This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Porsche Cayman (13-16) review.

Parkers overall rating: 5 out of 5 5.0

The standard Cayman was launched with a 2.7-litre six-cylinder unit which delivers 245bhp and propels it from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds. Like the engine in the Cayman S, it’s a normally aspirated unit, so doesn’t use turbochargers to boost power. It’s also a ‘boxer’ engine (which means it sits horizontally) and has a very characteristic sound, especially at high revs.

For most drivers the standard Cayman will provide more than enough power and pace, while the super slick five-speed manual gearbox makes using it hugely enjoyable. The Cayman S uses a larger 3.4-litre with 295bhp, giving it a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds plus it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Under hard acceleration the already brisk Cayman S feels as if it gets a second wind at about 4,000rpm and the wonderfully evocative noise of the engine encourages you to plant your right foot and hear those revs rise.

The standard exhaust produces a great noise, but a sports exhaust is also available which sounds even better – and louder.

The Cayman has a stiffer suspension set-up than the Boxster on which it is based, although it is difficult to tell how much more agile it is than the roadster away from the race track. The Cayman seems to respond intuitively to even the slightest input from the driver – the nose will go exactly where you point it while the long-travel throttle always ensures the car accelerates smoothly as well as quickly.

On the road, the powerful brakes have a little more in reserve if necessary. The ride is on the firm side, especially noticeable over speed bumps, but at higher speeds it is impressively smooth and composed. An electronic suspension system called PASM (or Porsche Active Suspension Management) can be chosen as an option. This allows the driver to switch between the standard comfort set-up and a more focused sport settings.

Cars fitted with the PDK gearbox and Sports Chrono Package come with a launch control system for optimum acceleration from a standstill. From 2009 the Cayman comes with a new suspension set-up designed to increase comfort while retaining the agile sports performance of the car.