After the initial announcement that Porsche was going to release a small mid-engine coupe, we were all excited. In 2005 we finally got the Cayman S. A fast, mid-engine coupe in the Porsche lineup, starting with the S version as a 2006 model year car (the base model came a year later).
The 2006 Porsche Cayman S was based on the Boxster series, the two-seat coupe incorporated dramatic new styling, a powerful 295 hp (SAE) engine, and features and options made popular by Porsche’s current range of sports cars. Note, we refer to it on this site as the 2nd generation Cayman because it is based on the second generation Boxster platform (even though it is the first generation Cayman model).
It was positioned and priced between the Porsche 911 Carrera and Porsche Boxster S. While easily recognizable as a member of the Porsche sports car family, the Cayman S has its own distinctive look. Among its unique styling features are its dynamic new coupe silhouette, aerodynamic upper windshield sill, curvaceous rear fenders, fog lamps integrated into the front air intakes, exclusively designed side air intakes, automatically extending rear spoiler, and newly styled dual sport tailpipes. Beneath the new model’s distinguishing hatchback is a rear storage area twice the size (9.2 cu. ft.) of that found in the Boxster.
The Cayman S’s muscular 3.4-liter, flat-six cylinder engine propels the car from 0 to 60 mph in a quick 5.1 seconds and to a top track speed of an impressive 171 mph. The engine is equipped with the same VarioCam® Plus variable valve timing system as found on the 2005 911 Carrera. It allows the engine to produce its maximum torque of 255 ft. lbs. between 4,200 and 6,000 rpm.
This engine power is transmitted through the Boxster S’s standard six-speed manual transmission that has been enhanced for the Cayman S with shortened and more precise shift travel. Offered as an option, the five-speed Tiptronic® S automatic transmission system has been tuned specifically for the new model, incorporating unique electronic and hydraulic control maps.
Handling and safety are enhanced with the fitting of 18-inch wheels and tires and the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system as standard equipment. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, which allows the driver to select between the comfort of a grand touring car and the track-ready precision of a genuine high-performance sports car at the touch of a button, is available as an option.
While the Boxster was built to enjoy a fast, or relaxed, drive under the open sky, offering a true roadster experience, the Cayman was built more for track days, with a stiffer bodywork focused on the driving experience.
The 2007 Porsche Cayman S is the higher-performance version of Porsche’s Boxster-based sports coupe, and like all Porsche “S” models, the changes are not some mere cosmetic package but changes significant enough to warrant a separate model designation.
To take full advantage of its more rigid body structure and its expanded dynamic potential, the 2007 Porsche Cayman S is equipped with a larger and more powerful 3.4-liter, horizontally opposed sixcylinder engine. By unleashing this 295-horsepower engine in a lightweight but extremely stiff chassis built on nimble suspension, the 2007 Porsche Cayman S establishes a new benchmark in the two-seat sports coupe category. In fact, during testing at Germany’s famed Nürburgring racing circuit, the Porsche Cayman S turned laps that rivaled even the acclaimed Porsche 911 Carrera, the epitome of the modern sports car.
With its combination of a powerful drivetrain, exceptionally well-balanced dynamic dexterity and the quality of braking that characterizes every Porsche vehicle, the performance by the Porsche Cayman S on Germany’s most demanding closed circuit resulted in lap times that not only challenged the 911, but at the same time were considerably faster than its rivals in the two-seater coupe category.
But the 2007 Porsche Cayman S isn’t just fast and quick around the road course. Thanks to careful engineering to optimize weight and to a design that provides outstanding aerodynamics, this Porsche coupe established standards on the Nürburgring’s famous Northern Circuit for efficiency by turning the fastest lap while using the least amount of fuel.
And yet the 2007 Porsche Cayman S is more than a high-performance sports car. It was designed to be comfortable with a particularly well-appointed passenger compartment designed for long-distance driving – whether on two-lane mountain roads, wide-open stretches of Interstate highway or even the congestion of urban freeways.
New 3.4-liter ‘boxer’ has powerful punch and is fuel-efficient
Providing power for the 2007 Porsche Cayman S is a 3.4-liter “boxer” six-cylinder engine that wears the cylinder heads and uses the same VarioCam Plus technology as the heralded Porsche 911 Carrera models. VarioCam Plus carefully and constantly adjusts camshaft timing and valve lift to optimize power output. The Porsche Cayman S was the first car other than the 911 Carrera to benefit from this unique Porsche technology.
Equipped with this technology, the 3.4-liter engine punches out 295 horsepower and 250 ft-lb of torque, propelling the Porsche Cayman S from a standing start to 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) in just 5.1 seconds. The car reaches 99 mph (160 km/h) in a mere 11.7 seconds and gets to 124 mph (200 km/h) in 18.6 seconds. The Porsche Cayman S can eclipse the quarter-mile sprint in 13.6 seconds and achieves a top speed on the test track of nearly 171 mph (275 km/h).
However, the Porsche Cayman S is rated at 20-mpg city and 28 highway when equipped with a manual transmission and at 20 and 27 with the Tiptronic S automatic. The engine’s efficiency also shows as it qualifies as an LEVII (low-emission category two) vehicle in the United States.
