New models: Porsche Cayman R vs 964 RS

Video for the new Cayman R is currently being rolled out across Porsche’s Youtube and Facebook pages. I like the look, especially in this wicked launch colour of Peridot Metallic, which is very reminiscent of Lind Green (on the Porsche 928 below).

Cayman R is an interesting car. This is the first Porsche Cayman with a power-to-weight ratio better than a current Porsche 911. With a 10bhp per tonne advantage compared to a 911 Carrera, its slower 0-60 time is a head scratcher. It’s not putting off the younger buyers: the next generation of Porsche buyers clearly prefers the Cayman to the older 911.

I was on a road trip with Autocar magazine this week, doing a two-day feature in Wales. On day two, the photographer shared his enthusiasm for Porsche cars, and how, together with his girlfriend, he was planning to buy a Cayman S: “the best car Porsche have ever made”, as he put it.

There’s no doubt that the current crop of new Porsche cars are the best in recent memory. Thing is, stars of the classic Porsche show have dropped all depreciation, and are offered at the same money as cars like the Cayman R, that have yet to turn a wheel.

UK prices start at £51,000 including current VAT at 17.5%, more or less the same price as the 33,000-mile 964 RS I have for sale on consignment at the minute.

Say you’re a slightly younger Porsche fan with £50k to spend. What do you choose – a Cayman R or a 964 RS? There’s a line in the sand. For old boys like me, it’s an easy decision to make, but for youngsters who only see the 964 bumpers and 20 years of wear and tear?

ps: First one to take me for a ride in their new Cayman R wins an Impact Bumpers t-shirt!

10 Comments

  • Murph says:

    I like the Cayman R a lot but it does have a tinge of marketing to it to prove that "yes we still build light weight, track specials below $100k USD." However, It's hard to turn down a car that's mid-engined, attractive and comes with a warranty compared to a 964.

    • johndglynn says:

      Yes Murph, marketing is probably the word most people will use when talking about the car. I think they've gone a touch too far calling it R when it has no carbon panels and the technology is commonplace now, but what is heritage for, if not to run to when no one has any better ideas? Least it is a sports car!

      Enthusiasts can't have it all ways. A real Cayman R would be what? 14 units stripped to the bone and sold with a handbuilt price tag? What good would that do anyone beyond the 14 speculators? I guess this is the next best thing. More weight off and more power in would have been a better job is what I am thinking.

      • Murph says:

        To be honest, I like what they did with the Boxster Spyder a lot. From everything I read, it's a fantastic drive as well. However, I wish they'd gone the distance with the Cayman and done some serious upgrades versus the mild "Spyder" treatment we see here. Put a GT3 /GT3RS engine in there, keep the light weight seats and doors, thinner rear glass and maybe an optional radio as well and light weight wheel.s

        Perhaps that's more the Cayman "R" people want to see – one that can match the 911 on power. However, we all know that Porsche won't produce one of those! That type of Cayman, to me, would be an easy and definitive decision over a 964 RS.

  • karl says:

    I would choose the RS, as I find it more appealing than the Cayman R ; it has the benefit of history as well as an earned RS moniker. They still make newer cars too heavy imho. Wife says Porsche using colors like this, gives us men an excuse to give free rein to our inner colour buddha's and use with abandon, terms such as Chartreuse.

  • As a young man of 24, I’d consider myself a “youngster”, and I would take the 964 RS in a heartbeat over the Cayman R. A young friend of mine has a Cayman S (the bugger), and it is an impressive machine, but it’s nowhere near as visceral as a 964 RS. That’s still quite a bit of money to spend on any car for a youngster, seeing as how we haven’t had the years to accumulate much wealth, so I think that a 964 Carrera 4 is a more realistic target. For me, at least.

  • johndglynn says:

    £20K! Too rich for me. When they're £10-£12k I might start considering it, depending on the rattle factor 😉

  • another young guy checking in with a vote for the 964 rs. for me it comes down to this: chances are the guy buying the 964 rs (and not the low miles, trailer queen collectible, mind you, but the well-sorted, quite possibly high-miles driver) loves spirited b road driving, track driving, or both. it's also quite likely that this chap appreciates porsche's storied history and the special place that models like the rs occupy therein.

    now, it's also quite conceivable that the guy buying the cayman r falls into this category of porsche owner. but it's also just as conceivable that he's buying the cayman r because it's the most expensive cayman that money can buy.

    given my druthers, i would prefer to be associated with the former.

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