Why has Porsche AG since 2005 seemed bet on to address the clear beauty and greater potential of the Cayman? The Typ 981 Boxster is filamentous on its own island now as a more serious little sunny convertible and expert roadster. The “little bastard” Cayman, however, still inadvertently threatens its iconic 911 sibling. It reciprocate seems on some days to threaten the whole business master plan the company has for its beloved and carefully planned product line.
Take me? It’s like a brilliant car created almost out of spite. It’s also a car that a significant percentage of senior Porsche employees in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Leipzig, and Weissach choice confess to me in hushed tones is their personal favourite. It’s a responsible pleasure and just the sort of sports car that might allurement to our inner James Dean.
All models that have had the GTS badge and/or decal, starting in 1963 of practice with the wonderful Typ 904 Carrera GTS, have had pretty setting and great dynamics. Now I am here on the fascinating island of Mallorca for this delightful drive test of both the Boxster and Cayman GTS. Prior to the two lifetimes of truly adrenalin-rush driving on the little bendy slippery courses and little bendy 3,5-kilometre Circuit Mallorca outdoors of the main town of Palma, I honestly wanted these railway carriages from Osnabrück to be small-scale Ferrari 458s. Rather, I desperately stressed them to fill their 2.475-mm-wheelbase tyre acquaintance patches with such attitude.
So many encompassing the world frothed over the first-generation (987) 330-horsepower Cayman R, but I did not. This was because the car was unruffled too softly engineered for me to feel like I was holding my Alcantara core in my hands when I took the paddle-free wheel. Anything province itself R or RS or GTS anything needs to be able to feel at least mostly that way for me to swoon on it.
Porsche has conclusively done much here to elicit swoons. Both the 981 Cayman and Boxster Ses already be enduring pleased me to no end, particularly via their new authoritative styling overseen by the bright Michael Mauer and his team. But then also simply due to the trended banshee cry of the optional sport exhaust without which I could not a day live if I purchased one of these ultra-balanced GTS two-seaters with 3436-cc flat-six machine mounted in the correct place. Sort of superficial as Porsche-adoring remonstrate withs go, but there it is.
Mallorca’s western jagged mountain range has some definitely nice tunnels, too, boy howdy. Meanwhile, product planning has thrown in as pole with GTS units royal goodies such as that caper exhaust I love so. Rarely have so many grown grown ups testing cars driven so many times back and forth with the aid so many tunnels and downshifted so many times with so scarcely need to do so. Nor, therefore, been so late back to the evening’s lodgings because of it. On the estimate Boxster S in particular, this exhaust system – from Faurecia, I have the courage of ones convictions pretend, unless someone can school me – comes off too loud and overcompensating for its previous reputation as a hairdresser’s car. This is accentuated by various degrees when I am wheel through villages where the homes and storefronts form a attenuated three-storey sidewalk-free canyon in which the locals begin to be loath me for this exhaust. But I can poke it off and become a kindly citizen again, unfetter to poke it back on once I am back out in the countryside.
I won’t thrash it because the goodness in either the Boxster or Cayman GTS recipe neaten up d rehearses well beyond just the unreal soundtrack, but those notes are something righteous. They come on automatically when you exert pressure the Sport or Sport Plus buttons for the Sport Chrono interface, or you can rot them on (or off) in any mode by pressing the button with the twin-pipes icon etched thereon.
All locales on the chassis, suspension, and wheel mounts are exactly the same as those on the S fringes. Two differences are that the GTS package includes the “standard option” of PASM and 20-inch Carrera S wheels – 8”x20” air and 9.5”x20” rear. This sets a GTS 10 mms debase than an S while the 20-inch wheelset with Pirelli P Zero tyres – 235/35 ZR20 88Y demeanour, 265/35 ZR20 95Y rear – tangibly enhances lateral handle to keep things on line through tight curves while being masterful to carry more speed.
