Last year, the Porsche Cayman gained a new numerical name (718 is shared between it and its Boxster convertible sibling), incremental improvements to its handling and fundamental changes to its available engines. It didn't look that different, but there was a lot happening underneath the sheet metal.
Just like last year, the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman features turbocharged four-cylinder engines. These new engines outdo their six-cylinder predecessors in terms of output and fuel economy. But we're disappointed in the way they sound: They don't provide the high-revving excitement of the old flat-sixes.
That's the only area where the revised Cayman isn't clearly better, though. The steering is quicker and sharper, the brakes are more powerful, and the optional adaptive suspension gained an increase in adjustability. There's also a revised stability control system that provides more of a safety net out on the road in Normal and gives you more leeway in Sport.
This year's Cayman is pretty much unchanged, and we're just fine with that. If you're seeking a pure driver's car, there are few out there that can match the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman.
The 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman is a two-seat coupe available in Cayman and Cayman S trim levels. (The 718 Boxster is the convertible version and reviewed separately.) The Cayman has a turbocharged 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine (a flat-four) good for 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The Cayman S has a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four good for 350 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission (Porsche's PDK) is optional.
Standard features on the 718 Cayman include 18-inch wheels, performance summer tires, xenon headlights, LED running lights, heated mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, six-way adjustable seats (power backrest adjustments, manual all others), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, partial leather upholstery, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and satellite radio.
The 718 Cayman S only differs in its more powerful engine and 19-inch wheels.
Like every Porsche, the options list is extensive, allowing for a great deal of customization. Performance add-ons include a selection of 19- and 20-inch wheels, a steering upgrade for lighter low-speed effort, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that adds adaptive dampers and lowers ride height 10mm (the Cayman S is eligible for PASM Sport that lowers it 20 millimeters), Porsche Torque Vectoring (a brake-based differential), ceramic composite brakes and a sport exhaust.
There's also the Porsche Sport Chrono package, which includes dynamic transmission mounts, a digital and analog stopwatch mounted atop the dash, a driving mode switch on the steering wheel, launch control (for PDK models), an additional performance display, and a Sport response button that sharpens engine and transmission response for 20 seconds.
Comfort and convenience options include adaptive headlights, LED adaptive headlights, headlight washers, auto-dimming mirrors, a rear window wiper, power-folding mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated seats, 14-way power-adjustable seats, upgraded seats with more aggressive bolstering and either manual or power adjustments, several types of upgrade leather and upholstery, a navigation system, Car Connect (includes Apple CarPlay and a variety of emergency services), Car Connect Plus (adds a 4G LTE connection and Wi-Fi hotspot), updatable navigation maps and online navigation system elements, a 10-speaker Bose audio upgrade and a 12-speaker premium Burmester audio system.