Mk 1 Porsche Cayman: We shall miss thee

Remember when Porsche launched the Cayman? It was smaller and more sporty than the 911, yet felt slightly more grown up than the open top Boxster. It's now gone, but certainly not forgotten.

I remember the first-generation Cayman coming out. It was a wonderful thing -- it has the awesome lines of the Boxster, but added a wonderful roofline that not only made it look more complete, but also added a little stiffness.

The extra stiffness made the Cayman more of a sports car than before -- something that journalists and owners loved it for.

Engine-wise it was always just a little bit more powerful than the Boxster, while being a touch slower than the 911. Same goes for the price -- it sat bang in the middle of the range.

Some pondered that despite being pegged as the middle child, it may be able to outpace its bigger brother. It was opined that it may actually steal sales from the 911...

Driving it you can see why. The 2.9-litre engine we had in the post-face-lift Cayman (not the S' 3.4) was something of a treat. Pushing out 265 bhp and making a howl that only follows a Porsche, it left an impression on me that few cars do.

The manual gearbox twinned with its midengined layout (a layout that, I believe, is perfect) was so wonderful, its chassis was perfectly balanced and it had just enough power to excite without overwhelming. And 0-62mph was dispatched in under 6 seconds, perfectly fast enough for a car like the Cayman.

It was comfortable, too. It had space for...stuff, and it was roomy enough for a passenger to stretch out. It was practical enough to be an only car, if you didn't have children.

As a driving experience, the Cayman was brilliant. It was composed, light on its feet, and exciting. You could feel the hairs on your neck stand on end each time you stepped into it.

It was an ace little sports car, though one that was often overlooked. I'd love to find out why people didn't go for it in greater numbers. Did they want the extra seats afforded by a 911? Or did they want the open top thrills of the Boxster? Either way, they're missing out. And then some.

Specs
Engine 2.9-litre
Power 265 bhp
Torque 221 lb. ft.
0-62 mph 5.8 seconds
Top speed    165 mph
 

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