Saturday, May 31, 2014

2008 Porsche Cayman - My Test Drive

......Posting my write-up on this test-drive from 2011 when I had it on my old site:

Today's car is a 2008 Porsche Cayman with manual transmission. Let's find out.

What's the verdict? My initial feel about it was all positive, but what is it after some thoughts and analysis?


Let's start with the engine. The specs on the engine are: 2.7L H6 with 245hp@6500rpm / 201LB-ft@4600rpm. For a car that was listed for $39,900 as three years old, that is relatively low horsepower for that much money; however, it is not all about horsepower numbers and track numbers. Then what is it about? Let me start with one analogy, but before I get to it, here is a message to my fellow Porsche drivers:
"Don't take the following comparison as an insult; it is a compliment".

  • Have you ever driven a VW GTI 2.0T Mk5 or Mk6 (2006-2011)? Well, if you drive this car, you will be impressed with the overall HP delivery and especially with the low-end torque. However, you end up going home saying: "Hmm, I wish that GTI engine revved a bit more quicker, a bit more higher and more freely".
  • Have you ever driven a 2006 Acura RSX Type S with the K20 motor? Well, if you drive this car, you will be impressed with the free-revving engine and the 8000+rpm red line. However, you end up going home saying: "Hmm, I wish that K20 motor had more torque especially at the low end".

You may wonder why he is talking about GTIs and RSX Type S. My point is that the engine in this 2008 Porsche Cayman is a marriage of RSX Type S K20 engine and GTI's 2.0T engine, but with more characteristics of the engine from RSX Type S. What I am saying is that this 2.7L H6 Cayman engine has enough torque at the low-mid range so that you don't feel disappointed, but oh my gash, this engine revs fast and freely, and it just keeps going. As you push it up the RPM scale, the engine has this little voice telling you: "I want more and more and don't stop. Keep going". This engine is a pleasure to push hard and it is a pleasure to listen to. The Porsche-specific exhaust note is just music to my ears. I can't imagine what the Cayman S would feel like or Cayman R; what about 911 GT3; how much more fun can it be?

Suspension / Steering / Handling:

The steering on this car is very precise. Where you turn, that's where the car goes. To a novice driver, this statement might sound ridiculous, but to other drivers out there, you know what I am talking about. I took some sharp 2nd gear corners and some high-speed 3-4th gear corners and this car does NOT have any oversteer on the road conditions and there is NO understeer either. So the handling on this car is very neutral and I really like this. I have a feeling that if I pushed it on the track, I would get it to oversteer, but it would still be easily predictable. So sharpness in the handling of this car is a blast.

That's all my initial feel about this car. Then I started thinking about it a bit more. I know Porsche says "There is no substitute". Well, if you don't have $39,900 to buy a used 2008 Cayman, you have to find yourself a substitute.

  • What about Honda S2000 with some minor VTEC reprogramming?
  • What about a modified Acura RSX Type S. I drove a RSX Type S with slightly tuned suspension and it was a blast. K20 motor also has tons of potential.
  • What about a VW GTI with a Stage2 performance upgrade and a set of performance springs, shocks and rear sway-bar?

What is the verdict? Everybody is different; it is yours to determine.

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#cars #carreviews #Porsche #Cayman #driving #CarComparison #GTI #TypeS #Acura #VW #S2000 

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