We Can’t Make a Case for the Porsche Cayman Black Edition

A great sports car masquerading as an AmEx Centurion card.

byBen Keeshin| PUBLISHED Oct 5, 2015 8:58 PM
We Can’t Make a Case for the Porsche Cayman Black Edition

Porsche has announced its latest special-edition car, the Porsche Cayman Black Edition. For $6,600 over the price of a bog-standard Cayman—which to our knowledge doesn’t and has never existed—customers get roughly $13,000 worth of bundled equipment, including a Sport Design steering wheel, embossed headrests, “Black Edition” door sill logos, auto dimming mirrors and upgraded wheels and headlights. In what could be a joke about German cars generally, the Black Edition comes standard with black paint, with an option of metallic black paint.

Labeling a legitimate sports car—as this Cayman surely is—"for poseurs" is the work of the YouTube commentariat. Right off, it would be easy to name this Black version of Porsche’s most modest, least expensive sports car a status grab, or to assign its Porsche crest-embossed headrests to the dustbin of desperation. But let’s scratch the gloss-black surface: For whom does this proverbial Cayman LX sing?

The Cayman Black Edition buyer appreciates style, but nothing outrageous. Leave Raf Simons’ crotch-bearing tunics to the downtown fringe—the CBE buyer preens in black athleisure-wear. Judging by the special Black Edition door sills, monogramming is a draw. The bi-xenon headlights and 20-inch wheels denote a high-spec car, but the 2.7-liter, 275-horsepower engine has undergone no workout regimen. Perhaps CBE buyers have found that enough showmanship, like gym-pumped bis, tris, delts and lats, keeps potential adversaries from engaging long enough to discover the average abilities beneath the ornament.

The Porsche Cayman sports an open greenhouse and just over 14 feet of length, so the inclusion of front and rear park assist throws the CBE buyer’s technical abilities into some doubt—maybe he finds glancing rearward needlessly contemplative? The included Sound Package Plus includes a control for turning the bass all the way up.

Yet no frippery or silly name could ever make the Cayman any less a delight to drive; the Black Edition will stop, turn and steer as sweetly as its less self-serious brethren. The myriad logos and badges don’t weigh much. Maybe the Black Edition is for serious drivers who need the dynamic benefits of the 20-inch Carrera Classic wheels?

And beyond the inarguably pleasing performance, the Black Edition does represent a 50-percent discount on the included equipment. Could we assign this car to shrewd bargain hunters? Sensible folks who yearn for sparkly, jewel-like headlights and fairly run-of-mill navigation systems?

No. Forgive us. The Cayman Black Edition is for poseurs.