Scalpel, Please! A Cayman GTS
YOU MAY HAVE READ AN ARTICLE I WROTE a while back where I rented a Boxster 718 for a drive on the Angeles Crest Highway just north of Los Angeles.
In this latest chapter the protagonist is a Cayman GTS and the setting took me through Topanga Canyon, Calabasas Peak, Malibu Creek, the Santa Monica Mountains and along the famous Mulholland Drive.
Like last time, I rented through Turo — “the Airbnb of cars” — where people rent out their personal cars. I like this service as you can select a specific car and know that’s the one you’re going to be driving. The car in this case was a 2015 Cayman GTS with a 3.4-litre flat-six engine that generates 340 mid-engined horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, paired to a glorious six-speed manual transmission. Über. Canyon. Carver.
In the last episode, the Boxster I had rented was a 2017 model, and by then Porsche had swapped out the flat-six for a four-banger turbo. My biggest complaint with that one was the sound, which was a bit lacklustre. Not an issue with the 2015 Cayman GTS.
In the last episode, the Boxster I had rented was a 2017 model, and by then Porsche had swapped out the flat-six for a four-banger turbo. My biggest complaint with that one was the sound, which was a bit lacklustre. Not an issue with the 2015 Cayman GTS. The exhaust note was addictive beyond measure. Pair that with a six-speed stick, and it quickly took over my driving soul.
I picked up the car from an owner in Beverly Hills and headed along the Pacific Coast Highway towards Malibu, taking a right turn at the Topanga Canyon Boulevard to head into the mountains.
I spent lots of time ahead of the trip on Google Maps Street View, looking for what looked like good driving roads — less residential, more curves. But overall this was a more populous area than my last trip through Angeles Crest, so it’s harder to find the traffic-free roads that area provides. But you can find some, and they’re just as amazing to drive on.
As the sun sank below the far horizon, I drove to an area called Saddle Peak at the top of curvy Stunt Road to enjoy the last vestiges of daylight.
In terms of scenery, especially at sunset, this has to be one of the most beautiful locales in the world. Multi-million-dollar homes perch on the cliff faces seeming to defy gravity. As I drove into the evening, the sun kept sinking lower behind the mountain tops, encouraging me to drive higher on the hills to keep the gorgeous sunlight in view. As the sun sank below the far horizon, I drove to an area called Saddle Peak at the top of curvy Stunt Road to enjoy the last vestiges of daylight.
Then, sadly, I drove the GTS back to its rightful owner, who gets to enjoy these incredible roads whenever he likes. There’s a lot to like about Ontario, but these types of roads are unfortunately not in the cards for us. So for now I’ll keep renting Porsches when I travel, to hit the world’s best drives.
So between these two driving adventures, what are the key learnings? The Angeles Crest Highway was a better drive with less traffic and more curves. And the 2015 Cayman GTS was far more fun to drive than the 2017 Boxster 718. So if you’re heading to LA, take the Cayman to the ACH. </>
Photos by Christopher Hebert