2011 Porsche Cayman R Hot Lap! – 2011 Best Driver’s Car Contender

Every car in the 2011 Motor Trend Best Drivers Car competition was lapped around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca by hot shoe Randy Pobst. Our next competitor, the …

What do you think?

Written by Social Bookmark


  1. Build quality and reliability are different things. If they aren’t then Hondas have the best build quality in the world…

  2. There is a fastidious road test of the Cayman R here:

    definitiveautoreview . com/road-tests/porsche/12-porsche-cayman-r/

  3. @jkheslekrants Ok, I’m sorry but I had to comment- I love American cars, but you are making no sense. You realize that the GT500 and ZL1 have a little better lap times not because of their performance in the corners, but rather the supercharged V8’s under the hood. The Cayman is the master of the corners. The ZL1 and GT500 are the masters of the straights.

  4. There is a fastidious road test of the Cayman R here:

    definitiveautoreview . com/road-tests/porsche/12-porsche-cayman-r/

  5. ZL1 is only as heavy as it is and uses the LSA over the LS9 because GM didnt want a Camaro to be too close to Vette performance levels. As for Fit/finish and build quality you must have never owned a German car, they spend more time in the shop than on the street due to their “build quality.” Finally “anyone can slap a huge engine (in)to a ladder frame” and go straight sure, but not pull higher G’s than your hallowed Porches through turns. The American cars are more advanced than u give’m credit

  6. American here. I get your loyalty, but even Porsche has stated on many occasions that they purposely make the Cayman/Boxter slower because people who pay more for the 911 would be upset. Tweaked to its prime the Cayman will slay a 911 on the track, The road hogs you listed are a joke in comparison to build quality, engineering and handling. Anyone can slap a huge engine to a ladder frame.

  7. Best handling car he’s ever driven yet it is slower than Camaro ZL1, ’13 GT500, and even the Boss 302! All of which are equal or less money. So much for American cars not bein able to take turns. Must be Rough to get beaten by our “Fat Heavy Turd, straight line only” Cars. World Move aside. The USA is #1

  8. It’s too bad that Porsche won’t give this car more power. I know Porsche is worried about the Cayman cannibalizing 911 sales, but time and time again, you hear people say the Cayman is the best handling car. Until Porsche makes the 911 mid engine or give the Cayman 911 power levels, I won’t be spending my money on a Porsche. 

  9. I had a Cayman S with PDK for 3 years and have driven a 2012 Cayman R with PDK for about 1 year already and I love both of them. The R is quicker in acceleration and slightly better in handling and sharp corning. With the A/C, CD radio and leather sport seat, it is as comfortable as the S and perfect for daily driving.

  10. I’ve driven a Cayman S with the PDK and the manual. There’s no comparison. One is a confidence booster for people who can’t appreciate the joys of an involved driving experience, while the other is a recipe enjoyed by connoisseurs of driving. I’m sure your Cayman is fun to drive, b/c it has the best chassis of any Porsche currently on the market. That said, you’ve robbed yourself of one of the greatest driving experiences ever: perfect chassis mated to perfect gearbox.

  11. There’s a critical difference b/ween an F1 car and a Porsche Cayman: one is a high-performance race car and the other is a sporty road car. Nobody on the road is fending off another race car. I support paddle-shift gearboxes in racing, since every fraction of a second counts. There is absolutely no need to shave 4 tenths of a second off of your morning commute. I’ve driven sequentials, single-clutches and double clutches, and none of them come close to the satisfaction of rowing your own gears.

  12. There is an in depth review of the ’12 Cayman R here:
    definitiveautoreview . com/road-tests/12-porsche-cayman-r/

  13. Dear Motor Trend,

    This video series would be so much better if the driver wasn’t speaking. Have one of your wordsmiths create a narrative and overlay that audio without interfering with the sound of the car. Listening to this driver mumble while driving the car is distracting and irrelevant to the subject of the video.

  14. I think you have the wrong emphasis of what driving is. Just because you gotta move your left foot a little bit and move your arms to shift doesn’t make you a “more involved” driver. You want to focus on that and not worry about lap times, that’s your deal. Others want to focus on their racing lines and throttle and brake modulation, the emphasis of real racing drivers (look at f1). If you disagree, i think you should drive around without your seat belt so you can even ‘more engaged’ .

  15. You don’t have to believe me about my participating in clubspec events. That said, please call up ANY clubsport group. I don’t care if it is a 3-series club, Miata club, Porsche club, etc, just give them a call and ask about the manual vs paddle demographic. Every single club will tell you that the nearly all of their members drive manual transmissions at the track. A paddle shift car, no matter how balanced and precise, can EVER be as engaging as a manual transmission car.

