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Is the 981 GTS Peak Modern Porsche?

Turbocharging did not gain the Boxster and Cayman any fans. The models kindly picked up 911 fans’ spare derision when the transaxle cars left production in the mid-1990s, and have carried the torch of poor public perception from their predecessors. Real enthusiasts should only be buying 911s after all, or so the line goes. Despite having something of an optics problem right from the outset the cars have always been built upon an excellent foundation, with enviable driving dynamics and a sonorous, if not always powerful, flat-six.

JayEmm likes to couple clickbait with calm reasoning, which gives him a leg up on most Youtubers. To be clear he is saying the 981 GTS is the only modern Porsche he would buy, not the only one you should buy, and that mostly comes down to Jay not being the biggest 911 fan. The man daily drove an Exige for quite some time, which makes me think he’s made an honest assessment of himself as someone who does not need a back seat.

He rather rightly points out the existence of the 718 Boxster and Cayman’s flat-four gave their six-cylinder immediate predecessors something of a boost on the secondhand market. Buyers who were in for the noise and the character of a Boxster were not easily wowed by the new car, despite it improving on paper in virtually every metric. The sound of the flat-four was too Subaru-like, and the whole package lacked the effortless smoothness of the old mill. The GT3-mimicking GT4 and Spyder seek to change that.

But does that make the 981 the pick of Porsche’s recent past? At present 981 Boxster and Cayman GTS models on classifieds sites are sitting in the high $50k range and even into the low $70k range with modest miles. That sort of pricetag knocks on the door of cars like the 997 Turbo or any number of 991.1 911s. Indeed, that sort of pricetag will by very nice 996 GT3 with some money left over.

That said, where do you stand on JayEmm’s assessment? Is the 981 Boxster GTS the modern Porsche to own?


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992 Carrera S Versus Cayman GT4: Which Would You Take?

Dan Prosser might be one of the best spoken and most technically savvy journalists in the biz, and he can drive as well as any of them. He doesn’t begin this particular video with a very intriguing premise, however, since we can easily surmise the 992 Carrera is the better everyday car, and the Cayman GT4 is a wildchild for the weekend. When the two are priced so similarly, we need to do some real thinking about which is the better buy.

Of course, the Cayman the machine which involves—and as a result, demands—more. We could all guess that. Fortunately, Prosser’s feel and technical expertise helps shed some light on a surprising aspect of the Cayman which might sway someone deciding between the two. For something sporting a GT badge and that purposeful bodywork, it’s sweet; the Cayman won’t snot out of its driver on bumpy backroads.

In a depressing English downpour, the GT4’s Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires fare well, though they might not be in their ideal element. The suppleness of the chassis, the directness of the steering, and the linear power delivery make it a wieldable machine in inclement weather. Many might think pushing a GT4 in the rain would mean a trip into a ditch, but the car is surprisingly well-mannered.

The Cayman’s focused character is tempered with enough civility to be a good all-rounder.

So is the 992. With its opulent, spacious, supremely civilized interior, is able to blend everyday driving and spirited driving a bit better than its slimmer, adrenaline-addled sibling, but it’s no pudgy cruiser. It’s very quick, great over bad roads, and because of its slightly less focused character, it’s a « more natural, more intuitive sports car [than the Carrera S]. » A benign character is a good thing for a everyday driver, but is that what drives people to buy a sporty Porsche?

There’s no denying the Carrera’s distinguished presence.

Ultimately, these two are still sports cars, and should be judged as such. You have to ask why one would buy a sports car if it weren’t stimulating, especially if it can manage the mundane driving reasonably well. The Cayman’s sharper edges make driving it that much more of an event, and yet, it’s not so harsh that it can’t handle everyday driving. If it were my money, I’d put it on the screaming yellow thing—but maybe I’d paint it a quieter shade of green.

Though Prosser’s impressed with the Carrera’s competence, it’s in the Cayman he grins more.


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Porsche Cayman occasion

2005 à 2013, à partir de 25 000 €

Dérivé de la deuxième génération du Boxster, ce Cayman « 1 » se veut encore plus sportif. Il s’agit un peu d’une 911 en réduction, dont l’implantation centrale du « flat-6 », doté d’un système d’admission variable VarioCam Plus, jusqu’alors réservé à la 911, lui confère un comportement encore plus équilibré avec une excellente rigidité, un antidérapage ESC entièrement déconnectable et des gros freins. Volontairement limitée pour ne pas faire trop d’ombre à sa grande sœur, sa puissance s’établit à 245 ch, ou 265 ch après le restylage de 2009 pour le 2.7 litres, et 295, ou 320 ch, pour le 3.4 S. Une puissance qui grimpe même à 330 ch sur l’exclusive et rare version R. De quoi lui offrir des performances de premier ordre et un caractère véritablement sportif, soulignés par un sonorité très attachante. En véritable GT, ce coupé 2 places ne néglige pas les aspects pratiques avec, notamment, un volume de chargement de 410 litres, en cumulant le coffre avant et le compartiment arrière, au dos des sièges. Reste à composer avec un amortissement très ferme, qui nuit au confort.

Si la mécanique 3.4 litres à injection directe se révèle très fiable, les périphériques ont déploré quelques défaillances.

  • Moteur : fragilité de la pompe à eau (roulements), parfois à remplacer, se signalant par un « grognement ».
  • Transmission : des remplacements d’embrayage et de volant moteur.
  • Direction : bruyante en braquage.
  • Pneus : usure parfois rapide.

