Gman test drives the Porsche Cayman S

Gman test drives the Porsche Cayman S

porsche-cayman-s-15For those who follow Me/We/ZeN on twitter (@gmanZeN) you will know that I like going to Manchester and I also like the Porsche 911 C4S so I thought I’d kill 2 birds with one stone (for the record, no physical birds were harmed in the writing of this blog only metaphorical ones). So I went along to the Porsche Centre Wilmslow dealership and was shown around 2 hugely specked Porsches by a young salesman called Charles Webb who I believe has the potential to supersede his current title or if he doesn’t he will be asking customers at the golden arches “do you want fries with that?” (But I digress)

Porsche 911 C4S

2005-C4S-001Now this is my favourite car. Period. I love this car in black paint work and with black leather interior. This particular model also had a serious amount of extras such as black wheels, SATNAV and my new found favourite, Tiptronic with F1 style paddle gear shift and if you’ve never had the pleasure of having a car that has this feature then you’re missing something. I have been driving for over 30 years and I’ve always gotten manual cars until I got a Mercedes SLK Tiptronic and my driving needs completely changed.

Charles gave me the chance of sitting behind the wheel of this prime example of German automotive technology. Now if you’re a Porsche fan or even have a basic knowledge of cars (OK Porsches in particular) you would know there are a few models in the range that are faster however I just don’t want to go very fast, I also like aesthetics and naturally aspirated engines (i.e., beautiful looks & non Turbo). Now I loved this beautiful car but didn’t inquire about the price because I knew it would cause my angina to possibly flair up! With the above in mind I asked Charles if he had any info about the Porsche Cayman Black S Limited Edition and he said not only could he talk about the said machine he could also show me one!

Porsche Cayman Black Limited Edition
Limited-Edition-2011-Porsche-Cayman-S-Black-Edition-Rear-ViewNow this is a model that was introduced into the Porsche range roughly 2 years ago and is the undisputed top of the Cayman range. The spec was immense; comparable to the Porsche 911 C4S I previously mentioned above and comes with a commemorative plaque on the dash telling you what number model it is out of the 500 made in the series. This particular model was number 200 out of the 500 made worldwide. Again Charles invited me to sit behind the wheel knowing full well this would maximise my non driving pleasure!

I did ask the price of this model and was told it had 5000 miles on the clock and was selling for £42,000 which does sound a lot; however, it’s my dream car! (Until I can get behind my all-time favourite which is Porsche 911 C4S but that’s another story).I left the showroom and took Charles’ card and he suggested that if I wanted to test drive either then just give him a call which I think sooner rather than later, I will…

2 weeks later…..

2005_BMW_330Ci_ZHP_SilverI’m driving down the road in Derby and I pass the BMW dealership where I had purchased a Silver BMW 330 Coupé CI a few years ago which was beautiful however they had sold it to me knowing that it had a fault with the engine. I pointed out the problem with the engine to them and I also pointed out that I had a one year warranty on the car, however the dealership wiggled their way out of changing the engine and I vowed never to set foot in their place of business ever again!

Fast forward 4yrs later….

Then I saw on the BMW dealership forecourt a black Porsche Cayman S that looked so phat and seemed to be saying to me “Come in, the water’s lovely!” So after swallowing my pride I enter the building, speak to the salesman called “Big” Tony Higton and arrange a test drive of this Black Beauty.

Confession is good for the soul…

So I arrive 2 hours later than we had agreed, Tony is cool and shows me to the BB. He drives the car out of the dealership and takes me to a location where I can take control. Once Tony parks the car he turns the engine off (just in case I decide to drive off with the car and him by the roadside which does make sense even though he’s seen all my details/driving licence but I’m cool). While I’m sitting in the car my mind goes back to when in 1998, while I was in London I went to the McLaren dealership and the way I was treated (read my blog on the site “Gman test drives the Mac Daddy and Big Dog” for more info).

670x377ImageI also remember my experience of entering the Audi dealership on Pride Park in Derby again a few years ago when I had agreed to test drive the then new R8 only to be stopped in the foyer and told that Audi had stopped allowing the car to be test driven (yes, a car manufacture wants a potential customer to no longer be able to drive before you buy but I digress).

Tony suggests I drive in automatic first then switch over to Tiptronic. I indicate then drive off as if I’m auditioning for the secondary role in Driving Miss Daisy. 30 seconds later I’m in F1 mode; this is when I make my confession to Tony. “I have never driven a Porsche!” I remember thinking that Tony’s facial colour has changed! I totally floor the accelerator and BB becomes BBB i.e. Black Beauty Beast!

Porsche_Panamera_EngineThe 30+ year wait to drive my dream manufacturer is certainly worth the wait. The car is precise and seriously powerful, giving me instantly all the power its 325BHP and 3.4litre engine can muster. The sound when the car is tootling along is normal until you floor it then you hear the engine play a different tune!

Another thing to point out is the sound of the exhaust/engine; it’s awesome when you start this machine up. Please also bear in mind that the Cayman model is cheaper than the Carrara range but isn’t much slower. For example, the performance of the Cayman S approaches that of Porsche’s flagship sports car, the 911 Carrera. For example Rally legend Walter Röhrl lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife track in a Cayman S equipped with optional 19″ wheels, PCCB, and PASM (what does that mean?) in a time of 8 minutes and 11 seconds. The time for a standard Cayman S, as published by the manufacturer, was 8 minutes, 20 seconds.

Porsche_911_Carrera_S_(7522427256)How fast is the 911 Carrara? Well Röhrl recorded 8 minutes, 15 seconds on the same circuit. The similarity in performance between the two cars has led to speculation about whether the Cayman S will eat into sales of the Carrera, as the basic Carrera’s recommended retail price in the UK is higher than that of the Cayman S.

During the journey Tony tells me that his favourite manufacturer was Porsche but now it’s BMW and goes on to tell me how he won a competition open to salesmen in the Derby branch to go to Germany and drive seriously fast M Sport cars.

Porsche logo(3)On our return journey back to the showroom and me having put the BBB through its paces, I ask Tony “So which is your favourite car?” he informs me that at the start of the day it was BMW however he’s leaning towards the Porsches now…..

Next on my horizon will be to test drive the Cayman Black Limited Edition and my all-time favourite Porsche model which is the 911 C4S. Charles, stand by your phone because my call will be coming….

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