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Porsche Cayman S

Considered by many automotive enthusiast to be the true "driver's Porsche," the Cayman's harder-edged demeanor and mid-engine layout commands respect. Compared to the base 911, the top-tier Cayman S sports a lower price (by about $12,000) and a smaller engine (3.4-liter versus 3.6-liter) with less horsepower (320 hp versus 345 hp), but its lighter curb weight and superior mid-engine balance make it nearly as quick and arguably more rewarding to pilot. For those who are even less concerned with speed and don’t mind saving a few extra bucks, there is the base 265 hp Cayman, which still hits 60 mph in under 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 165 mph, all for around $50,000. Pros: Mid-engine magic at a modest price. Cons: Will never carry the cachet of a 911.

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