Anyone upgraded from a 996 to a cayman?

Old 05-07-2017, 10:43 PM
Jeremy Hazeltine
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Default Anyone upgraded from a 996 to a cayman?

First off i love my 996. Its like an adult go cart. I bought this car because i wanted the analog genuine driving feel, and it delivers that!
Now i am leaning toward track time, and the doom and gloom of the m96 is always in my mind, despite taking the usual precautions.
Because of that, i am considering moving to a 2014 cayman S. anyone with experience in both that can give comparisons? I want something a bit newer, warranty, and has a better chance of surviving some track abuse.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:36 AM
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I had a 2002 996 and I have a 2007 Cayman S - sorry, no experience with the newer Cayman. I know this is not exactly what you were looking for but here are my observations. Five years made a huge difference in comfort and driving feel. Remember, the 996 was built "cheaply" compared to the 993 which preceded it because Porsche was in a money crunch. By the time they made the Cayman, the sales of the 996 and Boxster had turned things around. Believe me, it shows. The '07 steering input and road feel are much better than the 996. I like the interior much more and quality seems a little higher. I can only assume the newer Cayman's continued this trend and since the introduction of the DFI motor in the Cayman in 2009, the previous issues with the motor are resolved.

Good luck
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:56 AM
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I actually made the move from a 996 to a 2009 2.9l Cayman last fall. There were a number of reasons, but track-ability was one of them. Aside from the usual M96 concerns, the Cayman seemed to be easier to modify and a better overall performance platform. One example - putting fixed bucket seats in a 996 is a big step; in a Cayman it's relatively straightforward.

Three days after picking up my Cayman I was on the track at VIR, right as hurricane Matthew hit. That first day was entertaining, but the next (dry) day was pretty enlightening. After comparing clean laps in the 996 vs the 987, I concluded that the Cayman was about 3 seconds per lap faster at VIR. As expected, the 996 was much faster on the straights (about 10mph faster at the top of the back straight), but the Cayman was much faster in the turns, especially the longer sweepers, and anything with transitions (ex the climbing esses).

Just about a week ago, I was at Watkins Glen and was able to run the same experiment. In this case, the Cayman was 4 seconds faster than the 996 (comparing best laps). This really suprised me, given how WGI rewards power/speed, but the Cayman's ability to maintain speed in some of the longer turns (full throttle in T2 for example, something I was never comfortable doing in the 996) gave it a huge advantage.

Now of course the cars are set up differently. The 996 was on Dunlop Star Specs, the Cayman on Yoko AD08s. The 996 was on ROW M030, the Cayman on PSS9s. The 996 had stock sport seats, I put Pole Positions with 6 point harnesses in the Cayman. So maybe all those mods add up to 3 seconds? Either way, out of the box, I was impressed that the car could overcome a 60hp deficit.

Aside from all that, I find the Cayman to be so much fun to drive on both street and track. Part of the speed differential in turns is the confidence the platform provides. I wouldn't doubt that a better driver could get more out of the 996 than I ever could, but the inherent balance of the Cayman allowed me to go into turns much faster, and to lean on the chassis much more in mid-corner. Of course, nothing can beat the corner-exit power/traction of a 911, so maintaining mid-corner speed in the Cayman isn't just fun, but necessary.

Anyway, it's safe to say that I highly recommend making the switch, it has been a great experience for me so far. And a 981 chassis should be an ever bigger step up than my 987 was. Have fun and let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:32 PM
Jeremy Hazeltine
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Thank you for your input. Seems like i will be satisfied if i make the move. Power is the same stock, and there are a ton of power adders available for the 981
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:44 PM
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My 40th anniversary 911 is one of the best driving cars that I've owned. That said, for track use, the Cayman R is a better choice.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:17 PM
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I had a 99 996 and then an an 07 911 S. I bought a new Cayman S in 2014. It is in my opinion a much more fun driving car than either 911. I thought I would miss the interior room, but I do not. All were and are manual transmissions and the Cayman's transmission is soooooo much better. I loved both 911's but for sporty driving I prefer the 981 S. It does not feel as powerful as the 997 S, but much more nimble,quick, and fun to drive. I'm sure others might disagree. Like my grandpa used to say "If we all liked the same thing then everyone would be chasing grandma."
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:48 AM
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Have a 996 turbo, a 997 turbo and a 987.2 Cayman S. Wife thinks I should part with the CS, but I just don't have the willpower...
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:15 AM
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If you don't need/want the rear seats in the 996, then go for it.

I had a Boxster S and now a 996. There's no doubt in my mind that a Boxster/Caymen has a handling balance advantage over the 996. I feel like the mid engine-based car can rotate a bit more in the turns with the use of throttle, whereas the 996 has to be coaxed into doing it.
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Old 05-21-2017, 01:34 PM
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They are both fantastic platforms but I do love my new to me 2007 Cayman S with TPC Turbo. I've owned many 996 Turbos and while the Cayman lacks the torque shove you get with the turbo Mezger, it excels in overall feel and handling and I love the linear power delivery even with the TPC turbo, it builds just like stock.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:32 PM
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I love the 1999 996 I recently purchased, and I plan on keeping it for a long time. Having said that, the car I want to add to the stable is an LS or 5.0 powered Cayman. I know there is something not quite right about running a Porsche with a non-Porsche engine, but a V8 Cayman would push all the right buttons for me. No fragile M96 engine, V8 torque, and V8 horsepower. I am a Ford guy at heart and I have owned multiple Mustang GTs, V8 trucks and other 289 powered Fords. The Cayman would be an excellent platform with the V8 grunt. I have to admit though, the LS engine is probably the way to go since it is a narrow, compact engine, but the fact that it is a Chevy bothers me a little.
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