In addition to its short stroke and VarioCam Plus technology, the engine benefits from recently developed crankshaft, main bearings and pistons. The crankshaft in the Porsche Cayman S shares dimensions with that in the 911 Carrera and the aluminum crankcase is virtually identical to that used in the Porsche flagship.
Six-speed manual or Tiptronic S transmission
To deal with the increased output from the 3.4-liter engine, the standard six-speed manual transmission is modified with shorter ratios for first and second gears.
As an alternative, Porsche offers its acclaimed Tiptronic S gearbox as an option. This five-speed automatic transmission offers drivers the option of shifting gears by either tipping the gear lever mounted on the center console or by simply pushing fingertip controls located on the crossbar of the steering wheel.
While the Porsche Cayman S chassis and suspension are based on the Boxster’s, the coupe is slightly larger and gains rigidity from its fixed-roof architecture. This stiffer structure allows Porsche engineers to optimize the coupe’s suspension for exceptional dynamic capabilities. Compared to Porsche’s own outstanding roadster, the body of the Porsche Cayman S offers 100 percent more resistance to flex and its torsional stiffness nearly matches that of the heralded Porsche 911 Carrera.
With such a solid platform, Porsche engineers were able to tune the Porsche Cayman S for an even more sporting and dynamic dimension and with high reserves for safety. However, the strength of the Porsche Cayman S body also allowed them to maximize the comfort of the driver and passenger. And at Porsche, performance includes safety and the Porsche Cayman S was designed with high degrees of both passive and active safety features.
As on other Porsche sports cars, the front suspension of the Porsche Cayman S features spring-strut axles with separately mounted longitudinal and track control arms to assure precise wheel guidance while controlling body roll. A new outbound/rebound stop spring within the damper strut further reduces body sway angle to make the Porsche Cayman S even more sure-footed under high lateral acceleration forces.
The rear suspension also features spring-strut axles with longitudinal and track control arms, again with fine tuning to provide for the dynamic capabilities of the Porsche Cayman S architecture and powertrain.
Porsche Stability Management standard on every 2007 Cayman S
The 2007 Porsche Cayman S features the latest generation of Porsche Stability Management (PSM), a unique vehicle control technology that comprises anti-lock braking, anti-slip (traction) control, engine drag control and automatic brake differential functions to intervene when necessary in driving situations that approach the limits of adhesion. In such instances, PSM can apply the brakes to individual wheels to help maintain the car’s stability.
However, unlike intrusive vehicle control systems available from other automakers, PSM is designed not to interfere with sporty performance but to enhance the experience for the enthusiast driver.
Porsche Active Suspension Management, Sports Chrono Package enhance dynamic control For drivers who want to experience the ultimate expression of vehicle dynamics, the 2007 Porsche Cayman S can be equipped with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the Sports Chrono Package. The ride height of the Porsche Cayman S equipped with PASM is almost four-tenths of an inch (10 mm) lower than a car with regular suspension. PASM, in effect, provides two suspension setups in a single vehicle – the “Normal” setting for comfortable cruising and everyday driving and the “Sport” setting for track-day or autocross exercises. Compared to the standard Porsche Cayman S suspension setup, PASM Normal offers a more comfortable suspension that provides even smoother ride qualities, especially over rough roads. However, the system automatically stiffens when the driver makes more aggressive inputs.
PASM Sports activates a much firmer suspension control map for agile and dynamic handling, such as that sought in track situations. PASM includes two accelerometers that determine vertical movement of the body. Further, it monitors steering angle inputs, road speed, brake pressure and engine torque to optimize damper control for each individual wheel.
As a further option, Porsche offers its Sports Chrono Package that modifies mapping for the powertrain and braking systems to provide the ultimate in performance driving. With the optional Sports Chrono Package activated, the 2007 Porsche Cayman S responds even more directly to throttle inputs and offers the driver even greater freedom when driving at the limit thanks to the car’s more sporting set-up of engine management, shifting of the optional Tiptronic S transmission as well as the parameters of the PASM system.
The Sports Chrono Package includes a dash-mounted stopwatch gauge that records lap times on track days or in autocross events. On cars equipped with the optional Porsche Communications Management system, this data can be displayed for review on the navigation monitor screen.
In Porsche’s testing at the Nürburgring, a Cayman S equipped with the Sports Chrono Package was some three seconds per lap faster around the test track.
Large brakes assure quick, safe stops
To deal with such dynamic forces, the Porsche Cayman S uses the same braking system components as the 911 Carrera, and rides on standard 18-inch wheels and tires, with four 19-inch wheel designs as optional equipment.
Front brake discs are internally ventilated and measure 12.52 inches (318 mm) in diameter and 1.10 inches (28 mm) in thickness. Rear discs also are inner-vented and measure 11.77 inches (299 mm) across and 0.94 inches (24 mm) in thickness. To provide optimum deceleration, four-piston monobloc calipers – painted red on the Porsche Cayman S – grab the discs under braking.
