Porsche has launched the new 718 Cayman with four-cylinder turbocharged engines, redesigned dashboards and LED lights setting it apart from the previous model. Basic price for the 2-litre 300 hp Cayman is £39,878, with the basic 2.5-litre, 350 hp Cayman costing from £48,834: a difference of £8956.
Porsche Cayman now cheaper than Boxster
The new list prices position Cayman below its soft-top Boxster sibling, which starts at £41,739.00 for the 2-litre manual. Add £1922 for PDK, taking the pre-options price to £43,661. Boxster S starts at £50695: £8956 more than the 2-litre car: same as the 718 Cayman.
There are subtle differences under the skin, with firmer springs and anti-roll bars and tweaked damper settings. Steering is ten per cent ‘more direct’ and rear wheels are a half inch wider, general increased lateral grip. The Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) electronically-controlled rear limited slip differential is an option. Brakes have been upgraded, now with 330mm front discs and 299mm rears. 2-litre Cayman uses the previous Cayman S calipers, while the 718 Cayman S gets 911 Carrera calipers, with 6mm thicker discs.
Outgoing Cayman was quite a pretty car and the new one looks pretty similar to me. Front end is maybe a bit sharper, with bigger intakes and new LED running lights. 918-style LED headlamps with four-point daytime running lights are an option. The rear now has a gloss black badge panel with four brake lights, which Porsche says “appear to float freely”.
The Cayman will need more than floaty brake lights to capture buyers imagination. Porsche sports cars (i.e. sports cars and not sports SUVs) now account for something like 30% of sales and the 911 takes the lion’s share of that. Caymans are hard work in the used market and struggle to find buyers quickly, even when keenly priced, which keeps trade demand and residual values challenging.
Company car users have been known to opt for Caymans and no doubt will continue to do so, but it’s hard not to wonder about the strength of support amongst private buyers for Cayman, given the cost of a reasonably-equipped example and the number of more versatile premium alternatives now available.
Having a relevant, desirable sports car other than the evergreen 911 is important to preserve brand perception/positioning for the SUVs, so the four-cylinder engines and price drop to below the soft top probably make sense. They make much more sense than diluting the 718’s place in history by pimping those numbers on the back of a Cayman, regardless of how floaty the brake lights are.