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Nice Guy Eddie

Porsche Cayman 3.4 GTS

My colleague got this about 2 months ago and has promised me a go ever since, knowing how keen I am to get myself into one. I'm still waiting for the prices to get semi sensible before I can take the plunge.

The car has the sports buckets which fit me like a glove. Those that have met me will know I'm built more for comfort so those of a less bulky figure might find them a little XL. Everything adjusts to a perfect driving position, in fact this is one of the first cars for a long time I've got into and had to move the seat forward and its great to get the seat right onto the floor. The car being a GTS came with the extended leather which is a great addition and something I'd probably want to seek out in a S model.

I had to drop my mate off at the bank in Guildford so went the long way from Godalming down a mix of country lanes, the A3 and around town. This particular car had the sports suspension option which drops the ride height by 20mm and obviously makes it a little stiff. For the sort of driving I do, which is a mix of B roads, its too much. The suspension never crashes but when you're driving normally its probably a little too firm. Not helped by the fact the cars been put onto the ramps already to have a more aggressive toe as the car spends a lot of time on track. Having had a go in a PASM suspended Boxster I would go the PASM route for an everyday car.

Opening the taps delivers the most glorious noise, better then anything I've heard for a long time. Its a quick car rather then a fast one but to be honest I prefer that. Having had a go in something with 600bhp they are just to fast for the UK's roads to have fun. This has the perfect mix of power and grip. The gearbox is a joy to use, manual in this car and has probably swung me towards a manual gearbox vs the PDK. PDK is fabulous but looses another level of driver interaction. In a Turbo or something similar I can understand the need for PDK as everything happens so fast but this car hasn't got that level of pace. I had no problem with the gearing either. You tend to hold onto 2nd and 3rd longer then you normally would in something shorter geared but didn't have any frustrations with it. The change is so good and with the sport plus matching your revs on downshift far better then I could do when heel and toeing, its really impressive.

The steering was fine. In no way does it translate the road through the steering wheel like my 993 but has more feedback then the GTi. Having a suede topped wheel doesn't harm it either.

Got to say I loved it. It also gives you that rush of adrenaline. Not sure if that was the car or the fact I was thrashing somebody else's near £70k car but think its defiantly  a contender for next car on my drive. I now have the joy of 12 months constantly looking on Autotrader and Pistonheads to see if the price has come down.
Big Blue

Nice.

I assume you went up through Charterhouse and joined the A3 there, to drop down and up the back of Stag Hill? A nice road to buzz if you get a clear run at it.
Stuntman

Nice review Ed.  Good to hear your view on the sports suspension.  I don't think I'd spec that either.  

Interested in your experience with the buckets: how easy were they to get into and out of, did you find them less comfortable after a while, and did you wish you could change the seat-back angle?  Again I probably wouldn't spec them but might regret not having them...
Nice Guy Eddie

Big Blue wrote:
Nice.

I assume you went up through Charterhouse and joined the A3 there, to drop down and up the back of Stag Hill? A nice road to buzz if you get a clear run at it.


Went via Milford to take advantage of the roundabouts!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
Nice.

I assume you went up through Charterhouse and joined the A3 there, to drop down and up the back of Stag Hill? A nice road to buzz if you get a clear run at it.


Went via Milford to take advantage of the roundabouts!

Hah! The road through Charterhouse to the A3 used to be a great driving road until it was plagued by a 30mph limit a few years back :-(
Used to be NSL when I was at school in Godalming

Once came across a young lad on a pushbike in camoflage gear in the section that has grass banks either side near the A3.... got a bit close before I spotted him and managed to safely avoid him. Gave me a bit of a scare; I wonder if he realised how invisible he was
Nice Guy Eddie

Stuntman wrote:
Nice review Ed.  Good to hear your view on the sports suspension.  I don't think I'd spec that either.  

Interested in your experience with the buckets: how easy were they to get into and out of, did you find them less comfortable after a while, and did you wish you could change the seat-back angle?  Again I probably wouldn't spec them but might regret not having them...