Porsche Cayman S design: purely Porsche, but also unique
Some may look at the 2007 Porsche Cayman and be reminded of the Porsche 550 Coupe or the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Coupe, both legendary cars from previous eras. Others will notice how Porsche designers incorporated elements of both the Boxster roadsters and the 911 Carrera models into the new two-seat, fixed-roof coupe. Still others will see the Porsche Cayman for its unique design, purely Porsche but with distinct styling elements such as its nose section, the way the rocker panels sweep up to the sidemounted air vents like a hockey stick, and the graceful if complex curves as the long sloping roofline narrows as it plunges between the voluptuous rear fenders.
To try to classify the Porsche Cayman S as merely the coupe version of the Boxster does disservice to both vehicles, each of which is unique with its own special characteristics. The 2007 Cayman S presents a new face for Porsche with a more pronounced lower lip and with the fog lamps mounted on bars that extend across the air intakes – with their unique vertical slats – on either side of that lap. The hood sweeps up between the front fenders to a steeply raked windshield.
The exterior design not only underscores the fixed-roof coupe styling, but also enhances aerodynamic control. The small lip at the bottom of the front end of the car reduces lift forces, which at 167 mph (270 km/h) increases the load on each front wheel by 15 pounds (7 kg), producing a significant improvement in stability at very high speeds.
The exterior mirrors are like those used on the 200-mph Porsche Carrera GT supercar and the new and split rear wing moves up some 3.15 inches (80 mm) as soon as the car exceeds 75 mph (120 km/h) to enhance high-speed stability. Rather than a traditional spoiler, this wing keeps air resistance to a minimum while generating powerful downforce.
Airflow beneath the car also is carefully controlled, both for cooling of engine, transmission and brakes and for helping to keep the Porsche Cayman S in contact with the road surface. Further, ram air flaps are built in the corners of the fan frames at the front of the car and open at around 45 mph (70 km/h) to reduce throughput of air and thus reduce forces acting on the front axle.
Headlamps use projector-beam technology (bi-xenon lamps are optional). Wide tail lamps are cut into the rear quarter panels. Rear horizontal form bars merge into the specially designed and centrally mounted dual tailpipes.
Overall, the 2007 Porsche Cayman S body is 172.1 inches (4371 mm) long, which makes it not quite half an inch longer than the Boxster and 3.5 inches (88.9 mm) shorter than the 911 Carrera. The Porsche Cayman S also is half-an-inch taller (at 51.4 inches or 1305 mm) than the Boxster, though the cars share their width (70.9 inches or 1801 mm) and their 95.1-incn (2415 mm) wheelbase dimensions.
Sophisticated interior features high-quality materials
The interior of the 2007 Porsche Cayman S combines luxury-class materials with the controls and seat bolstering required by the enthusiast driver and thus provides a fitting environment whether traveling across the country or around a racetrack.
While based on the interior in the Porsche Boxster, the Porsche Cayman S adds several unique features, such as its long and wide rear package shelf, covered storage bins behind each seat and a revised binnacle above the instrument cluster with a fine metal grid in the open spaces between the circular instruments and the binnacle.
The gearshift lever, steering wheel rim, handbrake lever handle, cover on the storage compartment in the center console and in the door panels all are finished in grain leather. Aluminum-colored trim accents the interior.
The Porsche Cayman S has an oversized glove box. An open storage bin is located at the lower front end of the center console with a covered storage box at the rear end of the console. Inside this box are both a coin holder and a 12-volt power outlet. Covered storage areas also are located in each door panel.
A pair of cup holders is cleverly concealed behind a trim strip above the glove compartment. Each accommodates beverages up to 2.91 inches in diameter and swivels out independently as needed.
The 2007 Porsche Cayman S features two separate luggage compartments, one under the front hood and the other under the long sloping rear hatch. Combined, they provide 14.13 cubic feet (400 liters) of capacity.
The rear luggage compartment is fully carpeted and offers storage areas on either side of a stainless steel trim strip. A luggage retention bar between the headrests keeps bags safely in position, even when the driver has to brake for an all-out emergency.
Several choices in audio equipment
The Porsche Cayman S comes standard with a Porsche Sound Package including nine speakers: one 2.5-inch (70- mm) mid-range speaker and two .75-inch (19-mm) tweeters in the dash, two 4-inch (100-mm) mid-range speakers and two 8-inch (200-mm) woofers in the doors, and two 4-inch (100-mm) mid-range speakers in the rear compartment.
The optional Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system includes available DVD navigation and the ability to play MP3 titles.
A BOSE Surround Sound System is available as an option. It has 10 speakers and a seven-channel digital amplifier specifically designed for the Porsche Cayman S.
Safe by design
Every 2007 Porsche Cayman S is equipped with six airbags including two front and two seat-mounted side-impact airbags. In addition, the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP) system includes head airbags that deploy upward from their housings in the door windowsills. These new airbags provide a flat cushion that inflates to nearly 500 cubic inches (8 liters) and are designed to help protect the heads of the driver and passenger from broken glass and objects that might enter through the window in the event of an accident.