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Finally drove a Cayman GTS - quick impressions

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Finally drove a Cayman GTS - quick impressions

 
Old 12-17-2018, 11:27 AM
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Default Finally drove a Cayman GTS - quick impressions

Got some seat time in a friend's 2015 Cayman GTS yesterday. It's a 2015 with the flat six and a PDK. Has pretty much every performance option available - PASM, sport+, sport exhaust, 20" wheels, etc. Non-power seats for weight savings, you get the idea. The car has swapped-in 911 front calipers, and girodisc rotors all around. The car also has an aggressive alignment for track use (where he runs 19" with R-comps). Coincidentally, this is the same GTS that I rode in at Homestead a few years ago, where I crawled out gasping, and saying "no one needs a car any faster than this" (Translation: I don't have the skill to exploit everything this car can deliver on the track).

Initial impressions - the PDK is really impressive. We have a PDK in our 2009 911 S Cab, but that's from 2009. I've always raved about how good that one is. But they've made serious improvements by 2015. I can't believe how fast it shifts, and how smooth it is while doing it. With sport engaged (not sport+), it's always in the right gear. And if you want to be in a different gear, the shifts are practically instantaneous. Wow, seriously impressed. The paddle shifters make a lot more sense on this car than our 911. Left paddle to downshift, right paddle to upshift. The sport exhaust is really nice too. It's plenty loud with the sport baffles engaged, makes some wild burbles when you come off throttle, and the rev matched downshifts just sound amazing.

Now, comparing it to the 911 and turbo Cayman S we have. From a feel and balance perspective, it's just planted. More so than my 06 Cayman. And it has more of that mature, solid feel that I see more of in our 911. With me at the wheel, there was just a hint of understeer present when pushing it, even with the heavy negative camber. But it's very stable and confidence inspiring, never felt a hint of oversteer. Driving it back to back with the owner, he jumps on the throttle MUCH earlier when cornering, and the car just hunkers down and powers out. Obviously, I was a bit more cautious.

The one thing that surprised me is that I expected it to be equal to or slightly quicker than our 911 in a straight line. Sure, it's 385 vs 350 hp, but I would expect the 911 Cab to be carrying a bit more weight. I just didn't get that impression from the driver's seat. I think the tall gearing on the 981 contributes to that. I saw 72mph at redline in second gear, and did not max out third. The gearing just felt really tall in this car. My turbo Cayman feels like it has a LOT more grunt, although PDK vs 6-speed is probably a big equalizer in overall acceleration.

Overall, I really liked it.

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Old 12-17-2018, 12:25 PM
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Gearing is a big factor in the Cayman. It's definitely "handicapped" compared to the 911.
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:02 AM
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I am not a fan of the short gears in many of today's cars. Good to hear you can get some use out of each gear on that car.
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Old 12-18-2018, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mosesbotbol View Post
I am not a fan of the short gears in many of today's cars. Good to hear you can get some use out of each gear on that car.
Yeah, but same issue with my old GT4 is to hear that flat six sing, you only get two redlines before you're above 80mph. Plus, it felt pretty flat (relatively speaking and pardon the pun) below 5,200rpm or so. So, climbing out of the hole in first gear takes a little while before you get into the meat of the powerband. Anyway, still sweet cars, but if it had a close ratio gearbox, it would definitely increase the fun factor noticeably.

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Old 12-18-2018, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by QUIKAG View Post
Yeah, but same issue with my old GT4 is to hear that flat six sing, you only get two redlines before you're above 80mph. Plus, it felt pretty flat (relatively speaking and pardon the pun) below 5,200rpm or so. So, climbing out of the hole in first gear takes a little while before you get into the meat of the powerband. Anyway, still sweet cars, but if it had a close ratio gearbox, it would definitely increase the fun factor noticeably.
I didn't consider it from the track perspective as I just drive on the road. Especially with the paddles, 8 speeds is not so fun to keep constantly change gears. Did the the GT4 have an active exhaust valve?
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Old 12-18-2018, 06:55 AM
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The tall gearing in my GTI is one of my biggest complaints about it. There's power all over, but unless you really wring it out there's a very noticeable drop after shifting.
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mosesbotbol View Post
I didn't consider it from the track perspective as I just drive on the road. Especially with the paddles, 8 speeds is not so fun to keep constantly change gears. Did the the GT4 have an active exhaust valve?
Yeah, GT4 comes with sport exhaust standard. The GT4 was actually better on the track than around town as at the track you're at high rpm all the time and once you're out of 1st and 2nd, the gearing in 3-6 (GT4 only comes with six-speed manual) is actually pretty good. It's just 1-2 that feels really long, especially on the street.

Anyway, the PDK fixes a lot of those issues as the gearing is a bit tighter and seems to wind through the powerband a touch faster, plus the shifts are very fast.
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:05 PM
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Yeah 1st and 2nd in the gt4 is noticeably long to the point it kills alot of the fun. Great cars that wake up once you get in its proper environment. Personally, they're great cars but a little underwhelming considering their cost and repair costs, I'd still love one but in my economic situation I'd have a hard time choosing it over a c7. Not to say necessarily that the c7 is better.
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