Tag Archive | "Porsche Cayman"

True Life Driving Experiences

Britain’s motorists are bombarded with signs and restrictions. The chances of a truly memorable drive are slim. Cars these days are becoming lifestyle accessories rather than objects of desire as the pleasure of driving for driving’s sake is swamped by regulation. Yet there could still be hope. Most if not all of our motor racing circuits now offer some form of ‘driving experience’ as part of their activities. For the most part they are good value with a variety of choice that should suit most budgets.

Think about how much it would cost you to own a highly desirable and highly accomplished Porsche Cayman, for example, as your daily driver. Sensational though the Cayman is, the cost of insurance, fuel, tyres and servicing puts this car out of the reach of most of us. Frankly, it’s just much cheaper to run a normal family car especially as there isn’t any opportunity to really exploit the potential of a sports car anyway.

Some of the money saved by running a frugal car could well go towards the cost of a driving experience or two at your local circuit. It’s one thing to believe all the promotional advertising but there’s no substitute for word of mouth. The following is what actually happened with a visit to Thruxton. This circuit is in Hampshire and is reputed to be the fastest in the UK.

The session starts with a sensibly detailed briefing that informs and instils in amateur drivers the paramount need for safety first. The next stage involves a spin around the circuit in a Mazda 3 MPS, driven by an instructor who gives a running commentary. This is rather more alarming than it sounds. The Mazda, despite its modest looks, is indecently fast and in the hands of an expert is quite a thrill in itself. Watching racing is one thing, experiencing it is quite another. This is fast.

The final stage is what everyone has been waiting for. The chance to drive a sports car – in this case a Cayman – one-to-one with an instructor. The laps that follow pass in a blur of speed as confidence grows in the car, in the instructor and in your own ability. It’s an adrenalin rush. The only thing wrong with the whole thing is that it has to stop. If funds permit Thruxton offers the added bonus of a run out in a BMW M3 with a well known racing driver, TV personality and drift specialist. A change of trousering may be necessary and the DVD of your face will be prized by the whole family.

Up and down the country our racing circuits offer these treats in a variety of cars at a variety of prices. It may seem like an extravagance but try it and you’ll agree that the opportunity to really open the taps on a sporting motor is money well spent. It certainly was at Thruxton.

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Captivating Cayman

Pardon our undignified drooling but here at Motor Blogger we think the new Porsche Cayman is very tasty indeed. If you want a suitable analogy, think of a chocolate coated Juliette Binoche (Ladies can add the hunk of their choice at this point – Daniel Craig, Ken Livingstone; whoever) serving you chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream in the upstairs room of La Chocolaterie Maya. Yes, it’s that tasty.

Shown at the recent Los Angeles show, we remarked in an earlier bulletin that the line between the Cayman and the more expensive 911 is becoming increasingly blurred and so it has proved. The top of the range Cayman S with the PDK gearbox and the Sports Chrono Pack can now achieve the same 0-60mph time as the entry level Carrera.

In the UK at least, with our rules, regulations and speed limits, the sporting driver might as well save a bundle of cash and opt for the smaller car. It is relatively inexpensive, has improved mpg and emissions figures and seats two in luxurious comfort. Which ever model you buy, always make sure you get the full leather interior – it’s gorgeous.

As is usual the car comes in two versions. – the standard Cayman and the faster ‘S’ model. The engines are a 271bhp, 2.7L flat six and a 321bhp, 3.4L in the latter car. Despite the reduction in engine displacement (the old Cayman had a 2.9L motor) the car is more powerful thanks to a thirty kilo weight loss. The body has yet more rigidity than its predecessor and overall the car is 15% more efficient.

There are some styling changes as you can see from the pic. It’s very similar to its Boxster sibling but with a few extra styling cues. Arguably, the coupé is better looking. The new car is longer, wider and lower than before and Porsche have even found an extra fifteen litres of usable luggage space for those long weekend’s away.

Amongst the admittedly expensive options there’s the choice of active dampers, torque vectoring and ceramic composite brakes for optimum handling, although the car in basic form is no slouch in that department. Also, as usual, buyers can specify the (probably indispensable) Sports Chrono Pack and top-of-the-range sounds from a Burmester system. All the usual toys are there too as you‘d expect.

All this is yours for a measly £40,000 at entry level rising up to £49k for the top spec. Sure, it’s a lot of money but when you consider what you’re getting it’s pretty much the sports car bargain of the year. Sadly Juliette is nowhere to be seen on the options list. Wonder what Ken Livingstone is doing these days?

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