2011 Porsche Cayman


2011 Porsche Cayman Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Porsche Cayman was new.


Performance: 9.3

Other than a few gripes about the Cayman’s optional automatic transmission -- the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) -- reviewers have fallen in love with the 2011 Porsche Cayman’s on-road capabilities. The Cayman meshes speed, power and luxury seamlessly.

  • "As much as we like the Porsche 911, the Cayman is better to drive in many ways, thanks in large part to its lighter weight and optimal mid-engine layout." -- Car and Driver
  • "If the 911 Carrera is Porsche's flagship, then the Cayman is the fleet's gunboat. With its crisp lines and superb mid-engine balance, the Cayman could easily outperform the Carrera if Zuffenhausen gave the okay. Not gonna happen, my friend." -- Road and Track
  • "The risk Porsche engineers have taken all along with the Cayman is that, sooner or later, they'd dial its performance up so high its natural advantage in mid-engine balance and trimmer-scale would finally propel it into outshining the iconic 911 Carrera. Personally, I think that moment has arrived." -- Motor Trend
  • "They have smooth, ready power for any situation. S models have noticeably more muscle." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

With quick acceleration and plenty of power, shoppers who buy the 2011 Porsche Cayman will not be disappointed.

The base Cayman has a 2.9-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 265 horsepower at 7,200 rpm and 221 pound-feet of torque. The more powerful Cayman S features a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 320 horsepower at 7,200 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque. With a maximum speed of 175 mph, the Cayman R is the most powerful and fastest model. It has a 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 330 hp at 7,400 rpm and 273 pound feet torque. 

Porsche claims that the base Cayman has a top speed of 165 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The Cayman S trumps the base with a top speed of 172 mph and a 0 to 60 acceleration time of just 4.9 seconds.

All models have a standard six-speed manual transmission. The Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission is optional on all models, but isn’t cheap. The PDK costs $3,420.

According to the EPA, the base Cayman gets 19/27 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission and 20/29 city/highway with the automatic. The Cayman S nets 19/26 mpg city/highway with the six-speed manual transmission and 20/29 city/highway with the automatic. There is no fuel economy data available for the Cayman R.

  • "They have smooth, ready power for any situation. S models have noticeably more muscle.  ... The transmission has smooth shift and clutch action." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The dual-clutch transmission in our test car never failed to find the right gear at the right time and react instantaneously." -- Car and Driver
  • "While the 265-horsepower base Cayman lacks the sheer acceleration of the pricier 320-horsepower "S" variant, it does offer a somewhat more compliant ride. And with both versions possessing prodigious stopping power and offering optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that lets you fine tune the ride characteristics with the touch of a button, either Cayman may prove to be all the Porsche that you'll really want or need." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "As a Porsche, the 2011 Cayman maintains its reputation in excellence as a luxury sports vehicle. The Cayman has a maximum driving speed of 165 miles per hour and can go from zero to sixty in 5.5 seconds. It is a smooth ride that is always giving the illusion of speed." -- Automobile.com

Handling and Braking

Automotive journalists agree that the 2011 Porsche Cayman is an extraordinary handler. But depending on who you ask, you’ll find that some don’t like the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) because it affects ride quality. The Porsche’s mid-mounted engine enhances overall balance.

  • "[T]he Cayman's steering is more precise and communicative than any other real street car. The roads on our test loop were bumpy and wet today, and the Cayman's steering told me exactly how much grip I had at all times. And given that this is a perfectly damped, mid-engine car, that's always a lot. Even without the optional PASM adaptive damping, the balance of body control, grip, and compliance simply has to be experience to be believed." -- Car and Driver
  • "Even when traveling at high speeds, the car does not feel unstable or strained. It remains constant, smooth, and exquisite. This type of handling is not unique to the 2011 Cayman model; it merely carries on the tradition of quality Porsche engineering." -- Automobile.com
  • "The Cayman's super-stiff structure provides a rock-solid suspension platform that allowed chassis engineers to work true handling magic, complementing the excellent Porsche Stability Management system (PSM) with quick, responsive steering and a clutch-and-shifter combo that's near-perfect on both models." -- Kelley Blue Book

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