Porsche stands out as an automaker fond of producing a range of sporty luxury cars and their reputation often precedes the models before much is known about them, but it’s expected that quality, eye appeal and sheer driving pleasure will be the result. This factor makes each new model an event causing to roll and inquiring sports car enthusiasts to dig for as much information as possible. The Porsche Cayman is the brand’s mid engine two seat sport which is deserving of our attention, and to fully appreciate this magnificent vehicle, we must first understand its roots and transformations. Dedicated Cayman fans can and should become experts on the model so lets embark on the journey together with the history and evolution of the Porsche Cayman.
The birth of the first generation, naming and production
The first Cayman rolled off production lines and was presented to the public late in 2005 as a 2006 model. Th first generation ran from 2006 through 2009. The manufacture of the car took place at the facilities in Stuttgart, Germany from 1996 through current models with some made by Valmet at the Uusikaupunki plant in Finland from through 2011, with Caymans also produced at the Osnabruck, Germany plant beginning in 2012. The Cayman was presented as a 3 door 2 passenger in a fastback coupe style. The Cayman gets its name from a reptilian animal called the caiman, which is a member of the alligator species, taking a leaf from the Cayman Islands book, also named for the native South American creatures.
2006 Cayman 987 S
The Cayman S model was built upon the platform if the 987 Boxster, already in its third generation, at least in its genetic origins. Porsche contrived a DNA structure that was half from the 911 model, and less than a third coming from the Boxter and the rest of the design gave the car its own unique personality with a body shell that is new along with a hard top. Although some refer to it as the Boxster coupe, that, it is not. Let’s be clear about the fact that it is a Porsche first, and a distinct sibling within the family. The engine of the 2006 S is an M97.21 in a contrivance of the 911 Carrera bore and the Boxter S stroke resulting in a 3.4 liter engine with camshafts and heads taken from the Carrera, cranking 295 in horsepower with 251 pound feet of torque for amazing acceleration.
Chassis and performance
The first generation Cayman had a similar chassis to the Boxster, but the suspension was finely tuned and the body, more rigid. The engine is paired with a six speed manual transmission with a shortening of the ratios between the first two gears, enhancing the speed thrust for dynamic acceleration that achieves a zero to 60 rating of 4.8 seconds, lagging behind the Carrera by 3 seconds, but who’s counting? It handles with precision sharpness at high speeds and the car is simply fun to drive as a used model to this day.
Trivial facts about the first generation Porsche Cayman
For the sake of conversation, the first glimpse of the new Cayman was offered at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September of 2005. It was put together at the Uusikaupunki plant by Valmet Automotive. Interestingly, the sport edition was the first release of the Cayman with the standard version coming out the following year. It’s not often that an automaker will follow this strategy in marketing, but then again, Porsche is unique in many ways. They also charged more for the hardtop than for the convertible which is the complete opposite of what is traditionally done because of overhead costs.
Changes in 2007
The first base Cayman was offered the second year into the new car’s production of the 987. The only other notable changes for the Cayman was an increase in the horsepower. This was complements of the VarioCam Plus and the Cayman S was available in a 3.4 liter flat six for 2007, with a 2.7 liter for the new base Cayman. In addition to this, the new base model came equipped with a five speed transmission, resulting in a reduction of bottom end torque, however, for an extra $2,680, new buyers were given the option of upgrading the transmission to a six speed with Porsche’s own PASM active suspension, making it all good. The mid engine gave this model remarkable stability and the attributes somewhat tempered the response to the high selling price of fifty thousand.
Limited Edition version for 2008
Porsche offered a very special Cayman in 2008, called the Cayman Design Edition 1. The vehicle came out mid-year as the DE1 model which was basically a Cayman S that came equipped with options that gave it an even greater eye appeal, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Porsche Design. Porsche’s special promotion of the DEI was something that Cayman enthusiasts highly prized because along with the special edition car, they also received a Chronograph special design edition wristwatch, a pocket knife, a ballpoint pen, sun glasses, and a key chain that held the key to their new car all enclosed within a really cool brief case .
