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Review: 2007 Porsche Cayman

2007 Porsche Cayman

My test car was yellow!  Only a Porsche could get away with this bold colour and only the Cayman pulls it off with sweetness!

There are a lot of automotive manufacturer websites that allow you to comparison shop their vehicles. Not only can you compare models from within the manufacturers line-up, you can click to add other makes and models to the “compare to” list.

I did a little experiment of mine, putting the new 2007 Porsche Cayman against a more-than-double-the price Ferrari F430. Sure there are some configuration differences between the two, but your wallet is a whole lot lighter with the German machine.

The Ferrari F430 has a V8, the Cayman a flat-six. The Italian 490hp, the German 245hp (295hp in Cayman S guise). The Ferrari will set you back US$164,000, the Porsche CDN$70,000.

Now sure the specs are completely different, but there is more to a vehicle than numbers printed on a brochure, there is the feel and emotion of driving. The Porsche has plenty of both.

The Cayman, in my opinion, is one of the best styling exercises to come from Stuttgart. No small feat considering the stylish wonders from the company already on the road. The lines are clean and pure, with rear three quarter styling its best feature. I know many people, including myself, that have the Cayman as their computer desktop wallpaper. Porsche knows this too, offering wallpaper downloads on their website, www.porsche.ca .

About the feel. I love the handling of the Boxster (on which the Cayman is based on), in some situations more than the Carrera 2, so I had huge expectations for the Cayman. I was not disappointed. The mid-engine 2-seater is so well balanced that you have to turn off the PSM (Porsche Stability Management) and push the car hard to lose its grip. The feel at the wheel is of shear confidence, leaving the driver to enjoy the drive without tension.

Twist the key, with your left hand of course, this is a Porsche, and you are rewarded with a sweet rumble from the flat-six boxer engine sitting right behind you. There is where “feel” comes in again. The engine revs so smoothly, you would think its smothered in butter. It is in fact, the smoothness of synthetic engine oil. Shift the manual gears through their gate and you can feel the positive linkage through each one. And we haven’t even released the hand brake yet!

Also available in Tiptronic form, the Cayman is more fun with the row-your-own transmission. Sure, with stop and go traffic these days, the smart choice would be the automatic Tip, but Porsches love the open road so be nice to your car and give it some room to play.

The Cayman is not particularly the fastest car to 100km/h in, but the way it does it is what matters most. There is never a hint of complaint nor strain from the Cayman, it is a willing partner for your divulgence in pleasure driving. I did take the Cayman past the pleasure part, pushing it hard into corners and turns that I would normally keep a steady low speed on. The harder I pushed, the more the Cayman responded, actually helping me keep the line in the turns.

When it comes time to stop, the Porsche C-man will bring you to a standstill without any drama and minimum brake fade. Give your dealer another thirteen thousand or so and you can order the fade-free ceramic brakes.

The interior, while cool enough, is not a match to the exterior. The dash is a handsome design, with sculpted lines everywhere, but there has been an extensive use of plastic here. The heating and air-conditioning controls are better now than they used to be in the Boxster.

Standard equipment includes a CD system, six airbags, power windows and locks. Full power seats are an option. If you plan to have someone travel with you and they have a lot of luggage, tell them to stay home as you’ll be able to fit them or the luggage. There is some space in the rear, with some more space up front. Useful for weekend getaways.

Base (5-speed manual): $69,600

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