By adding a roof to the Boxster platform, Porsche has obviously created extra stiffness with the Cayman. Having said that, the key to this car’s handling balance remains in the basic positioning of the engine.
Typically, Porsche is coy on specific numbers, simply stating that the 911 and Cayman bodyshells offer near identical torsional stiffness, and that the Cayman is twice as stiff as the roadster on which it is based. This has allowed firmer springs and dampers all round, a thicker anti-roll bar at the front and, interestingly, a smaller bar at the rear compared with a Boxster S.
An adaptive damping system (PASM – Porsche Active Suspension Management) is an option and was fitted to the test car. Off the record, all Porsche engineers agree that, in the basic disciplines that combine under the blanket term ‘handling’, the Cayman is the best sports car Porsche currently makes. And that includes any 911.
Having driven the Cayman on road and track, wet and dry, snow and ice, we agree. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. The Cayman has an engine ideally placed for roadholding and agility, and Porsche wrote the suspension damper handbook – but the aspect that exceeds expectations is just how accessible the car’s treats are to the average driver.