Porsche Cayman and Boxter 718: Perfection on the move
The Porsche Cayman and Boxster have always been acknowledged as true sports cars with its rich racing heritage. My first encounter with the Cayman and Boxster were about 4 years ago and I then declared that it was one of the more affordable and enjoyable sports cars available.
t was with a real small boy eagerness that I attended the launch in Cape Town. All the readers that know me, know that sound plays a very important role in the enjoyment of a sports car and thus I was a bit concerned about the new 718’s sound, as it said goodbye to the flat six cylinder engine so well known for its poise, power and sound.
Walking into the Cape Town dealership the 718’s in the foreground looked beautiful. Their wider muscular fronts showed their stance and the other subtle changes added to the already good looks. From the back the wide stance and tyres really rounded off these 718 Porsches. The interior is classy, well-crafted and I loved the steering wheel thickness and the comfort of the body hugging seats.
The business part of the controls are well laid out with all of the important controls and information right at hand.
I really was worried for a moment when I started the 220kW 4 cylinder 1,988cc engine. It had a mechanical sound to it that said, I am tough I may not scream it out as my predecessors did, but try me. I did. What a surprise. The 718 Cayman came to live reaching 100km/h in 5.1 seconds and it howled all the way to a top speed of 275 kph and reaching about 8000 rpm. And remember this was the baby not even the Cayman S with its 257kW, 2,497cc 4 cylinder engine that can do 285 kph and reaches 100km/h in 4.6 seconds. Sorry I got carried away I did not do those speeds. I did however put the 718 Cayman through its paces going up and through the Franschhoek pass. O what bliss when turning, braking and accelerating. This is one, if not, the most perfectly balanced, mid-engine sports car I have driven. It may not be the fastest but it surely provides pleasure to both driver and passenger. Part of the fun was using the four driving modes ranging from Normal, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. The setting you choose changes everything from the suspension, gear ratio, steering an engine. The 7 speed PDK gearbox is brilliant as it changes so fast and without losing power.
The 718 Boxster is not as good looking as the Coupé when the roof is up but then again with the roof down it looks much faster and sexy. The roof goes up fast and sound insulation is excellent.
Porsche has always been seen as a prestigious brand and technologically advanced that again brings its own problems especially when having to deal with mechanical breakdowns which is not really heard off when you have a Porsche. That being said, what is the experience when you do find yourself with mechanical failure of the gearbox of your Cayman when you are driving and it gets stuck in sixth gear?
Let Dr Paul Erasmus tell you. “Whilst travelling on the high way between hospitals my 2012 Cayman got stuck in sixth gear and would not budge. . I was upset as the Cayman had only done 69 000 km’s. I stopped the car, phoned Porsche SA call centre and they sent a flatbed to pick up the car and took it to Witkoppen. Later in the week the service manager called to say that the gearbox will have to be replaced and the estimated cost is R100 000.00. The car was out of its four years maintenance agreement. After negotiations done on my behalf with Porsche head office in Germany, I was informed that Porsche Germany will pay 70% of the cost and I was further informed that Mr Toby Venter offered to pay the remaining 30%. My Cayman was repaired and is as good as new. This is the best ever experience I ever had from a company in the last 30 years. Porsche and Mr Venter really put service and loyalty to a customer before money.
“This won’t be my last Porsche.”
On discussing this incident with Tobie Venter his comment was short and simple; “If it is not the fault of the customer then why must he be held responsible. He paid to enjoy his Porsche and that is what we see to.”
Congratulations on Porsche for ensuring excellence for their customers.
What makes a great car even greater is the assurance that you have a great dependable brand, dealership and team behind you that is as passionate about your car and your experience as they are about selling the brand.