The 718 Cayman S is low, wide and sleek and looks great from every angle, with a ground-hugging stance that is emphasised by horizontal strakes in the lower air intakes. Porsche design is all about evolution, so the Cayman’s front wings still stand proud of the bonnet line in time-honoured Porsche fashion, but now feature faired-in Bi-Xenon headlamps with four LED running lights. At the side, there’s a large air intake just behind the trailing edge of the door to feed the mid-engined turbo four, and the rear treatment includes an accent trim to reinforce the impression of width. Central twin exhausts distinguish 2.5-litre S models from their 2.0-litre siblings.


More power for less fuel (and less CO2) is Porsche’s reasoning for introducing the new four-cylinder engines. The 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine of the 718 Cayman S produces 350hp at 6,500 rpm, while the variable geometry turbocharger that’s unique to S models is responsible for the huge 420Nm of torque all the way from 1,950 to 4,500 rpm. 0-62mph takes as little as 4.2 seconds with the PDK transmission and optional Launch Control, and top speed is 177mph. All 718 models are equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission optimally matched to their respective engine maps while the racier 7-speed PDK, featuring both a manual and an automatic mode, is available as an option.


The Cayman S is equipped with an enhanced Porsche Stability Management (PSM), an automatic control system for maintaining stability at the limits of dynamic driving performance. Options include Porsche Torque Vectoring, which works by varying the amount of torque transmitted to the rear wheels and tightens the line in hard cornering.


The Cayman S has full-size driver and passenger airbags, which are inflated in two stages depending on the severity and type of accident. The Porsche Side Impact Protection System (POSIP comprises side impact protection elements in the doors and two airbags on each side. There’s an integral thorax airbag in each seat side bolster, while the door panels each contain an upwards-inflating head airbag.