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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
what stands out most is its exquisitely subtle software and seven-speed range of ratios
when a car's power and efficiency both increase, it usually means one thing: direct injection, and that's the technology that's been added
stirring performance capabilities and the soul of road-going Porsches of days past
The 2010 Porsche Cayman is powered by a 2.9-liter engine rated at 265 horsepower. Upgrading to the Cayman S boosts engine displacement to 3.4 liters and, thanks to the addition of direct injection, 320 horsepower. That's enough oomph to give the Cayman S a power-to-weight ratio of 9.3 pounds per horsepower. Despite the ready performance figures, the Cayman isn't a gas guzzler, due in part to its relatively low weight. New last year was the addition of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission called the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, or PDK. A standard six-speed manual transmission is also available. Porsche rates the Cayman S's acceleration at 5.1 seconds to 60 mph with the manual transmission, and 5.9 seconds for the standard Cayman. Top speed for the S model is a heady 171 mph. An optional Sports Chrono package with launch control shaves that 0-60 mph time to 4.9 seconds for the Cayman S. These numbers do little to describe the sheer pleasure of the sound of the Porsche boxer engine, however. Autoblog calls it "a triumphant symphony of exhaust, intake, and valve-train at full song."
Motor Trend finds the PDK transmission compares favorably to competitive double-clutch offerings, thanks to its "exquisitely subtle software and seven-speed range of ratios." Cars.com likes the way the PDK "offers an automatic mode as well as a manual using lever or steering-wheel buttons." Car and Driver says that "shift action is so quick that cars equipped with the dual-clutch transmission will out-accelerate manual models," and Motor Trend appreciates that the transmissions shifts "take no time at all as the clutches' handoff is so refined there's no appreciable moment of zero torque." Car and Driver reports that the 2010 Porsche Cayman does well in terms of gas mileage, largely due to its low weight.
The 2010 Porsche Cayman is nearly without peer in the handling department. The optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) allows the driver to tune the car's handling to suit the application, ranging from Normal to Sport for city and spirited driving, respectively. Despite a steep price, Edmunds' reviewers "highly recommend the optional PASM suspension package."
Regardless of whether you choose the PASM or the Cayman or Cayman S model, the fundamental chassis of the Cayman line is brilliantly fun to drive, with sharp and easy steering response and confident braking behavior. While these characteristics reward an average driver, a seasoned driver can extract true joy on the track.
Autoblog raves about the Cayman's steering, saying that "the feedback and response is exemplary" and it "needs zero input to hold a steady line." They also praise its flat cornering characteristics, noting "nearly indiscernible body roll." Kelley Blue Book says "it's hard to recall a car that feels so utterly right under virtually all dynamic conditions." ConsumerGuide points out that "braking is strong and confidence inspiring."
The 2010 Porsche Cayman pushes the limits even higher, and it's enjoyable for amateurs and racers alike.