These days a new or slightly used Supra or R35 car will cost you over 50k. If you’re like me, that’s asinine. I’m too poor to afford such a luxury. At the time, I had just sold my claptrap of a C5 Corvette, and was yearning for another car on my dream list… which led me to a Porsche. I want to introduce you to my new project car. It’s a Porsche Cayman, or as I call it, The Cavalier. Walk with me as I briefly overview my $27,000 big block P-Car.
All Caymans aren’t created equal.
Caymans from 05-12 were dubbed with the chassis code 987. There are two distinct variants to these Caymans, the 987.1 (05-08) and 987.2 (09-12). This particular Cayman is a 987.2. What makes this important is the transmission and the engine. The 987.1 uses the same engine code for its 2.7 engine in the base and the 3.2 in the ‘S.’ These engines suffer from bore scoring when your piston hits the side of the cylinder walls, causing grooves (scoring). It can be caused by poor lubrication events, such as a lot of city-driving without the car up to operating temperature.
These engines also suffer from intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing failure. However, contrary to forum beliefs, this is a rare case. It’s said that only 1-5% of engines die that way. The 987.2’s MA1 engine addresses both issues while adding direct injection and kicking up the displacement by .2 across the board. A ‘big block’… as I said before.
The other notable difference is the transmission.
The 987.1 had this garbage automatic called Tiptronic. AKA: Dog shit… throw it away. The 987.2 has the infamous Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual-clutch transmission. You either get a lightening fast “auto” or a manual gearbox. There are some other minor things included with the 987.2. A tiny facelift that you can tell with a trained eye and an LSD option.
This leads me to my new to me Cayman.
This was picked up from Verus Engineering, who is a friend of Professional Awesome (whom I’m the ‘Director of Cool’ for). It’s one of the reasons I got an excellent deal on a car that books for over 34k. Although this is still the most expensive car I’ve ever owned, it wasn’t an easy trigger pull. The parts list it included made the pill easier to swallow.
The Cayman came with Fortune Auto 510s, discontinued from Fortune Auto for this P Car. This would make them uber-rare scene points if I were in the drift world. How could the value not go up then? Luckily, Fortune will still rebuild/revalve any set of 510s that are still out there. One of the perks of having a modular product. It also came with a Cobb tuner which is mandatory for PDK transmissions. The factory transmission doesn’t give you that lightning punch that you think of when you think of DCT. The Cobb solves that and allows you to flash-back to an OEM tune when not on the track. Lastly, it came with a Verus Aero package. The splitter, side skirts, wing, and dive planes are all designed to work together. I’m a sucker for good aero, especially aero that’s been CFD-verified. It makes me moist.
The Cayman I bought is a fantastic car.
I’m now going to stop calling it Cayman now though. She identifies as a Cavalier. That’s because every Cayman known to man will have a sagging headliner draped on their heads. And high-wear items such as the center console, door lock surround, and door sills are all plastic. The P Car gurus painted them with this rubberized spray to add a soothing touch to your hands. The problem is – when the sweet spot for poors like myself buy them, these items are flaking off or have 1.2 million noticeable scratches/chips. It’s also cramped inside for fluffy average-height Americans like myself.
Someone somewhere gagged at the notion of someone drinking anything in a Porsche. Porsche realized they had to have something for the Americans, so they threw some ‘cup holders’ in a pop-out compartment above the glove box. Don’t think about using them! Your significant other will be upset when it spills over them (ask me how I know). I’m just nitpicking, though. Everything else is great for the cheapest model you can buy in Porsche’s lineup. There had to be some sacrifices to keep costs down somewhere.
Plans for the Cavalier…
Why did I even get this thing, right? Well, I want to race with Gridlife in their series called Gridlife Touring Cup (GLTC). The class is loosely based on a power-to-weight ratio of 12.5:1 (12lbs per HP). The Cavalier from the factory is right around 2900lbs, and the big block Cayman S makes around 320 to the crank so we can expect about 280 horsepower to the wheels. With a detune, which is allowed in GLTC, we should be able to squeeze under that 12.5:1 ratio.
That said, I have my work cut out for me to be competitive in the class.
Those guys in GLTC are fast! My Corvette (above) was rushed together to compete in GLTC at COTA in February 2022, and it was a train wreck. I’m going to take a more analytical approach to this build, and document the what & the whys of car building for a class. It’ll also be a lesson in car setup, the best bang for your buck, and dialing myself in behind the wheel with each change. For now, was the Cavalier a good pickup?