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Could It Be Too Good?

It is difficult to find fault with the Porsche Cayman S.

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In the Porsche hierarchy, the Cayman S was penned to fit snugly below the mighty and ever so iconic Porsche 911, that gem of a sportscar that continues to be the success story of the brand. The Cayman was asked to play second fiddle to its elder and more accomplished sibling but I don’t think everyone at Porsche was in agreement. Second should not be this good.

The Porsche Cayman S was designed from scratch, adopting a mid-engined, rear wheel-driven layout that is the perfect recipe for motoring perfection. Located just 30 centimeters behind the driver, the 3,4-liter flat-six engine provides the shove and the soundtrack as you exploit the dynamics and sheer breadth of talent that comes from this car. The car’s 239 kilowatts (kW) and 370Nm of torque may not sound substantial on paper, but from helm, it’s blisteringly quick. The performance figures start to sound more convincing. It claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 280km/h.

The partnership of Porsche’s booming, normally aspirated engine with the PDK double clutch system is true automotive genius that allows the driver to capitalize on the full potential of this car in all driving modes. The more willing the driver, the more rewarding the driving experience, particularly in Sport or Sport Plus mode when performance is at its peak in steering, throttle, gearbox, engine management and suspension responses.

The metal-forged paddle shifters behind the steering give you the option to take control yourself, but if its absolute speed and immediate, unfaltering gear changes you are after, let the box do it for you. Sport Plus also allows you to go beyond the edges of traction as it allows a small degree of slip to make even the most unskilled drivers look like pros. The steering feels perfect and the response is flawless; all adding to a visceral experience of high performance motoring.

In complete contrast, driving the Cayman S in Normal mode is as comfortable and easy to drive as a B-segment hatch. This is, in part, due to the optional dynamic gearbox mounts that adapt their stiffness and damping characteristics in accordance with the driving conditions and changing road surfaces.  A softer drive yields a more comfortable and more compliant ride, the opposite being true for when you floor the pedal. The car is also more practical than other sportscars with enough room in the storage compartment, located at the front of the car, for at least a medium-sized suitcase and some more. For the smaller things, such as quick-stop shopping bags and laptop cases, there is some space behind the seats. In true Porsche spirit, the interior can be customized to suit any tastes, all at the risk of inflating the price and the ego.

At R838,000 ($75,800), it’s difficult to quantify the price in comparison to the Cayman S’ competitors. The Audi TT RS; Nissan 370Z Coupe; BMW Z4; Mercedes Benz SLK 55 AMG and Lotus Evora could be deemed its direct rivals and on this level, the Porsche could be seen as expensive, especially if you are besotted with ticking options. In truth, however, the Cayman S operates in an entirely different league which renders these cars as mere heel-snappers and makes the price argument more interesting. Firstly, consider that a Mercedes Benz SLK 55 AMG costs R999,000 ($90,500). The Lotus Evora costs R900,000 ($81,500). Such is the competence of the Cayman S that it allows us to start making comparisons to other inspirational sports cars such as the Jaguar F-Type (more expensive); and dare I say it, the entry-level 911 Carrera (a lot more expensive). You do the maths.

The Cayman S has many positive features, a lot of which are on the options list. I would strongly recommend to any potential buyers to purchase the Cayman S PDK with the optional Sport Chrono package as well as the Porsche Active Suspension Management. This will ensure you own a car at the height of its accomplishment. The Sport Chrono Package will include interior detailing such as analogue and digital clocks, a stopwatch/timer for recording your lap times and a g-Meter for displaying how brave you are in the corners. But, more important than the interior changes is the fact that the optional Sport Chrono Package enhances the engine, gearbox and chassis to deliver the sharpest and most rewarding driving experience. In Sport and Sport Plus modes the damping is hardened, the steering is more direct and the throttle blips on the shifts down the gears.

The Porsche Cayman S has oodles of competence and this makes it a very difficult car to fault. Using the contrast of its weaknesses would have made an easier conclusion for me but I’ve failed to find a kink in its character, its engineering and its value. The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists have also noticed this, as the Porsche Cayman S sits pretty in the line-up of finalists for the 2014 Car of the Year. I would award it the title without a doubt.

