Is there anything more "Porsche" than that scooped down nose that cruises just inches above the pavement? Did anything ever look more designed for a track?
Porsche's Cayman coupe for 2007, sibling of the drop-top Boxster roadster, retains the familiar road sniffing stance, side air vents for the mid-engine power plant and high beltline that cradles the driver in fine-tuned performance grade steel. Pure excitement trembling to break free.
We can envision those heartthrob TV docs, McSteamy and McDreamy, peeling away from Seattle's Grace in this one. We'll make the assumption they haven't yet reached high medical pay status. So the Cayman's $49,400 price of entry, a shade below the Boxster, would be a good entre into the upcoming good life. Note, however, that Cayman's average transaction price rounds out at $68,700.
Dynamite driving could be an adequate way of describing this version, a little hard on the accelerator, a little more grab in those hairpin turns than the ragtop variety, as own-the-road hormones kick in. Punch comes from a new 2.7-liter, 245-HP, horizontally-opposed six that can streak up to 160 knee-weakening MPH on a track. Hit the accelerator from a dead stop and expect to blast up to 60 in a scant 5.8 seconds. (Such speed tests undoubtedly would scuttle the 23 city/32 highway MPG rating of normal driving.)
The Cayman gains an optional, updated five-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission with clutchless manual gates for performance driving with the mere tap of the finger. Tire pressure monitors are new, and optional 19-inch wheels - the same as on its 2007 911 Turbo big brother - lap up road miles with abandon.
For more roadworthy distance travel, there's no spare tire or jack in the Cayman. Instead, emergency tire sealant and an electrical air compressor for temporary repairs keeps down performance-robbing weight. Luggage gets priority under front hood and rear deck lid.
As expected, seats are bolstered for performance driving. Stability control and active suspension management are among safety technologies, but control systems won't override a driver's preference. One can get as edgy as she or he can tolerate. Presumably, Cayman owners (the sexy doc variety too) will get in a few heady practice runs at first. We imagine an extended road trip could be sidelined by an occasional track stop en route. When you've got it, you flaunt it.