Modern Classics: Porsche Cayman, 2006 2012 modern classics classic cars car culture
2007 Porsche Cayman. Click image to enlarge

By Jeff Burry; photos by Chris Chase

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Porsche Cayman

The Porsche Cayman, first introduced for the 2006 model year, was derived from Porsche’s second-generation Boxster, dubbed the 987. A mid-engine, rear-wheel drive two-seat sports car with a fixed roof, the Cayman was referred to by insiders as the 987c.

Sharing about 40 per cent of its components with the Boxster, the Cayman was introduced to the marketplace with the intention of closing the gap, ever so slightly, between the Boxster and its big brother, the Porsche 911.

Engineers were careful, even respectful, to not offer horsepower ratings that would encroach upon 911 territory. However, being a “fixed top” car, the Cayman would offer a slightly more exhilarating ride, assisted in part by a rear strut tower brace that exceeds the Boxster’s by 150 per cent.

Modern Classics: Porsche Cayman, 2006 2012 modern classics classic cars car culture
Modern Classics: Porsche Cayman, 2006 2012 modern classics classic cars car culture
2007 Porsche Cayman. Click image to enlarge

Weight distribution was 55 per cent rear and 45 per cent front, depending on options. The 2006 Cayman came standard with 18-inch wheels (19s were optional). Its centre of gravity was approximately 15 mm higher than that of the Boxster, but its rakish rear hatch provided a lower drag coefficient.

In its inaugural year, the only engine choice was a 3.4-litre flat-six engine which made 295 horsepower. This could have been mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed Tiptronic with paddle shifters (available as an option).

Based on the 3.2-litre flat-six found in the Boxster S, the 3.4-litre Cayman S engine used the same VarioCam Plus camshaft and valve lift technology as was found in the Porsche 911 Carrera.

For the 2007 model year, Porsche offered a 2.7-litre version of the company’s iconic flat-six engine used in the base Boxster. It produced 245 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 201 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000 rpm. Caymans equipped with the 2.7-litre powerplant retailed for approximately $10,000 less than the Cayman S.

So what could the extra ten bills buy you? For starters, a larger powerplant shaving nearly seven seconds off the zero-to-100 km/h time (estimated at 5.1 seconds), larger wheels, bigger brakes and a six-speed manual gearbox, versus a five-speed, found in the 2.7-litre version of the Cayman.

Modern Classics: Porsche Cayman, 2006 2012 modern classics classic cars car culture
2007 Porsche Cayman. Click image to enlarge

Standard features found on the 2007 version included anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, torso and head-protecting and side-impact airbags.

For 2008, the Cayman received only minor enhancements found mostly on the options list. New carbon-fibre leather-wrapped seats were available, cutting eight kilograms off the weight, and there was also a new styling package available for the Cayman referred to as the Porsche Design One (PDO). That included enhanced design features such as chrome-plated tailpipes, new custom interior colour scheme, 19-inch wheels and black paint with matte black stripes.

From 2006 through to 2008 there were only modest changes made to the highly successful Cayman. For the 2009 model year, Porsche decided to upgrade both available powertrains as well as tweak some exterior and interior design cues.

The base model’s displacement rose from 2.7 litres to 2.9 litres (providing for an extra 20 horses bringing it to 265) and the Cayman S got direct fuel injection, boosting its horsepower rating to 320.

Perhaps the most significant upgrade was the introduction of the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, otherwise known as PDK, or dual-clutch transmission.

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