2009 Porsche Cayman S PDK - First Drive Review

For the two-time 10Best-winning Cayman, a little more bite is a good thing.

First came the 911. Then the Boxster. Now the Cayman is the Porsche getting revised engines (including direct fuel injection for S models) and a new seven-speed twin-clutch transmission dubbedPorsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe—or PDK, for those not inclined to German. PDK replaces the aging Tiptronic five-speed manumatic transmission. The base Cayman's engine gets a 0.2-liter and 20-hp boost to 2.0 liters and 265 hp, and the Cayman S gains an additional 25 horses, up to 320.


The extra power isn't life-changing. Subjectively, the Cayman S PDK we drove (Porsche didn't let us drive any other setups) felt just about as quick as the 2008 model. Porsche claims a PDK-equipped Cayman S will accelerate to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds when performing a start in Sport Plus mode with launch control, a feature only available with the optional Sport Chrono package. We'd call that an extremely conservative estimate, considering the 4.8-second sprints we've whipped out of a 295-horse, manual-transmission S model, and that launch-control starts are engineered to allow the car to accelerate as quickly as physics will allow. We'll have to wait to test both transmissions to see which is ultimately quicker, but for now our money is on the PDK, with the manual a tenth or two behind.

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