The Porsche Cayman S is a chassis that falls into a gray area. It’s not an exotic per say, but it’s also not your entry-level everyday commuter. In a way, it plays in a segment where the Supra, RX7, and 300ZX turbo used to be. Porsche design, roots, & heritage are definitely alive within the Cayman, and that’s what sets it apart. But it’s also got a price tag that you can reason with, set goals for, and get your money’s worth out of. It’s not just a Sunday car, or an A-to-A car. It’s an exotic, without all the fluff. Where the engineers at Ferrari face-palm if you take their car to the grocery store, the engineers at Porsche face-palm if you don’t.
So when you get to a point to where you’ve got a Porsche sitting in your garage, do you tear that bitch apart and wrench on it like any other car you had before… or do you just rub it with a diaper & stick to the dealer scheduled maintenance plan? Here’s an honest follow-up question: can you actually improve on these cars, besides maybe a great coilover system and a sticky set of tires? Or are you just going to inevitably spend huge bucks, only to grenade the balance & driving-dynamics that generations of engineers & racers much smarter than you had spent their careers perfecting. The thing is, cars in this bracket are generally all about tuning maturity & sophistication. Sure, turn it up a notch or two in the aftermarket… but keep it respectable & keep your fingernails clean. It’s the “I’m only lowering it an inch and getting wheels” denial mindset. But what happens when the guy with the champagne budget can’t quench his tuner taste?
Well for Mario, no amount of wisdom or backlash from the exotic snobbery could keep him from throwing a big middle finger to the Teutonic Gods and doing things his way.
When we first saw this Cayman S, the initial emotion was all-out excitement… followed by all-out anger… followed by perplexity. Excitement — because the colors, shapes, fitments, and silhouettes are truly love/lust at first sight. Anger — because he put flushed out wheels and air suspension on a damn 987C. And then perplexed — because he almost tricked us into believing it was ok.
As a magazine & so-called industry professionals, we want to be ‘too purist’ for this car. We want to snuff our noses at it & play racecar driver. We know that stancing out a car like this is like buying a thoroughbred racehorse to pull a plow in your field.
However, as car guys, should we really care? I mean — when we get down to the nitty gritty, is it really our problem?
It’s only our problem if we spend our time getting mad about it. And we only spend time getting mad & debating cars like this — when they come out stunning. That goes for all of us, on all sides of the fence. No one wastes their energy getting worked up & mad at mediocrity. It doesn’t happen. The controversy starts, however, when they freaking go and ‘pull it off’. For example, when a guy puts 21-inch wheels and air on a Cayman S. Or when that first guy put an LS1 in his 240. Or some dude went off the deep end modifying a Honda scooter.
And you know what — we can knock on Mario for being a sinner and putting a Porsche on air. Or we can look at the alternative-side, and realize that we’re transi- tioning into a time where some of the higher end streetcars are utilizing air from the factory. Teslas come on air, and they are one of the most advanced production cars on the planet. And remember, when in motion, this car sits at a much more ‘actionable’ ride height than you see in the photos.
We can knock him for putting 20/21-inch wheels on a nimble sports car. But before we sling that blind hate, we need to know that Mario is the owner of Rad48 Wheels, so the car is essentially conceptualized around the super-aggressive, high-profile wheel set… and prep-work for the wheel fitment was meticulous. The front fenders were widened 7cm, and the rear quarters were widened 12cm before paint. And the bodywork flows seamlessly under the radar with the natural lines of the car — rather than sawzalled & riveted into place like some of the other tack-on fiberglass Porsche wide body kits. The custom ducktail puts a little ass & aggression on that rear profile, and keeps up with those curves of the rear hips, while giving a salute to the RS legacy.
The fact is: Somebody’s gotta do it. Somebody’s gotta go there. The car culture’s at- titude is such that: if nobody’s done it… then that’s a sure-fire guarantee that some- body’s in their garage doing it right now. That’s also our culture’s appeal. So realize that amusement comes in all shapes & sizes. And just because YOU might do it differ- ently if it was your car — really doesn’t mean shit to anyone.
2006 PORSCHE CAYMAN S 987C
OWNER – Mario Mattick, 31
LOCATION – Dresden, Germany
ENGINE – 3.4 boxer, M&M exhaust (Cayman Cup exhaust)
WHEELS / SUSPENSION – Airride HP Drivetech, Accuair with E-Level, RAD48 Type BR: Front 20×10 ET 20. Rear 21×12.5 ET -3., Falken 235/30/20 front. 295/25/21 rear.
EXTERIOR – Front fenders widened 7cm, Rear quarter panels widened 12cm, Repainted in Mustardhuney – yellow/greenish custom color, Custom front carbon lip, Custom rear carbon diffuser, Custom ducktail decklid & race wing, Yellow headlights.