2008-2009 Cayman S Sport
The 2008 Cayman S Sport rolled out with a unitary steel chassis and a front suspension with conical base springs, McPherson struts and longitudinal and track control arms of aluminum for the front. The rear echoed with the same track control arms plus tie rod, with spring struts and coil springs. Speed sensitive and power assisted rack and pinion steering made maneuvering the car fun and efficient and when it came to stopping it received AS brakes with ventilated discs in front and back. The rear wheel drive sports car was equipped with a naturally aspirated fuel injection DOHC with an aluminum head and block and a displacement of 3,386 cc/ 206.6 cubic inches and 303 bhp, complemented with a 6 speed manual gearbox. The S version offered a 320 horsepower engine and drivers had the option of a heated steering wheel, adaptive sports seats, park assist and navigation if these were things that they wanted to add onto the base car.
The second generation 2010-2012
By the time that the Cayman came into its third generation with the 2010 model, there were few changes made. Of them were the implementation of the PCM, or Porsche Communication Management System’s larger screen which boasted a new 6.5 inch size. Porsche also reduced the number of controls by fifty percent, as well as adding Bluetooth connectivity. The new car received an in-house CDR-30 sound system which included an MP3 player along with the standard CD player. It was offered in the Cayman and the Cayman S editions.
2012 Cayman-R is an edition that features a sporty look, feel and sound with dual center mounted exhaust pipes,the large rear wing that is fixed and the door pulls made simply of red straps. The exhaust is loud and deep and Porsche even thought to provide a sporty steering wheel with leather sculpting. It’s powered with a flat six 3.4 liter engine that generates 330 horse power with 272 pound feet or torque. The engine is mated with a dual clutch automatic seven speed transmission, and it comes with 19 inch wheels and ABS with disc brakes all around, all for a new price of $75,600 base with upgrades to $86,060 plus destination fees adding almost $1,100 more on top. Standard equipment is teh fixed spoiler on the back, the sport steering wheel, front spoiler, alarm, cruise, PSM, Bluetooth, Alcantara interior, cornering feature and halogen headlamps, but they did offer optional cornering lights and Bi-xenon headlamps or an upgrade to a PDK automatic transmission for an extra $4K. You also had the option of adding a sport chrono package, and upgrading the sound system.
2012 Cayman S Black Edition
Porsche is a master at knowing when it’s time to introduce a new special edition and they decided that the Cayman family was in need of a limited edition sibling. In 2012, the Cayman S Black Edition was presented to the world with only 500 of them ever built, so it would be rare from the moment it rolled off the lines. It of course, was only offered in the black paint, with many other features uncharacteristically appearing in black. To break up the monotony of the black exterior and interior for that matter, the design team threw in some aluminum and stainless trim to brighten things up. The special edition’s 3.4 liter engine was given a bump to 330 horsepower with a finely tuned chassis and acceleration from 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 170 mph. What was even more amazing about the Black Edition is that
the fuel economy was still 20 in the city and 20 for the highway. The msrp took a significant jump over the S edition to a base price of $67,500 with an extra charge of nearly a grand for destination fees, but truly, only half of the cost is supported with the additional features that are standard. Perhaps, it’s enough that it’s a limited special edition. The Bose sound system along with premium adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, rain sensing wipers, touchscreen navigation and satellite radio are nice amenities. The optional Sport Chrono package, or a seven speed transmission are extras that were optional.
The Cayman came out in 2014 with sharper lines and a more sculpted aesthetic in the 2014 edition with the 981 models and in 2016, the 718 models with extra width and a drop in the clearance with re-designed fascia in both front and back and it was offered in a variety of color combinations inside and out to suit individual preferences. The cars lost about 66 pounds for a lighter version with tweaks made to the torque distribution, enhancing its handling, but this was an optional adjustment. New Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes were a new standard for performance enhancement and a host of new tech nfeatures including Adaptive Cruise Control, new Drive systems, keyless entry and a new Burmester sound system.
The 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman received a power source in the form of a 2.5 liter engine turbocharged flat four supplying 350 horse power and 309 pound feet of torque in the S model. It was tested with a top speed of 177 mph with an acceleration time of 4 seconds flat in the zero to sixty test, with a tuned suspension for improved handling. It also came with a new sound system along with an updated communication management system, WiFi connectivity and the Connect plus system.
2020 Porsche Cayman T
The new T comes with a small er sized turbo four engine in a 2.0 liter with 20 inch alloy wheels with a stiffer suspension. The power remains the same at 300 with a top speed of 170 mph. Porsche has done a good job of keeping the price low without stripping any of the value or fun experienced in previous models with the Cayman T 718 coming in at a msrp of $66,400 for a base price .