evo Car of the Year 2014

This video is a summary of evo Magazine’s yearly Car of the Year contest. If you haven’t bought the magazine (which you should), check out this video.

The contenders in no particular order: VW Golf R, McLaren 650S, Ferrari 458 Speciale, BMW M3, Porsche Cayman GTS, Jaguar F-type R Coupe, BMW i8, Renaultsport Mégane 275 Trophy-R, Aston Martin Vanquish and Audi S1

And the winner is…

TEST DRIVE: Two days with the Porsche Cayman GTS

The Cayman GTS is beautiful!! During the two days I had the car, plenty of people on the street complimented me on the looks of the car.

Cayman GTS

How does it drive?

Ok, it looks great, but more importantly, how does it drive? The car I borrowed was equipped with the optional sports chassis that lowers the car 20mm and removes adaptive dampers (PASM). You can clearly see in the pictures that the car is looow. This optional sports chassis is very firm for road use. If you are not planning to track the car, I would recommend going for the standard adjustable PASM chassis.

Having said that, the car drives absolutely on rails. It is an old cliché but it has never been so true. I can’t remember any car I have driven, that is more keyed to the road. It is at the same level as the two 911 GT3:s (996/997) I had a couple of years ago. Turn-in is excellent, the balance is neutral and fluent. The steering is very good and well weighted, in spite of having electric power steering. Brake feel is excellent. I am running out of superlatives…

Drivetrain

Driving the Cayman GTS, I initially felt a lack of power, until I realised I have to rev it much higher. I was upshifting at 4500 rpm… I have been driving diesels for too long. The V8 in my California was very torquey, in spite of being an atmospheric engine.

The sound from the engine and the Sports exhaust (standard on the GTS) is very good, although I have to admit that I had it in “silent” mode most of the time.

The dubble-clutch PDK gearbox is excellent, as always. The only problem is that the gearing is very long. If you rev the engine, as you should, in 3rd or even in 2nd gear,  you are suddenly carrying very high speeds. With shorter gearing you would be able to rev the engine more often.

Interior

The interior is very sporty with a lot of alcantara and carbon fibre parts. The spec on this car closely resembles the interior of the 997 GT3 Mk1, that I used to have. This car has the interior GTS package that adds more alcantara as well as contrasting stitching (I apologise for the poor quality of the photo). The leather dashboard is standard on the GTS, and contributes to the car feeling special.

Cayman GTS interior

Final words

Summarising, I believe that this is the best sports car in the market, with the possible exception of the Ferrari 458. My wife drove the car as well and was not keen at all on giving the wheel back to me…

Thanks to Porsche Center Ibercarrera in Barcelona for generously lending me this car.