F-Type is stunning, especially in British Racing Green, and attracts envious eyes, whereas the pebble-like 718 Cayman looks functional.
About that steering. If there is an electrically, or even hydraulically, assisted system out there with greater feel and accuracy, I have not come across it.
With absolutely no dead spot and the perfect amount of self- centering, it brings a complete absence of that treacly, elastic gloopiness that afflicts, even to a tiny degree, every other steering system out there.
It feels as meaty and satisfying as biting down on a perfectly medium-rare steak.
And that is just one control interface. Everything else speaks to the driver with the same utmost clarity, the kind that makes placing the Porsche on the road exactly where you want it an act of instinct.
Then I discover a series of flowing bends. Instructive thoughts burst into my head and I find myself muttering “brake here… lift off slightly… just a bit of lock... aim for the apex”.
That’s only because all my nerve endings are ablaze with flavour and wonderfully instructive information. It is like being personally coached by Usain Bolt himself on the nuances of going fast.
I just wanted to go again and again and again, each time feeling my way with my fingertips through a subtly different approach – with the line, with the throttle, with the brakes or steering input, to experience the tapestry come together in explosions of deep sensual pleasure.
The sense of control in the Cayman is immense and utterly, absorbingly addictive.
And oh, what an engine. The Cayman was first to the 4-cylinder party, and it has a motor of phenomenal ability. All snarls and gnarly metallic rasps, it sounds like the Bismarck’s anti-aircraft batteries have erupted behind you.
There is absolutely nothing to complain about regarding the quantity and quality of the Porsche’s power delivery, perhaps only that the chassis is so good it will handle much more violent power with ease.
If I had to criticise anything about the 718’s demeanour, it is that the Porsche takes itself very seriously, without, say, an MX-5’s bouncy, effervescent sense of humour. But that would be nitpicking of the most petty order.
The Jaguar is no doubt expertly balanced and multi- dimensional, and the Cayman is not in the same league in terms of comfort. But the naked truth is that the Briton, for all its good old-fashioned honesty, drives bigger and heavier than its German foe, pouring itself down the road more luxuriantly and less incisively.
Those of us who grew up with or are currently enjoying literary exploits with Pilot G2s will be well aware of the difference between the 07- and 05-spec pens.
The question then presents itself – do you want a fantastic grand-touring sports coupe, or do you want a transcendent driving experience?
The Porsche 718 Cayman is the definitive representation of its breed. Until the Alpine A110 turns up in Singapore to challenge the Cayman’s crown, it is the champion small sports car built first and foremost to entertain and absorb its driver.
Just as Obi-Wan Kenobi so articulately describes a lightsaber, it is an elegant weapon for a more civilised age.
THE 718 CAYMAN IS THE BETTER THRILL MACHINE AND FEELS LIKE A ROCKET-POWERED FLY; THE F-TYPE IS ALL SUBLIME DRAMA AND SEDUCTION, WITH BEAUTIFULLY SORTED RIDE AND HANDLING.