The Porsche Cayman was presented to the world in 2006 as a mid-engine, RWD 2-seater. It is a derivative of the Type 987 Boxster. As such, it derives many components from the Boxster, such as doors, trunklid and the engine.
Gen 1 Porsche Cayman car engines are also derivatives of the Porsche Boxster flat-6 (horizontally opposed) engine designated the M96. In the Cayman, this designation has become the M97 because although the block is from the M96, the cylinder heads come from the 997’s 3.8-liter engine, featuring VarioCam Plus (designed to provide variable cam lift and timing). At the beginning, the base Cayman was powered by a 2.7 liter engine with an output of 245 horsepower. With 3.4 liters, the Cayman S engine’s output was rated at 295 horsepower.
2009 was the year of introduction for the second generation of the Porsche Cayman. For this 2nd generation, Porsche Cayman engines went through some revisions. The base Cayman engine’s displacement was increased by 200 cc to 2.9 liters, increasing engine output to 265 horsepower at 7,200 rpm. Torque output is 300 Newton-meters (Nm) between 4,400 and 6,000 rpm. With DFI (Direct Fuel Injection), 12.5:1 compression and VariocamPlus, the Cayman S got 320 horsepower at 7,200 rpm from it 3.4 liters of displacement. This engine also gives 370 Nm of torque at 3,750 rpm.
During this period, the manual gearbox was replaced by the 7-speed PDK dual clutch transmission. Giving various operational modes, the PDK transmission is able to cut .3 seconds from the 0-100 km/h time of 5.5, to 5.2 seconds. It is worthwhile to note that until 2009, the Cayman was not offered a limited slip differential because its performance was then already very close to that of Porsche’s flagship line, the 911. At $12,000 dollars less, there was the risk that the Cayman would cannibalize 911 sales.
The current generation of Caymans are offered in three variants, these being the Cayman with the base 265 horsepower engine, the Cayman S with the 320 horsepower engine and the top of the line Cayman R.
By shaving 55 kilos from the Cayman S, Porsche was able to bring the R’s weight down to 1295 kilos. Further tweaking the engine also gave the Cayman R an additional 10 horsepower, rounding out the figure to 330 horses at 7,200 rpm. Power to weight ratio is thus 8.8 lb/hp. This much-improved power-to-weight ratio coupled to the PDK Sport Plus transmission results in the 0-100 km/h sprint being brought down to 4.4 seconds from the Cayman S’ figure of 5.2 seconds.