetic, rear-drive reward.

In this respect, as a classic affordable sports car in a contemporary mould, the 718 remains without dynamic equal.

The 718 Cayman S takes to a circuit so matter-of-factly — and utterly brilliantly. Although it doesn’t have the straight-line punch of some £50k cars, the engine does its best impression of a naturally aspirated lump when surging through gear after gear beyond 3500rpm, and the optional carbon-ceramic brakes will soak up as many flat-out laps as you’re likely to want to throw at them.

The genius of the chassis is to first deliver just enough throttle-on stability to allow you to carry as much speed as you want through faster corners but then to bring in balletic cornering balance and tender adjustability of attitude for those who call for it by entering any given bend on a trailing throttle.

Set the tail wagging that way and there’s enough power to develop a 100-yard powerslide in second and third gears — and exiting that slide can be done with supreme precision and confidence through Porsche’s ever-forgiving steering rack.

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