  16. I’m calling bullshit on your experience. Just because a performance school requires you to know how to use a manual doesn’t relate to your driver’s car point.
    I have a manual transmission but claiming “a driver’s car has a manual transmission, no exceptions” is a small minded and ignorant statement.
    A driver’s car is a car that has great handling, good feedback, and is fun to drive. Just because you’re not rowing gears, doesn’t mean it’s not a driver’s car.

  17. Actually, almost everyone at the track drives a manual transmission car. Out of the 84 members of the Northern New Jersey Porsche Club, only 6 have flappy paddle cars and only one of them is in the “expert” run group. That’s why EVERY performance driving school requires you know beforehand how to drive a manual. I’m sorry if you only believe people with GoPro videos. I don’t care to spend $250 for other people’s enjoyment.

  18. I was trying to find your videos since clearly you’re a total expert and know firsthand about all this and have your own videos. But no… you just watch too much top gear. The people who talk about manual transmissions don’t actually track.

  19. 2:09, did you hear that?? Thats all I need for my argument, this thing is just amazing, the chassis is sooo good, its looks great, and with the cayman R, it finally has more power which it deserves. Porsche, stop holding back the Cayman, let it loose, its time for a Cayman Turbo S!!

  20. Well if u don’t care about lap times, then u must only drive convertibles cuz they’re more enjoyable. All drivers cars are convertible. No exceptions.

    Oh wait, for real sensation of speed, u must ride a motorcycle, slower around bendy tracks but more involved. Men only ride motorcycles. No exceptions.

    Look, no one’s forcing u to watch these. Everyone has a preference and nobody’s wrong. The only wrong thing to do is to be an a-hole and cram ur opinions down people’s throats.

  21. The Mustang has over 120 bhp more and over 100lb/ft more torque.. and only 0.5 of a second quicker. That makes the Mustang crap, doncha agree 😉

  22. You can learn how to do it in half a day but doing it competitively takes a long longer. When I took the Formula 200 class I was able learn how to do it in half a day as well but I wasn’t anywhere close to the pace of the professional instructors but when I took the AMG Challenge class I was racing behind the instructor flat out at the same pace. Driving road cars with ABS, traction control, stability control and auto gearbox were a lot easier in comparison.

  23. Like I said earlier, when I transitioned from karts, which either had just a centrifugal clutch or shifter karts, where the clutch is only used to start and stop, to formula cars (Barber Dodge cars back in the day) the first thing I had to learn was heel/toe. It took me half a day. After that I have never thought about it again, where I think about everything else constantly. Seriously, it’s blipping the throttle with the side of your foot, are you really tell me that’s hard?

  24. Ooooo yeah?!!! Is that’s what your extensive experience told you? How about heel-tow downshift to match the revs while trail-braking into the corner? Is that a no-brainer as well?

  25. Yeah, save all the weak manual transmission arguments. I had to hear them from way too many old men in Hawaiian shirts. There’s nothing to shifting gears. Calling it “fun” or “connected” is just disingenuous. There’s no skill involved unless you are just completely uncoordinated. If you need to ad an arbitrary activity to driving, try knitting, otherwise pushing or pulling a lever for gear selection is on the same level as crank starting a car. It’s dead and people should get used to it.

  26. My Miata club often shares a track with the local Porsche club. Over 90% of the cars have manual transmissions, even the new Caymans and 911’s. Unlike you, we don’t care to shave time off of our laps. We just want to have fun, and a paddle-shift gearbox robs us of the fun. A car isn’t a driver’s car if the car does all the work for the driver. I fully support paddle-shift gearboxes for racing, since every tenth counts. For having fun, however, it’s manual or nothing.

  27. As you are an instructor, I can appreciate why you like paddle-shift gearboxes: they are faster, more precise and allow you to concentrate on squeezing another few tenths of a second out of each lap. A driver’s car, however, is about having fun. It’s about being one with the machine and enjoying the sensation of rowing through the gears.

  28. You are the ignorant one. MT specifically stated that a driver’s car is an emotional car, not the fastest car. Why else do you think the 167 hp Miata finished ahead of the 640 hp Corvette ZR1 in MT’s 2009 Driver’s Car Competition? I am a 4-time Skip Barber graduate, myself, (Limerock Raceway in CT) and compete in clubspec events with my local Miata club. Manuals are more fun. I’m not alone in thinking that, since my comment is the highest rated comment for over 3 months.



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