I've not driven one, but it has the same inexcusably cheap interior as the Boxster. Even worse, most of the ones I've seen on a Porsche dealer's lot have had that same noxious bottle-tan orange leather color that bothered me on the NC Miata. Fake-n-bake must be the trendy interior color this model year just as it's apparently the favored skin tone of Germans
right now. To make matters worse, frankly the quality of Porsche's hides are scarsely better than those on the NC I drove. Also, one mustn't forget that it weighs well over a ton-and-a-half. While that's not unexpected from a once proud sports car company that is now a lowly truck-marketer with a minor sideline in gran tourismos, is it really too much to ask for Porsche to invest some of the blood money from that nasty-ass rebadged MAN-alike into some meaningful R&D for their new $60,000+ (and plus and plus, this being a car with Porsche's typically hefty options list) sportscar? Such a thing really ought to be built from something more sophisticated than a porcine steel monocoque. After all, Lotus has managed to create a car in the same market of considerably lower mass while likewise meeting EU/NCAP safety specs including pedestrian standards, having all the dumbass froo-froo options like nav, and using with running gear likely of similar mass (turbo + plumbing vs. two extra bores). Actually, the comparison is quite telling: 2006 Lotus Europa S vs. 2006 Porsche Cayman Wheelbase: 91.75" vs. 95.1" Length: 153.5" vs. 172.1" Width: 72.8" vs. 70.9" Height: 44" vs. 51.4mm Curb weight: 2195 lb vs. 3200lb (Lotus data from here
, with conversions estimated. Porsche data from here.
So yeah, the Cayman is a little bigger than the Europa S, and probably for the better - the Europa probably can't touch the Cayman's cargo volume, with its two trunks, for example - the only way it could be a full half ton worth of bigger is if there were ten tons less innovation put into it. Or the truck-marketer has simply stopped caring about sports cars. A 2500lb modern Cayman, even with the shitty fake-n-bake leather, would lure me to the showroom and maybe force a call to my broker, but a 3100lb lead balloon is just yet another crappy, overweight, overwrought modern. PS: On the vintage Porsche digression, I 'd almost rather have a really, really good 550 replica than the real thing. Something that beautiful and that lithe I'd want to drive, so I'd appreciate modernization of the brakes and and other components as well as the lower cost of a modernized fuelie Beetle engine. The only 550 replica I've driven was by Beck and was actually made in South America somewhere. Argentina or Brazil I think. The glasswork was far nicer than anything I've seen on a Viper, XLR, or Corvette, with tighter gaps and an impeccable finish. The visible welds on the frame were also beautiful, quite unlike the sloppy mess one sees upon opening the hood of a Viper or BMW M Roadster. 'Course, I've never driven a real 550 to compare, but that was one of the coolest cars I've ever been in. And it was going really cheap, too: less than my MINI Cooper S ended up costing me. However, I needed a daily driver that could go to the grocery store and fit a garment bag in back, so the Beck (like a Panoz AIV I probed at about the same time that occupied my every waking thought for about a week and a half) was just a momentary infatuation.