2019 718 Porsche Cayman GTS Review
The 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS is one of those cars that I had been really looking forward to driving and I finally got my opportunity to do so. Here are my thoughts on the car.
What is the 2019 718 Porsche Cayman GTS all about?
The Cayman perfectly demonstrates everything the Porsche name stands for. It has the iconic Porsche characteristics but somehow manages to create its own unique identity as well. The 2019 718 Porsche Cayman GTS manages to look far more refined and well-proportioned than most other performance cars.
The previous iteration of the Cayman was a very credible model but the 2019 version has found ways to improve what was already a solid offering. It has always been a driver’s car with an emphasis on being as connected with the road as possible and the 2019 718 Porsche Cayman GTS is no different. It handles better and feels more streamlined than ever.
The GTS takes the essence of the Cayman up a level and starts to step on the toes of the 911 Carrera, with similar performance figures and impressive handling.
The 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS is powered by a 4 cylinder 2.5-litre engine that creates 365 hp and 430 Nm of torque. This power travels to the rear wheels using a 6-speed manual gearbox. The GTS can accelerate from 0-62 MPH in 4.6 seconds, onto a top speed of 180 MPH. Expected miles per gallon is around 28 on a combined cycle, with the CO2 figures around 210 g/km.
How does it drive?
Get behind the wheel of the 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS and the first thing you will notice is how planted the car feels. The design ensures that the centre of gravity is quite low and the model feels like it is stuck to the tarmac. This, in turn, inspires confidence in the driver, especially when tackling flowing corners. This experience is further enhanced by its perfectly engineered steering set-up. The feedback is so good that you will be in tune with the car in no time at all. The handling set-up of this vehicle is perfect!
There is also a lot of urgency when it comes to power delivery. This is easily controlled by the driver which means that cruising is a breeze. But when you want to go fast or do some overtaking, the 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS delivers breakneck rolling acceleration that will surprise even supercar owners.
Once you pass the traffic, eating up the open road is exactly what the 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS is designed for. It is a little stiffer and sharper than the S, but it is still comfortable on long drives. The Cayman GTS will outperform cars above its power class all day on A-roads because of its ability to carry speeds into and out of corners with complete ease.
The placement of the engine, in the middle of the car, along with the active engine mounts further help in this regard. Coupled with the weight distribution, this ensures that there is minimal oversteer, even when cornering hard. The dry grip with the Pirelli P Zero tyres is remarkable. Over my 700 miles of testing, I didn’t get a slip, spin or skid out of any of the tyres. Its mechanical grip is almost unparalleled.
If you are someone who likes the back end to come unstuck easily then the Cayman is not the ideal car for that. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure you could still force it into a slide but it is built for raw traction. Having said that, it does not mean that the 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS is a slouch when it comes to having fun. It’s just a more civilised brand of fun.
I was testing the 6-speed manual and there were no complaints on the gearbox front. Everything was as smooth and refined as you would expect from a Porsche. Gearshifts in the car are nicely controlled and even after a day of heavy driving, it doesn’t get difficult or boring. There is a PDK automatic available, which might suit city driving, but it is nice to have full control over the car even if it is just to listen to that engine note on your terms.
One of the biggest understated pleasures of this Cayman GTS has been in braking. The optional massive ceramic brakes give this car incredible stopping power, but more importantly, an incredible brake pedal feel. The braking performance is so consistent all the way down the pedal. The car remains stable when braking, which means that the 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS can be slowed down or bought to a stop quite efficiently. Another benefit of those premium ceramic brakes is the rolling mass of the disks are 20% lighter than the standard brakes, making it feel lighter and sharper, above and beyond the GTS configuration.
The 4-cylinder turbocharged engine churns out 365 hp of power and 420 Nm of torque. The power delivery is very linear and there is enough grunt available on tap irrespective of the rev range you are in. Another blessing of being mid-engined is having that engine behind you, you can just about hear the turbo spin up, giving a little treat to the ears. The 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS tops out at 180 MPH and can accelerate from 0-62 MPH in 4.6 seconds, which is rapid. But it has to be said the 0-60 MPH time is nothing in comparison to how the car picks up speed from 50 MPH onwards. The acceleration when over-taking can feel relentless.
The Cayman GTS is fitted with a Sport Chrono Package with a mode switch, which is readily accessible on the wheel. It has four different drive modes – Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. The different modes alter the throttle, chassis, exhaust and the stability control setting. Normal works well for any kind of gentle commute, Sport is the go-to option for livening the car up and enjoying its dynamic chassis, whilst Sport Plus is best suited to more extreme driving conditions.