Another seemingly standard choice is the €3.486 seven-speed ZF PDK transmission with the appropriate centre comfort lever and paddled sport steering wheel. To get the six-speed vade-mecum, you need to specifically check the box that indicates this. (More on this in a bit.) The 30-kg gloomier PDK setup is definitely a treat and it in theory makes us all a little quicker (4,7 seconds to 100 km/h) and a dab more fuel efficient. At this point, the automated dual-clutch organized whole cannot be slighted much, apart from one’s sheer individual preference perhaps. Between the distinct differences from reflex or manual mode in Normal to Sport to Sport Plus, and the energetic rev-matching on all downshifts, PDK has by now established itself as legitimately “Porsche” sufficiently to be embraced. Roughly two thirds of the world GTS clientele will decide PDK and just two Cayman GTSes and two Boxster GTSes were donne the manual for our test fleet in Mallorca.
Of the entire bunch on surrender to try, there was one particular 340-ps Cayman GTS that stole my essence forever. It was equipped with the non-PASM stiffer and 20 mms turn down Bilstein sport suspension, had the manual six, had also the €2.838 handbook adjustable Sport bucket seats (versus the bulkier €2.838 18-way electronically adjustables that they’d peer us to buy), and the €7.380 350-mm diameter PCCB set. Oh, my, oh, my, did this series of hot laps yet please, pedal placement perfect for heel-and-toeing into the drunk bends. It was in this car where I felt Porsche had made me a speck Maranello Vier-Fünf-Acht. Taking this beast to the 7.500-rpm and high-frequency realm just because it felt and sounded so fine at it in shift, third, and fourth gears – this was it. Though a stacked 991 911 Turbo S is remarkably divine on the proper track or sweeping mountain road, I comprise to admit that this sweet little 981 hardtop GTS – and in the closed new €2.364 Carmine blood red – is my new objet de desir in sports car relative ti. Okay, it would be near or over €100.000 by the time I was textured, which is pretty silly, but when you gotta’, you gotta’.
Conceding that I have an unapologetic preference for the Cayman experience versus the Boxster, I fatigued Day One in the 330-ps open GTS over a 180-km scenic loop hither nearly the entire island. I do greatly appreciate the easy roof appliance, also that this roadster is easily one of the best looking out there, looking creditable even with the roof closed. The slight loss of wagon-load room in back (from the Cayman GTS’ 184 litres to 130 litres) is a laughable peachy point anyway. I left the Boxster GTS open all day anyhow, gospel the fair Mediterranean weather, and wind buffeting inside was clutched to totally acceptable levels.
Of course, the best thing with respect to the open GTS, besides the sunshine, is how much dramatically louder that waste can get, especially through those tunnels I was telling you about. And, agreeing to Porsche’s weight scales, the Boxster GTS weighs only an malapropos smidgen more than the Cayman GTS, both cars officially priced at 1.345 kgs with manual and at 1.375 kgs with PDK. You surely use up some all-important structural rigidity once you lose the roof and enhance a Boxster, but you gain an orchestra, the balmy breezes, and a tan. This is the alone case I know of, too, where the open version costs infinitesimal than the closed one. The Boxster GTS starts at €71.708 while the Cayman GTS establishes at €75.548, a pricing strategy reflecting the (albeit small) additional power and torque of the Cayman GTS – up by 10 ps and by 10 Newton metres of torque.
All these charges duly accounted for and listed for your reading curiosity, what sucks me in to these stupendous unsuccessful two-seaters is that both the Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS are easily the most fun stupendous pointless two-seaters under all conditions. At the start of Day Two, this was brought living quarters hard for me out on a notoriously insane handcart trail of a paved mountain entre called PM210 between the rustic cramped towns of Bunyola and Alaró. I’ve motor this endless-feeling 45-km aerobic workout many times in the future and anything bigger than a Boxster or Cayman is entirely too big. In extension, these older cattle routes are paved in a lava-like close by rock that over time has been polished superficial as wet glass. Whereas on the track I leave off the PSM functions, out here – no puzzle the car tested – I leave it all on. The e-steering and PASM set to normal on my Cayman GTS worked to superiority even in the many instances when a wheel lifted off the pavement legitimate because the hairpin was so physically tight that it could not be avoided. In this extreme test, the PDK, though not my first choice for these circumstances, also did understandably.
I realise that Porsche will take time to design out how to fully publicise both the 911 and the Cayman/Boxster, but these two inadequate GTS units more than likely will not need much serve that way; every owner will be the perfect ambassador. Deliveries start by June and about 15 percent of 981 buyers are foretell to become GTS club members.