2014 Porsche Cayman: Up Close

Caymangauges

Stare at the Porsche Cayman for a while, and you realize this might be the best-looking Porsche in the automaker's lineup. I declared that when the first-gen Cayman hit dealerships in early 2006, and it's safe to say Porsche did it again.

More 2012 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

This is no mere Boxster conversion. With its aggressive intake ports — nearly as gaping as the erstwhile Ferrari 360's — and trapezoidal center grille (psst! It's fake), the Cayman has simple flair. The taillights ape the Boxster's, with a cool bisecting fin that flows into a subtle tail-lid spoiler.

Caymanfront

A lengthy center console joins the dashboard, and Porsche's tradition of taut leather and all-business aesthetic is on display. The console takes up some knee space, but the seats adjust to all manner of ranges, so tall drivers should still fit. Stick-shift cars have a heavy, deep clutch and medium, well-placed throws; like in the Boxster, the automatic gets proper left/right paddle shifters rather than Porsche's old forward/backward levers. I'm glad the automaker finally relented.

Caymanconsole

An under-hood storage compartment can swallow a healthy 5.3 cubic feet of space — the same as before — while the rear trunk area behind the engine can stow 9.7 cubic feet, up half a cubic foot over the last Cayman. Add it up, and you could easily fit a weekend's luggage for two, with extra belongings in two deep cubbies on the shelf behind the front seats.

Caymantrunk

With the PDK dual-clutch automatic — it stands for Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, but you could also call it Pretty Damn Kwick — Porsche says the Cayman S hits 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, making it as quick as the new 911 Carrera. The carmaker's mid-engine Cayman and Boxster sport near-unbelievable balance, and the latest Cayman should follow that pedigree.

Cayman1

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