The Cayman S is good… possibly too good. And while Porsche may be attempting to attract buyers of competing products, I fear that the Cayman S may not be too content playing second fiddle any more. Murmurings of a more powerful Porsche Cayman GTS breaking cover add to my argument.

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30 under 30

Applications Open for FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 class of 2020

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FORBES AFRICA is on the hunt for Africans under the age of 30, who are building brands, creating jobs and transforming the continent, to join our Under 30 community for 2020.


JOHANNESBURG, 07 January 2020: Attention entrepreneurs, creatives, sport stars and technology geeks — the 2020 FORBES AFRICA Under 30 nominations are now officially open.

The FORBES AFRICA 30 Under 30 list is the most-anticipated list of game-changers on the continent and this year, we are on the hunt for 30 of Africa’s brightest achievers under the age of 30 spanning these categories: Business, Technology, Creatives and Sport.

Each year, FORBES AFRICA looks for resilient self-starters, innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors who have the acumen to stay the course in their chosen field, come what may.

Past honorees include Sho Madjozi, Bruce Diale, Karabo Poppy, Kwesta, Nomzamo Mbatha, Burna Boy, Nthabiseng Mosia, Busi Mkhumbuzi Pooe, Henrich Akomolafe, Davido, Yemi Alade, Vere Shaba, Nasty C and WizKid.

What’s different this year is that we have whittled down the list to just 30 finalists, making the competition stiff and the vetting process even more rigorous. 

Says FORBES AFRICA’s Managing Editor, Renuka Methil: “The start of a new decade means the unraveling of fresh talent on the African continent. I can’t wait to see the potential billionaires who will land up on our desks. Our coveted sixth annual Under 30 list will herald some of the decade’s biggest names in business and life.”

If you think you have what it takes to be on this year’s list or know an entrepreneur, creative, technology entrepreneur or sports star under 30 with a proven track-record on the continent – introduce them to FORBES AFRICA by applying or submitting your nomination.

NOMINATIONS AND APPLICATIONS CRITERIA:

Business and Technology categories

  1. Must be an entrepreneur/founder aged 29 or younger on 31 March 2020
  2. Should have a legitimate REGISTERED business on the continent
  3. Business/businesses should be two years or older
  4. Nominees must have risked own money and have a social impact
  5. Must be profit generating
  6. Must employ people in Africa
  7. All applications must be in English
  8. Should be available and prepared to participate in the Under 30 Meet-Up

Sports category

  1. Must be a sports person aged 29 or younger on 31 March 2020
  2. Must be representing an African team
  3. Should have a proven track record of no less than two years
  4. Should be making significant earnings
  5. Should have some endorsement deals
  6. Entrepreneurship and social impact is a plus
  7. All applications must be in English
  8. Should be available and prepared to participate in the Under 30 Meet-Up

Creatives category

  1. Must be a creative aged 29 or younger on 31 March 2020
  2. Must be from or based in Africa
  3. Should be making significant earnings
  4. Should have a proven creative record of no less than two years
  5. Must have social influence
  6. Entrepreneurship and social impact is a plus
  7. All applications must be in English
  8. Should be available and prepared to participate in the Under 30 Meet-Up

Your entry should include:

  • Country
  • Full Names
  • Company name/Team you are applying with
  • A short motivation on why you should be on the list
  • A short profile on self and company
  • Links to published material / news clippings about nominee
  • All social media handles
  • Contact information
  • High-res images of yourself

Applications and nominations must be sent via email to FORBES AFRICA journalist and curator of the list, Karen Mwendera, on [email protected]

Nominations close on 3 February 2020.

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Sport

The Springboks And The Cup Of Good Hope

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After their epic win beating England at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan on November 2, the Springboks returned home to South Africa, undertaking a nation-wide tour, in an open-top bus, holding high the Webb Ellis Cup. In this image, in the township of Soweto, they pass the iconic Vilakazi Street with throngs of screaming, cheering residents and Springbok fans lining the street. The sport united the racially-divided country. For the third time in history, the South African national rugby team was crowned world champions.