During my testing, I used the Sport mode the most. The throttle response makes the car feel twice as responsive as the normal mode, but more than anything I liked listening to the turbo spool up and the exhaust system pop and bang as you accelerate and decelerate between corners.
Coming to the practical elements of the driving experience, the headlights on this car are incredible and are better than the majority I have tested. They are super white and light the full width of the road, even turning nicely into the corners so you have maximum vision. Driving the car at night with these headlights changes the experience somewhat, as your vision is so much better. It is worth noting the lights are optional – LED headlights including Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus (PDLS Plus) cost an extra £ 1,397 but are well worth it.
The driving position in the Cayman is something to recommend as well. Getting into the car you sit low down, but the interior is very spacious. Even at 6’4, I felt comfortable. The Cayman adopts a sports car driving position with your legs stretched out in front of you with plenty of room in the cabin to work the steering wheel and gear stick freely. The test car was fitted with sports suspension that reduces the ride height by 20mm. It becomes clear to you just how low the car is when you drive past a wheelie bin and need to look up to see the lid! It is worth noting the sports car optimised driving position also doesn’t compromise visibility or make it difficult around town either.
What is it like inside?
Open the door and take a look inside this Porsche, it is beautifully put together. The interior for the 718 Cayman GTS suggests you are in a real driver-focused car. The cabin cocoons the driver into the perfect driving position.
The first time you get into the car, you will notice the sports bucket seats. They are fixed seats on a rail and hug the driver perfectly during spirited driving. On a long drive, you might wish you had a little bit more adjustment in the seat, but for the most part, they are very comfortable.
The dash is not overly crowded and has all the necessary controls as you would expect. The instrument cluster is classy with a digital 4.6″ colour display that can show you a range of information including – turbo pressure, trip computer, sat nav directions, G-Force info, live performance figures and lots more.
The infotainment system ticks all the boxes you require from a premium car and then some, but it doesn’t steal the focus from the driving experience by being in your face. The rest of the inside is pretty standard with all the necessary spaces being utilised in the best manner possible. There is some storage in the central armrest for a phone, significant storage in the door pockets and glovebox. There are also two smart cup holders that fold in and out as you need them.
The luggage space both in the bonnet and the boot is sufficient for a weekend away or similar. This is, of course, another benefit of having a mid-engined car, you get two storage areas.
This is a Porsche in every sense of the word. There is just the right mix of accuracy and power to make this car equally suited to spirited driving as well as leisurely cruising. It is more focused than the standard Cayman but not to a degree that it feels too focused and difficult to live with on a daily basis.
The looks are nicely done. The mid-engined nature of this car means that it is quite well-proportioned from all angles. The design still retains that legendary Porsche look while adding enough flair to give it its own unique spin. You can’t stop looking back at this car as you walk away and you will always look for an excuse to drive it.
2019 Porsche Cayman GTS Cost
The base version of the 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS costs £59,866. The car that I drove had quite a few upgrades including the Ceramic Composite Brakes (£5,177) and with a few other options pushes the price up to £76,673. The bigger question is if it is worth the price? The base model while being fun doesn’t offer the sharpness of the Porsche Cayman GTS and the car feels so much more advanced.
The 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS is the complete package with great looks, refined driving characteristics and plenty of practicality as well. I’m sure for the average driver like myself no more power or handling performance is needed. The car is extremely capable and very enjoyable to drive.
However, the biggest problem that the Cayman has faced for years is the 911. A lot of people tend to overlook what the Cayman has to offer because of the iconic appeal the 911 has. The Cayman and even more so, the Cayman GTS will be bought by those in the know. Once you experience both the Cayman and 911, you realise there is a lot of fun to have with the preciseness of the mid-engined Cayman GTS.
Overall, the 2019 Porsche Cayman GTS is a great car and definitely worth a look if you are interested in a car that is great to drive while having enough performance to keep even the most serious drivers excited.
2019 Porsche Cayman GTS Specs
- Price from: £59,866 (As tested – £76,673)
- Engine: 4-Cylinder 2.5 litres Turbocharged
- Power: 365 bhp
- Torque: 420 Nm
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- 0-62mph: 4.6 seconds
- Top speed: 180 mph
- Weight: 1,450 kg
- Economy combined: 28.5 mpg WLTP
- CO2: 210 g/km
For more pictures of the car see the gallery here.