The 718 Cayman is everything good about the Boxster, but with a fixed roof. It's up to you to decide if that makes it better or worse. If you'll trade open air for a bit more cabin space and slightly more rigidity.
Sharing a platform with the Boxster means that the Cayman got the same revised styling and more power for 2017 when it got the 718 name added. It has the same 2.0L turbo-four in the standard car now and the 2.5L in the S that put out 300 and 350 hp respectively.
The big news for 2018, is actually more value. But that value comes with more performance. This is Porsche after all. The GTS is back for 2018 and it adds 15 hp to the 718 S. That brings the total to 365, which is 35 more than the last GTS.
The GTS also gets a mechanical-locking rear differential, Porsche Torque Vectoring, and Active Suspension Management as standard. All options on the lesser cars that make the GTS the quickest, and possibly the best bargain. Spec out an S the same way and you'll spend more money.
All 718 models get a six-speed manual as standard with a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic optional.
The 718 cars have an extensive options list. There are 21 different interiors to pick from on the base car, and that's before you start adding special trim choices to the mix. There are four seat options, four Premium Packages, and enough options on the list to keep you second-guessing your choices for weeks. But that's an important thing to keep in mind. Just about everything is optional, meaning that a true base car can be somewhat sparsely equipped. Even Apple CarPlay is part of a $1,960 option pack.
The Cayman offers a near-perfect mid-engined balance with quick acceleration and quicker cornering. Despite the two-seat body style, the Cayman offers two trunks - front and rear - that make it surprisingly capable of carrying cargo.
But daily-driver practicality isn't why you buy a car like this. You buy it to catapult you down a back road or to twist around a track on the weekend. When it comes to that, the Cayman excels. It's communicative, nimble, and just feels right. Next to competition like the Audi TT RS the Cayman offers better balance and handling. Shop it next to the BMW M2 and the M2 feels less special and more normal. It certainly makes less of an impression at the lights.
Thanks to the new four-cylinder engines, the base Cayman is rated at 10.5 L/100 km city, 8.0 highway with the PDK and 11.0/8.3 with the manual. The S gets 11.0/8.4 and 12.1/9.0 respectively and the GTS is rated for 11.8/9.2, 12.3/9.4 city/highway.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed