Last month, Porsche was kind enough to let me sample the 2015 Cayman GTS during the Pinehurst Councours d’Elegance weekend, hosted in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Sure enough, it was everything that’s been promised.
Porsche Cars North America is the largest sponsor of the Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance. Each year, they bring a fleet of vehicles for guests and media to sample – this year, they had some of their best new vehicles (less the GT line) available, including the Boxster and Cayman GTS models.
Our test car was fitted with Guards Red paint and black full-leather interior and tasty alcantara everywhere else. In addition to nearly every option imaginable, including Sport Chrono. I spent about an hour in the Cayman dicing up the back roads around Pinehurst. That sounds enthralling, but if you know anything about the Sand Hills region of North Carolina, that translates to flat, straight roads. Not exactly ideal for a car engineered to corner.
Regardless of topography, I was able to get a good feel for the GTS. As with all Porsches, the design is clean, simple, and focused on the driver experience. All controls are within reach, the instruments are clear and precise and the PDK transmission continues to impress. I would have loved to sample a manual transmission GTS, but I truly can’t complain about the PDK, as it delivers absurdly fast and intuitive shifts in both manual and automatic modes.
If you are unfamiliar, the GTS line is the hyper-premium version of the S model with some exclusive design details and a horsepower bump to 340, 15 more than the 325 found in the S. Essentially, if you are looking to purchase an S with all the important options (and some less important ones) and want a bit more power, the GTS is the car for you.
The Cayman’s dynamics are spot-on, as well. Electric steering is becoming indiscernible from the hydraulic units we’ve become accustomed to. And, in traditional Porsche fashion, there are settings out the wazoo as related to handling, steering feel, exhaust noise, and the PDK’s quickness.
For this test, we enjoyed sport plus mode which turns everything up to 11, with a soundtrack of wonderful crackles and pops from the flat six located behind the center of your back.
Having driven the first generation Cayman, the new one feels a bit larger, more grown up, and you sit deeper in the cabin. This makes for a wonderful seating position, however, it does prove difficult when trying to get a sense of the car’s corners in slow-moving traffic and parking lot situations. Honestly, the cabin materials, seating position, and noise from the GTS make the Cayman feel much more refined than earlier cars – even exotic, one might say.
That exotic feeling starts before you even get in the Cayman GTS. It looks killer. The lines, creases, and swoops are in all the right places. With the GTS spec, the car gains a more sinister look with contrasting black trim, bold wheels, and a more aggressive front fascia.
Overall, the styling, materials, and execution of the Cayman GTS is exquisite. With the second generation, this car continues to impress and the 911 needs to watch its back.
[Photo Credit: Porsche, Top Image, all others Patrick Glace]