If you’re in the market for a fiftyish thousand pound sportscar, you’d be well advised to have a good close look at the Porsche Cayman R. The reviews have been excellent. It’s a Cayman S with a bit less weight and a bit more power and seats which hold you like a teenager holds a grudge. You can have it in a silly colour with silly graphics down the side and you know that movable spoiler at the back? It no longer moves. And while we’re on the topic of stuff the R doesn’t have, that includes air-conditioning and a stereo. They’ve been removed to save weight. Unlike the GT3 RS, they’re not no-cost options. If you want the nice people at the factory to fit them into your Cayman R, you’ll have to give them some money and by ‘some’ I meant quite a lot.
I was talking to a nice bloke at the Porsche Centre in Hatfield about the Cayman R. We were talking about test driving the demonstrator and he said that they have a driving consultant who would take me out and show me what the car could do. I was a little hazy about what a driving consultant does but it sounds a lot like an instructor. Now, surely some Porsche customers would be willing to take instruction? They can’t all be know-it-all smart arses incapable of listening to someone who knows how to drive better than they do? It’s possible that they are. An instructor is just a teacher who doesn’t teach children. These people haven’t listened to a teacher since they first realised they knew everything. While they wouldn’t listen to a teacher, Porsche thinks that they might listen to a consultant. A consultant is someone who tells you what you already know and charges you £400 an hour for the privilege.
All this is confirmation, as if any were needed, that Porsche knows how to market its cars. They’re very serious cars for very serious people. My old mum would have called them ‘po-faced.’ They employ consultants or are consultants. What you see above is not a serious car, at least not in the way the Cayman is. While the Cayman R doesn’t know how to tell a joke and drinks only spa water, the car above has a store of ribald and indiscreet stories and goes on occasional whisky binges to celebrate its successes. The car above is a Morgan Plus 4 Supersports. It’s a celebration itself; 2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Plus 4’s class victory at the Le Mans 24 Hour race and this year is the sixtieth anniversary of the original introduction of the Plus 4. It’s a Plus 4 with a little less weight and a little more power. There’s a theme developing here. You can have it in slightly silly colours and there are slightly silly badges and graphics.
I’m a Morgan fan. I like the cars and the culture and the fact that Charles Morgan follows me on Twitter. I also like that this wonderful thing is only the second most wonderful thing that Morgan makes. It’s a stablemate to the unutterably magnificent 3 Wheeler. It costs £49,995 before options. The Cayman R starts at £51,728 before you add the air-conditioning and stereo and you will add the air-con and music. The idea of air-conditioning in the Morgan is as silly as expecting the Queen Mum to have been a skilled unicyclist. You can have it with a hard-top and even a stereo, if you must. It’s more likely you’ll want it to come ready to race. I know I do.