Much More than a Boxster With a Roof
Current Cayman Lineup / Cayman Generations / Every Cayman Model Ever
The Cayman S was first unveiled in 2005 and went on sale in late 2005 as a 2006 model year car. A year later, the base Cayman showed up as a 2007 model year car. Both the Cayman and second generation Boxster roadster shared their mid-engine platform and many components. The two cars share the same chassis, with the same wheelbase, width and tracks. Although the sheet metal is different, they share windscreen, doors, cabin and 40 percent of the other components, while the remaining components either come from 911 or are adapted from both cars. The suspension design is fundamentally the same as that of the Boxster with revised settings due to the stiffer chassis with the car's fixed roof. The Cayman S was powered by a 3.4-litre flat-six mated to a 6-speed manual transaxle, a 2.7-litre engine with a 5-speed transmission was standard for the base model. A facelift of the Porsche Cayman came in February 2009. The base Cayman's engine displacement was increased to 2.9-litre while the Cayman S gained direct injection. Both the Cayman and Cayman S maintained a 9 hp power advantage over their roadster sibling, the Boxster.
The 981 Cayman was – and remains – a benchmark car, and when it arrived as a 2013 model year car. It was getting closer to the 911 in terms of desirability and performance. The design was sleeker and more modern than the odd-looking earlier generation and it still looks great today. It got a longer wheelbase, wider tracks and lower overall height. The front and rear views of the 981 stay true to the Cayman with some distinct differences. Beyond these obvious differences in physical dimensions, the body of the 981 uses Porsche's newest weight savings design of mixed steel and aluminum construction. The new interior has very little in common with the original, a worthy update the modernized the inside of the Cayman. The power train of the updated Caymans are probably the single biggest carry over item from the previous model. The 9A1 engine first appeared in 2009 and continued on into the new 981 Caymans. The biggest difference we see in the 981 is that the Cayman engine displacement has been reduced from 2.9 liters back down to 2.7 liters (like it was in 2007). The Cayman S engine displacement was unchanged at 3.4 liters.
Ever-stringent government fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards forced Porsche to downsize and turbocharge its entire range of engines for the 982 generation update. This meant that the marketing department leaned on the flat-four heritage of the 550 Spyder and 718 race cars, dubbing the internally-designated 982 Boxster and Cayman models as the 718. The MA2-based flat-fours of the base and S versions of the Cayman had more varied specifications than any of their predecessors. Porsche fans who missed the howl of a flat-six in a new mid-engined roadster collectively rejoiced with the introduction of the 718 Cayman GT4, which featured an MA2-derived, naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six, which generated 414 hp and revved to 8,000 rpm. This drivetrain reverted to the three-point mounting system of previous six-cylinder Caymans. As expected the Cayman GT4 was an absolutely perfect track-focused car that could also do daily chores if needed. Perhaps the most exciting car in the 982 Cayman generation was the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0. The old GTS used a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4, and while it was a perfectly strong engine with lots of low-end torque, it lacked the personality and linear power delivery of a free-breathing flat-six. It didn't sound half as good, either. The GTS 4.0 was built to offer more performance and more grunt as well as a more aggressive design and all the good options included as standard. The new 4.0-liter engine was borrowed from the 718 Spyder and Cayman GT4, detuned to produce 394 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed manual is standard. The GTS 4.0 basically became the perfect daily sports car.
Note: We haven't lost our minds. We are classifying the first generation Cayman as the second generation Cayman on this website. The reason is simple. The Cayman (project 987C) and the second generation Boxster roadster (project 987) shared the same mid-engine platform and many components. Since both the Boxster and Cayman have stated in lockstep since, it made sense to to align generation for the purposes of research. You will see the first generation Cayman referred to as the second generation Cayman throughout this site. It keeps things much neater in following generations.