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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
Stirring performance capabilities and the soul of road-going Porsches of days past
Brake feel is the stuff legends are made of
Smooth, ready power for any situation
When it comes to performance, the 2008 Porsche Cayman receives rave reviews. It may not be the fastest off the line, but in terms of overall driving experience, few cars can match the Cayman Porsche.
The 2008 Porsche Cayman lineup features two engines, which Edmunds says are "a 2.7-liter horizontally opposed ('flat') six-cylinder engine that generates 245 hp and 201 lb-ft of torque" on the standard Porsche Cayman, while "the Cayman S is powered by a 3.4-liter flat-6 that puts out 295 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque." Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate that both engines are very capable, and ConsumerGuide says that both "have smooth, ready power for any situation," though the "S models have noticeably more muscle." Car and Driver finds that the 2008 Porsche Cayman S "rockets to 60 in 4.8 seconds," while Cars.com has the base Cayman Porsche down for "zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds." Autoblog reviewers heap particularly high praise on the Porsche Cayman S, writing that the engine "sings an enthusiast's tune," and "frequent trips to redline are positively addicting."
The 2008 Porsche Cayman also features three distinct transmissions. Edmunds reviewers find that the base Porsche Cayman "comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, with an optional six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted shift buttons," while on the Porsche Cayman S "a six-speed manual transmission is standard, and the automatic is again optional." ConsumerGuide is impressed with the manual options, writing that both of the manuals offer "smooth shift and clutch action." Autoblog adds "the shift knob glides into position effortlessly" and "with the precision of a surgical tool." On the automatic, Cars.com writes that the "Tiptronic S five-speed" comes with "a manual-shift provision."
Aside from providing ample power for the lightweight Porsche Cayman, the engines are easier than most sportscar powerplants on the wallet. Car and Driver says that the 2008 Porsche Cayman "gets respectable fuel mileage -- as much as 20 mpg city and 29 highway when equipped with a five-speed manual," which they note is "better than some economy cars." The official EPA estimates for the base 2008 Porsche Cayman are 19/26 mpg with the automatic and 20/29 mpg for the five-speed manual, while the six-speed manual offers mileage of 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. On the more powerful Porsche Cayman S, the EPA says to expect 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with the automatic, while the manual returns 18/26 mpg.
When it comes to handling in the Cayman, Porsche’s new coupe is nearly without peer. Kelley Blue Book says "even among all the legendary Porsche models, it's hard to recall a car that feels so utterly right under virtually all dynamic conditions." In listing the 2008 Porsche Cayman as one of their 2008 All-Stars, Automobile writes "when the road goes squiggly, there are few cars on this planet that can keep up." In terms of steering, Autoblog reviewers rave that "the feedback and response is exemplary" and the Porsche Cayman "needs zero input to hold a steady line." Furthermore, they note the 2008 Porsche Cayman has "nearly indiscernible body roll." When it comes time to stop, Consumer Guide finds that "braking is strong and confidence inspiring." For drivers who can afford it, Edmunds would "highly recommend the optional PASM suspension package," which in "Normal mode meets the demands of practical daily driving and handles bumps in the road without sacrificing performance, while the Sport mode takes thrill-seeking weekend drives to a whole new level."
The 2008 Porsche Cayman is great in almost any situation, and practically peerless on twisting roads.