Besides being known for its engineering and automotive heritage, Porsche is also associated with high prices. Historically, there have been several models in the Porsche lineup that are dubbed the “poor man’s Porsche” by brand purists as they are considered entry-level models for the brand.
We can speak of the 944, produced between 1982 and 1991, or more recently of the Boxster, which in its first generation reached distributors in 1996 and served as the basis for its “brother”, the Cayman. The Cayman is a coupe derived from the third generation Boxster roadster and was introduced by Porsche in 2006.
The Cayman is currently marketed as the 718 Cayman T. And not only has it replaced the Cayman as an entry-level Porsche, but it has also inherited the nickname “poor man’s Porsche” because its numbers are lower than those of the 911 or even the Taycan, the electric sedan of the German brand.
The origins of the Caymans
The Porsche Cayman is the coupe version of the third-generation Boxster, that of 2005, and was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show that year. It shares most of the elements with the Boxster 987: from the platform to the engine, through most of the rest of the mechanics and interior. As with the Boxster, its long body is the work of Chinese designer Pinky Lai and is inspired by classic Porsche models, such as the 550 from 1953 and the 904 from 1964. These models may be the reason. why so many people love Porsche.
Porsche chose the name Cayman for the car’s ease of “crawling” between curves. Assembly of the Cayman was carried out at the Finnish plant of Valmet Automotive, where the Boxster was also manufactured.
What Porsche set out to do with the Cayman was to create a more earthy sports car than the flashy and expensive 911 and make the driving experience equally addicting in both models. They obtained such a perfect result that the untouchable 911 is even called into question.
To understand why the Cayman is often called the “poor man’s Porsche”, we must put into perspective the price difference between the original Cayman and the 911 of its time: the first cost $ 49,000 while the second was between $ 71,000 and $ 99,000.
The biggest difference between the 911 and the Cayman is the engine layout. In the 911 it is located suspended behind the rear axle while, in the Cayman, the engine is placed in a central position according to the laws of physics which dictate the perfect behavior in a car which is obtained when the most part. heavy (the engine) is in the wheelbase of the vehicle. And that’s precisely the main reason the Cayman is dynamically flawless.
The non-S Cayman
When Porsche launched this car, it was offered in two versions: Cayman and Cayman S. The “regular” or non-S version of the Cayman (987C) produced from 2006 to 2009 can reach 100 mph in 6.1 seconds thanks to its 2.7- flat six-cylinder engine that produces 245 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers made this car slower than the S version. However, you can’t really call it a “slow” car by any means.
There was a considerable price difference between the two versions, which made the Cayman “quite simply”, hence the “poor man’s Porsche”. However, in today’s second-hand market they have a very similar value, so it is always more advisable to look for a unit with a 3.4 propeller.
In either of the two variants, the standard equipment is complete: it includes upholstery in Alcantara and leather, air conditioning, radio-CD, a retractable spoiler that lifts by 80 mm if one travels at over 75 mph.
The Cayman S
The 3.4 six-cylinder boxer engine (M97.21) derives from the 3.2 that fitted the Boxster but with a cylinder diameter greater than 96 mm and the variable valve VarioCam Plus of the 911, which modifies the phase and the lift of the valves.
It features dry-sump lubrication with four oil pumps that distribute lubricant throughout the engine and develops 295 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 250 lb-ft of torque from 4,400 rpm. Of course, being right behind the seats, it’s quite noisy. The six-speed manual transmission is signed Getrag. The Cayman S reaches 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.
A facelift for the Caymans
In 2009, Porsche renewed the image of the Cayman by introducing new bumpers, headlights, taillights. In addition, the 2.7 engine increased its displacement to 2.9 liters, from 245 to 265 horsepower. The 3.4-liter engine gained 25 horsepower for a total output of 320 thanks to the introduction of direct injection.
Another change made by the 2009 restyling was the replacement of the obsolete five-speed gearbox and optional Tiptronic torque converter with the new seven-speed dual-clutch PDK. The latter is much better for speed and accuracy and fits this model very well; the Tiptronic is slow and penalizes engine performance.
Caiman of the current generation
In 2016, the Porsche 718 Cayman became the successor to the Cayman, with which it not only shares the philosophy and much of the design language, but also has a convertible version that complements the coupe, in this case known as the Porsche 718 Boxster name.
Among its updates it has counted with four-cylinder turbo engines, which are for the first time present in the Porsche 718 Boxster and the Porsche 718 Cayman. It is manufactured in the new high-tech factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen (Germany), after leaving the lines of the Osnabrück factory belonging to the Volkswagen group.
The standard version comes with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine developing 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The Cayman S is available with a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder boxer engine that boosts horsepower to 350 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque. Then there’s the Cayman GTS with a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter 6-cylinder boxer engine that develops 394 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque.
Not only is this ride awe-inspiring to watch, the Taycan Turbo S is also considered revolutionary.
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