2017 Porsche 718 Cayman

caymanOne word.. turbocharger.

A simple idea that has been around for over a century. Use the exhaust gases to rotate a turbine, that in-turn forces more air through the intake and ultimately gives the engine a big boost.

Now the Porsche 718 Cayman, which was once a flat-six-cylinder engine, will have two less cylinders and 25 more horses. Less cylinders equates to less weight, better gas mileage, and less emissions. The fuel economy has gone from the 34 mpg of the six cylinder to almost 41 mpg with the four.

For the first time, the Cayman and Boxster are equivalent. In fact, their powertrains are identical. The standard 718 Cayman gets a 296hp 2.0L while the Cayman S uses a 345hp 2.5L engine. Both are available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed PDK transmission.

It has undergone a few exterior cosmetic tweaks and a redesigned interior, but the other big news is a redesigned chassis. Firmer springs and sway bars, retuned shock absorbers and the steering rack from a 911 Turbo that is 10 percent quicker on-center, make for even better handling than the last Cayman.

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Performance for 0-60 is around 4-4.5 seconds and top speed in the mid-170 mph range.

The extra power necessitates better braking, so the standard Cayman will have the brake system from the previous ‘S’, and the new ‘S’ gets some four-piston calipers from the 911 with 6mm thicker discs.

Then comes the optional electronic torque-vectoring rear differential, adaptive dampers (known as PASM) with a 10 mm lower ride height, or the PASM sport with a 20 mm lower ride height.

There is a Sport Chromo pack that adds a mode switch on the steering wheel with Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual modes.

So the new Cayman is pretty much a hard-top Boxster and for the first time, priced below its convertible counterpart. Pricing starts at $53,900 while the S starts at $66,300.

You may prefer the open air of a droptop Boxster, but the better handling of the Cayman will make it the preferred choice for driving enthusiasts.

The 2017 Cayman goes on sale in the US in November.

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