Exemples d’annonces
3.4 S 2952005       65 000 km      27 900 €
3.4 S 320 –…


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Purists Rejoice! Porsche Puts the Six-Cylinder Back Into the 718 GTS

What better way to enjoy a six-cylinder wail than with an open-top Boxster?

Stuffing a throaty six-cylinder in the back of a mid-tier Cayman or Boxster isn’t ever going to be met with much opposition. While many have grown accustomed to the shove and impressive mid-range of the latest 2.5-liter turbo motors, the screaming 4.0-liter atmospheric engines will always be welcome betwixt the haunches of a 718.

The linearity and rewarding revs of an atmospheric motor makes backroads drives even more enjoyable.

Of course, this motor has to help the latest 718 GTS fit in nicely within the Porsche pecking order, so it’s been softened slightly. It makes 394 horsepower and 309 lb-ft of torque; just shy out the 718 Cayman GT4 and Spyder’s output, but offers very similar performance.

It’s enough for a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 182 miles per hour (when fitted with the sports exhaust). The latest, screamiest version of the 718 GTS still retains all of the GTS goodies: the standard 20mm lower ride height than the standard 718, active drivetrain mounts, sport chrono, and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with mechanical limited slip rear differential all come stock. Sharpened turn-in and improved poise from the 235-section front , plus a little playfulness from the appropriately matched 265-section rear tires should keep the owners of these cars smiling on any stretch of road or circuit. .

Dark alcantara, accentuated by red (or white) stitching, lends a definite air of purpose to the GTS’ cabin.

It’s a wonderful choice for someone who wants that wonderful flat-six wail back in their lives, but aren’t interested in the pricier, more purposeful GT4 or Spyder. They musn’t be set on a PDK, either, as the new 718 GTS is manual-only. Again, this is an exercise in injecting a little more sense of occasion into the 718 lineup, and based on the figures Porsche have presented us—and their tendency to be exceptionally conservative with these figures—we likely have one of the most involving and visceral sports cars for the money on the market today.


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Here’s Why The 987 Cayman R Is The Best Porsche Of The Decade

The decade which began in 2010 comes to a close next week, and it’s got me feeling a little nostalgic for the good times. When were the good times you ask? Why 2012 of course! When you consider the lineup of incredible new models that Porsche has built across the last ten years, there is only one that stands out to me as the best.

Better than the technological prowess of the new Taycan Turbo S, better than the out-and-out performance of the 918 Spyder, better than the comfort and speed of a Panamera Turbo S eHybrid, it’s the 2012 Porsche Cayman R. In a world of Papa Bear cars, the Cayman R is Baby Bear’s ‘just right’. This car is a reminder of Porsche’s original roots, providing a well-balanced sports car that inspires the driver with a glorious mechanical limited slip differential, incredible steering, a connected feeling shifter, meaningful weight reduction tactics, and just enough power to keep you happy. The changes between a Cayman S and a Cayman R were largely incremental, but it is the complete package that wows. It’s more than the sum of its parts, as all good Porsches are.

Power was not improved dramatically from Cayman S to Cayman R, as they use the same direct-injected 3.4-liter flat six engine. The R gained a state of tune producing 10 additional ponies for a grand total of 330. Ten horsepower is nothing to write home about, but 330 is a good round number and some of the most fun cars I’ve ever driven had far less than 330 horsepower. It’s more than enough to have a good time, and I’d even go so far as to say anything more than that is just criminally excessive.

Weight was pulled from a standard Cayman chassis to create the R, but not enough to make the cabin an unforgiving place to spend time. A little sound deadening here, lighter wheels there, it was a piecemeal change rather than a wholesale one. Aluminum door skins and carbon fiber bucket seats make up the lion’s share of the weight reduction, but it’s always good to shout out the factory removal of air conditioning and stereo.

There were minor aerodynamic changes to the Cayman R, cribbed directly from the rarely selected Cayman Aerokit option, which I admit feel largely aesthetically motivated. The little carbon rear spoiler isn’t noticeable from the driver’s seat, but it looks cool. The more aggressive front fascia spoilers give the R a purposeful look.

The suspension of the R is 20mm lower than a standard Cayman S, but was available as an optional Sport Suspension package on the S. No matter, it’s an excellent setup as it allows for aggressive cornering without breaking your back over the rough stuff. In comparison to today’s Cayman GT4 it is a bit less stiff and has a bit more capacity for tolerance on the streets of our crumbling infrastructure. It strikes a remarkable balance. And those lightweight 19″ wheels are visually and dynamically exquisite.

There is a purity to the Cayman R that Porsche has not been able to replicate in anything it has built since. While the German sports car maker we all love has made quite a few cars that are quicker, faster, more impressive, and more expensive, it hasn’t built anything as pure as this in the intervening 8 years. Don’t get me wrong, I love a GT3 RS, a Cayman GT4, a Boxster Spyder, or a Carrera T as much as the next guy, but those are larger, less connected, and far more expensive models. I’d still take the R over any of them.

Looking at a Porsche dealer lot today, the Cayman R’s price of $66,300 seems laughably inexpensive. It’s difficult to get a base 718 Cayman for that kind of money these days, and oh boy it isn’t better. The 987 was the sweet spot of Porsche’s history, and the Cayman R is the best version of the 987, hands down. Don’t believe me? Ask Mike Spinelli over at The Drive.

The only thing I don’t like about the R? That letter. At the time Porsche had only used R on a very special lightweight racing version of the 911 which was much more hardcore than any RS, and while an incredible street car, the Cayman R was no race car. Like the 911 R that followed a few years later, I think the name is misplaced.


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