Sport suspensions a hard one. Its no good for me due the poor B and unclassed roads I use daily.  If I spent most of my time on A roads and better B I'd could probably convince myself to go for it. No doubt it would be phenomenal on track. This particular car had a set up by Frikadelli race team for the ring which probably didn't help its cause.

The buckets were actually very comfortable.  The back rest is rather reclined,  more so then I would traditionally have it, however the steering wheel comes back much further then any other car I've been in giving you a brilliant driving position. I didn't have too much problem getting over the bolsters as they aren't massively higher then the squab. I wouldnt have wanted to try and get out of them in a really tight parking space though. The buckets look amazing on this new example though how they'd look in 5 years and 50,000 miles is another reason to take caution.

They were very comfy, I was only in the car for less then an hour but had no problems. They seem to have a built in lumbar that sits perfectly in the lower back. If I was you Dan and had access to another car I'd definitely go for them over the standard seats.
Martin

Sounds great, I'd love a Boxster GTS.  Really good write up too, just missing pictures!

As I say on a regular basis, the sports exhaust makes such a huge difference to the noise a Porsche makes, I wouldn't buy one without it.  As you say, full makes a huge difference too.
TreVoR

Top mate to give you drive!

How does the performance relate to the 993?  Your car is no slouch and the TVR is similar to yours in terms of performance. I've always loved the Cayman.
JohnC

Nice write up. I have a client with a Cayman GTS on the way so hopefully I will get a go one day.

On the subject of seats, I know it's not the same but similar, I had a carbon fibre bucket seat in my race Nova years and years ago and it was one of the most comfortable seats I have ever sat in. It was totally fixed as was I and it was great. The car was road legal because that was the class I was in and when doing the hillclimb series it had to be driven to the events. Places like Rumster are a good 6 hr drive and I never had any problems despite the seat having virtually no padding. Even when I rolled it I was in exactly the same position, just upside down!

As a track or weekend toy I reckon the buckets would be fantastic. Perhaps not so great for everyday elegant extraction or taking the ladies out.
Nice Guy Eddie

TreVoR wrote:
Top mate to give you drive!

How does the performance relate to the 993?  Your car is no slouch and the TVR is similar to yours in terms of performance. I've always loved the Cayman.


Its a little quicker than the 993. Not by much but it pulls better from low down and races to the redline like mine above 4,000rpm. Its a tiny bit heavier which might account for a little of that extra 50bhp loss.
franki68

Interesting about the ride quality ,I'm guessing the gt4 is going to have the sports suspension as standard ,which would make it any go for me.
The basic 's' model was a cracker when I drove it,certainly made me question if the 911 is now worth the extra .
Stuntman

I suspect the GT4 will have PASM as standard, same as the current 911 GT3.  For a potential daily driver and occasional track car, I would choose PASM over the passive sports setup.
Shouldn't be long now until we find out more definitive info!
franki68

Bit of a thread hijack,sorry

1st week feb isn't it? Ph interviewed Wolfgang hatz

Ahead of the mid-term refresh and the arrival of flat-four turbo engines, we’re going to see a hotter GT4 version of the Cayman. This has been developed by Andreas Preuinger’s team and is therefore a proper ‘GT’ car in Porsche’s brand hierarchy, with Hatz assuring us that it’s “moved a little bit up from the Cayman R, it will be more sporting.” Spy shots have confirmed the car is carrying some serious aero – and Hatz confirms it will be the fastest Cayman or Boxster yet, with an engine delivering around 400hp. Oh, and will also spin off a racing variant… '
Alf McQueef

Sounds like you liked it!

I have always felt Cayman S models seem pretty quick in a straight line, but then I am not used to cars with epci straight line performance, and also I have only been in the passenger seat - from where everything feels faster!
Nice Guy Eddie

Loved it!

The Cayman S is plenty fast enough for me day to day but might feel a little lost on some fast tracks like Spa or Silverstone, not that I'm doing these week in and out so wouldn't stop me buying one. The fact I don't want to stick 50k into a car is a bigger barrier.

With the GT4, it does sound like they are going to make it rather extreme with the Boxster Spyder being the less hardcore alternative.

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