911 Carrera S is out. I think a Cayman S offers a lot of car for the price. However I do not base my choice base on the highest performance to purchase price ratio. For that a Chevrolet Corvette would likely be the winner - depends on the price range and the performance criteria. I want a Porsche and a driver's car so nothing else will do.
In my research on the Cayman GT4 this article by Evo is the best article I could find, especially the interview with Porsche Racing who developed the car (the second video below).
I have my name down on the waiting list for a GT4 though I have no unrealistic expectation one would ever come my way. Also should I am fortunate to be allocated with a GT4 the cost would likely be around $100,000. Unless it is very exceptional and would hold the value relatively well it would be hard for me to justify one relative to a Cayman S with a modest option list for circa $75,000.
Back to reality, I really like the new 2017 Cayman S. There are subtle changes to the body styling. When you compare it to the much more expensive 911 series, they share many design cues for the exterior as well as interior. Like most Porsche enthusiasts I want a car with the legendary flat six engine. My timing is wrong that in this model year face lift for the first time the Cayman and its convertible counterpart Boxster transition to four cylinder engine. The displacements also reduced to 2.0 and 2.5 liter. Both however is now turbocharged. With the smaller engines the Cayman and Boxster models are faster than previous models with naturally aspirated flat-six engines, according to Porsche's published specifications.
2.0 l (left) and 2.5 l (right) 4-cylinder engine outputs; the most impressive is the platteau shape torque curves because of the turbocharger
I found this promotional video with snazzy animations which helped me seeing how the variable geometry turbocharger on the 2.5 l engine works
older Cayman S
718 Cayman S
911 Carrera S
I gave some thought to the paint finish. My preference is metallic white or metallic racing silver. I think the traditional metallic silver would look really good as well as keeping the car cool in the summer.
One of my rationalizations is I set out to fancy for a 911 but leaning towards to the Cayman. I am sold on the performance of the Cayman S but how does it stack up against the elegant and refined 911 in appearance?
911 and Cayman side by side
Cayman S; unlike many others the body side air vents are functional instead of cosmetic
911 Carrera S
911 Carrera S
911 Carrera S
unlike many others the body side air vents are functional instead of cosmetic
the variable geometry turbocharger of the 2.5 l engine
turbocharger of the 2.0 l engine without variable geometry
optional dynamic directional headlight
Citreon CV's directional headlight
Porsche's V-4 engine that produces 500hp for Le Mans 24-Hour
One thing that I could not reconcile is the published acceleration of the Cayman S with the new 2.5 liter engine. How on earth can it be so close to the 911 Carrera S which has a 6 cylinder engine and two turbo chargers. I then found this dyno test when the tuner reports 344 bhp at the wheels. They went on and estimated the 2.5 liter engine is likely has more than 400 bhp instead of the published 350 PS net engine output. It is possible their dynamometer is badly out of calibration.
BHP and torque measured at the rear wheels
do note that these (Porsche marketing) curves looks too smooth and the sharp leading edge of the torque curves look very artificial
This site has a very good report of the new Porsche B4 engines and their relationship to the B6 engines - a modular engine designs that share many common elements.
The most unexpected thing is today, of all the mid-engine performance cars in production, Porsche offers the most affordable one in the Cayman and Boxster series.
I am in justification and rationalization phase of this potential purchase right now. It is certainly not something that is essential as for my needs of a "daily driver" my 2005 Mini Cooper S is a perfect vehicle even 12 years later. The Cayman S or a Cayman GT4 would be an emotional purchase. There is due diligence to be conducted - like insurance, finance, disposition of the Mini, garage, and purchase timing. I would certainly want to experience the European delivery at Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart (over in Leipzig).
As to the transmission choice, my heart and limbs want the 6-speed manual, but my head rationalizes the faster shifting 7-speed Doppelkupplung.