Porsche Cayman: perfect fusion of analogue and digital driving?

This adds both a mechanical limited slip differential and the ability to actively bias torque to the outside rear wheel when cornering aggressively. Net result? Better traction and zippier cornering.

Porsche Cayman Sport Chrono

Tying all this together is the Sport Chrono option. This is mostly a computer mapping option, but in hardware terms it adds active engine mounts, a 'Sport Plus' button on the centre console and the Sport Chrono clock on the dash.

First up, Sport Chrono raises the trigger threshold for the PSM stability system. The helping hand allows you to drive that little bit harder and faster without intervening in other words. You also get sharper throttle response.

Porsche Cayman

On cars with manual gearboxes, Sport Chrono also enables a throttle-blipping function on downshifts. If you have PDK fitted you get launch control, for super-fast getaways from standstill, and faster gearshifts.

The Sport Chrono clock on the dash, meanwhile, is for recording lap times should you take your shiny new Cayman on track.

Force feedback

Of course, there are further driving related tech choices if you dip into the options list, such as Power Steering Plus, which modulates steering assistance according to speed. But those are the highlights.

While we're on the subject of steering, the electrically assisted steering in the new Cayman is a very interesting subject. The little tugs and writhes you feel as the wheel telegraphs what's going on beneath the tyres are mostly computer generated.

Porsche Cayman

Yup, the steering is just like the simulated force feedback you get with a games console controller. Intriguing, eh?

Porsche Cayman infotainment

As for straight forward infotainment kit, that's covered by PCM. For more details on that, watch our video with Porsche's Nick Perry taking us through the main functions and features

If you want a quick précis, it's a nicely executed 7-inch touchscreen system that covers the basics including nav, audio playback and Bluetooth telephony. However, it lacks any online or connected capabilities. There's no internet, no Googlemaps, no apps, none of that stuff.


All of which just leaves us with the minor matter of what all this technology is like in use and how much it all costs.

Behind the wheel

On the first point, the overwhelming experience is of seamless integration. When you think about all the technology in the new Cayman, there's a real risk of all the digital systems getting out of sync, fighting each other for your attention.

But no. The experience is entirely fluid. If you tick all the boxes, you get a sports car that's preposterously easy to drive fast. You can jump straight in and ping up and down the PDK gearbox, all the while the active chassis technology keeps you nailed to the road surface.

Just as important, you feel connected to the car while all that is going on. OK, there are computers sitting in between you and much of feedback that arrives. But it's all so fluid and natural, the sum is truly greater than its parts.

Porsche Cayman

What's more, die-hard purists also have the option of speccing a Cayman with a manual gearbox and passive suspension. No turbos. No paddles. Just pure driving thrills.

OK, the reality is that you still have digitised steering feedback and a fly-by-wire throttle. And Porsche has softened up and over servoed the brake pedal, which is a shame. But a basic Cayman is still the purest, simplest driving machine this side of a Lotus Elise.

Punitive options pricing

Our only objection, then, is pricing. The basic list price for a 2.7 Cayman of £39,694 in the UK is actually a steal. Nothing comes close for the money. Instead it's the options that are the killer.

Try these few examples. The PCM infotainment kit is £2,141. Outrageous when you consider you can buy a pretty decent tablet computer with far more features for about £150. Then there's DAB radio for £324 or a TV tuner for, wait for it, £1,044.

Porsche Cayman

In that context, £1,922 for the robotised PDK gearbox doesn't seem too bad. Ditto the PASM active suspension for £971. It's certainly better value than a grand for about £20's worth of TV tuning kit. Then again, Sport Chrono is a bit stiff at £1,084 and PTV for £890 doesn't help.

Taken individually, any of those options is probably tolerable. It's when you combine them that the problem arises. Adding £10,000 or more is all too easily done.

In that sense, it's the purists who have it best with the new Porsche Cayman. Keep it simple and it's extraordinary value. Go for the full tech experience and it will cost you dearly.


Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.