Image by Motlabana Monnakgotla

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Déjà vu: South Africa Back to Winning

Our Publisher reflects on the recent Springbok victory in Yokohoma, Japan

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Rugby World Cup 2019, Final: England v South Africa Mtach viewing at Nelson Mandela Square

By Rakesh Wahi, Publisher
FORBES AFRICA

Rugby is as foreign to me as cricket is to the average American. However, having lived in South Africa for 15 years, there is no way to avoid being pulled into the sport. November 2, 2019, is therefore a date that will be celebrated in South Africa’s sporting posterity. In many ways, it’s déjà vu for South Africans; at a pivotal time in history, on June 24, 1995, the Springboks beat the All Blacks (the national rugby team of New Zealand) in the final of the World Cup. The game united a racially-divided country coming out of apartheid and at the forefront of this victory was none other than President Nelson Mandela or our beloved Madiba. In a very symbolic coincidence, 24 years later, history repeated itself.

South Africans watched with pride as Siya Kolisi lifted the gold trophy in Yokohama, Japan, as had Francois Pienaar done so 24 years ago in Johannesburg. My mind immediately reflected on this extremely opportune event in South Africa’s history.

The last decade has not been easy; the country has slipped into economic doldrums from which there seems to be no clear path ahead. The political transition from the previously corrupt regime has not been easy and it has been disheartening to see a rapid deterioration in the economic condition of the country. The sad reality is that there literally seems to be no apparent light at the end of the tunnel; with blackouts and load-shedding, a currency that is amongst the most volatile in the world, rising unemployment and rising crime amongst many other issues facing the country.

Rakesh Wahi, Publisher Forbes Africa

Something needed to change. There was a need for an event to change this despondent state of mind and the South African rugby team seems to have given a glimmer of hope that could not have come at a more opportune time. As South African flags were flying all over the world on November 2, something clicked to say that there is hope ahead and if people come together under a common mission, they can be the change that they want to see.

Isn’t life all about hope? Nothing defies gravity and just goes up; Newton taught us that everything that goes up will come down. Vicissitudes are a part of life and the true character of people, society or a nation is tested on how they navigate past these curve balls that make us despair. As we head into 2020, it is my sincere prayer that we see a new dawn and a better future in South Africa with renewed vigor and vitality.

Talking about sports and sportsmen, there is another important lesson that we need to take away. Having been a sportsman all my life, I have had a belief that people who have played team sports like cricket, rugby, soccer, hockey etc make great team players and leaders. However, other sports like golf, diving and squash teach you focus. In all cases, the greatest attribute of all is how to reset your mind after adversity. While most of us moved on after amateur sports to find our place in the world, the real sportspeople to watch and learn from are professionals. It is their grit and determination.

My own belief is that one must learn how to detach from a rear view mirror. You cannot ignore what is behind you because that is your history; you must learn from it. Our experiences are unique and so is our history. It must be our greatest teacher. However, that’s where it must end. As humans, we must learn to break the proverbial rear view mirror and stop worrying about the past. You cannot change what is behind you but you can influence and change what is yet to come.

I had the good fortune of playing golf with Chester Williams (former rugby player who was the first person of color to play for the Springboks in the historic win in 1995 and sadly passed away in September 2019) more than once at the SuperSport Celebrity Golf Shootout.

Chester played his golf fearlessly; perhaps the way he led his life. He would drive the ball 300 meters and on occasion went into the woods or in deep rough. Psychologically, as golfers know, this sets you back just looking at a bad lie, an embedded or unplayable ball or a dropped shot in a hazard. For a seasoned golfer, it is not the shot that you have hit but the one that you are about to hit. Chester has a repertoire of recovery shots and always seemed to be in the game even after some wayward moments. There is a profound lesson in all of this. You have to blank your mind from the negativity or sometimes helplessness and bring a can do and positive frame of reference back into your game (and life). Hit that recovery shot well and get back in the game; that’s what champions do.

We need to now focus our attention on the next shot and try and change the future than stay in the past.

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