Porsche has redesigned its mid-engine Cayman and Cayman S coupes for the 2014 model year, and, like the related Boxster and Boxster S, the new cars are better in every regard than the models they replace.

Not only are the 2014 Cayman models faster than their 2013 equivalents, they’re more fuel-efficient, too. As British motor journalist and racer Chris Harris points out, the new Cayman S stands out in another regard as well - thanks to its mid-engine layout, it gives drivers better balance than the range-topping, rear-engined Porsche 911.

Harris is clearly smitten with the Cayman S, even over the similar and topless Boxster S. The coupe version serves up an additional 10 horsepower (for output of 325 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque) thanks to an ECU revision, but the number really doesn’t translate into a noticeable performance gain.

What is noticeable, according to Harris, is the Cayman S’ better precision compared to its Boxster sibling. Though Harris is generous with his praise for the car, he’s also careful to point out its flaws, like the somewhat isolated electric steering that’s new for 2014.

While the previous Cayman may have lived in the shadow of the 911 (and wasn’t exactly praised for its beauty), the 2014 Cayman stands on its own and carries much cleaner lines. Though buyers in the past may have shopped the Cayman on price, those heading into Porsche dealers today will likely shop it for its handling and good looks, too.