Should be simple really. The Cayman is the best handling Porsche model, and the £52,000 Cayman R is a lower, sharper and more powerful version of it. So, therefore, the Cayman R is the best handling Porsche full stop.
And that simple deduction is 80% true. If you’re a ham-fisted loon, the Cayman R offers a glorious blend of flattery and excitement. Where a GT3 RS is a form of domestic abuse and the GT2 RS motoring euthanasia, the Cayman R does a roaring trade in coaxing, coaching and cajoling. When you’re giving it 100%, the car gives you 100% back.
The Cayman R is on your side. It turns humans into heroes… while the GT2 RS and GT3 RS would rather turn us into corpses.
But now for the but: the Cayman R only buzzes through your hands, ears and arse if you’re giving it full clobber – and if you back off, it loses interest. When you’re not pounding the tarmac like a storm chaser, the once witty Porsche becomes dismissive and disgruntled. It’s no longer on your side…it’s a sulky bastard.
As soon as the front tyres aren’t experiencing some slip, the steering gives you the cold shoulder. No feel, no chat, no fun. And when the engine isn’t ringing in your ears, it won’t send shivers down your spine. It twists well enough from low revs, but such reward is only a booby prize compared to the sting nearer the red line.
‘I’m the best handling Porsche you can manage fuckwit… now drive me properly’ it bellows with frustration. All of a sudden, you’re a useless piece of meat flapping at the wheel like Dr Zoidberg. A normal Cayman feels at home on the road – reactive, sharp, fast and fun. The Cayman R feels like its feet have been bound.
It is, without any doubt, an incredible driver’s car for people who feel under-qualified in the seat of a GT3 or GT2 RS. But I don’t think it’s gobby or exciting enough at road speeds to interest the type of lunatic who fancies a BMW 1M.