Porsche Cayman S Buyers Guide

By: Joe Kenwright

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Porsche Cayman S Porsche Cayman S Porsche Cayman S
Porsche Cayman S rear Porsche Cayman S rear Porsche Cayman S rear
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Tips and traps - this will save you money

Porsche Cayman S Buyers Guide
Buyer guide: Porsche Cayman S


Porsche Cayman S


Only Porsche could build a coupe version of a soft top and charge more for it. But, in reality, the Cayman S - launched in February 2006 - was half 911 Carrera with the other half split evenly between Boxster and unique Cayman parts.

Based on the new 987 platform, it featured a 3.4-litre version of the earlier intermediate-shaft engine for 217kW/340Nm with a choice of six-speed manual and five-speed Tiptronic, all later shared with the 987 Boxster. A PASM (Porsche Active Supension Management) option-enhanced Cayman delivered a better ride and tauter handling than standard.

A softer base Cayman followed in October 2006 with a 2.7-litre version of the same engine with 180kW/273Nm and five-speed manual or five-speed Tiptronic. Apart from the big price savings, the base Cayman delivered better economy and a sweeter manual shift, encouraging more driver involvement with the lower output.

A major Cayman upgrade in March 2009 featured new bumper fascias and revised lights front and rear. All-new, direct-injection flat sixes with direct chain-driven camshafts on both models replaced the intermediate shaft design. Cayman capacity increased to 2.9 litres with 195kW/300Nm and a choice of six-speed manual or new seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmissions. Cayman S capacity stayed the same but output rose to 235kW/370Nm while the seven-speed PDK replaced the Tiptronic. 


Early Cayman S examples start from just under $60,000, with the Cayman $10-15,000 less. The last 2009 Cayman S examples from the first series pull up just under $90,000, while the new engine design keeps the later series above $90,000 with the base Cayman around $15,000 less.


Early engine intermediate-shaft seal/bearing and rear main seal failure problems should have been addressed before Cayman release, but check for any advance warning signs such as unusual whirring noises and oil leaks.

All perishable hoses, O-rings and engine fittings need to be checked for heat hardening and perishing.

Timing chains, spark plugs and coil packs may be ready for attention on high-mileage examples. Apart from basic fluid changes, most maintenance items involve dropping the engine for access.

Low sump is vulnerable to scraping, which can disturb the seal and cause oil leaks.

Porsche shortened Cayman service intervals after release so check that the car has been serviced by the revised intervals as 20,000km is too long, especially under Australian conditions.

Tiptronic is bulletproof if maintained but check that it works correctly in all manual and auto modes. Expensive parts and labour dictate that manual clutch must be working perfectly without judder or sharp take-up.

Brake pads and rotors are a routine service item - almost every second service, depending on driver.

Rear suspension is vulnerable to careless drivers who can knock it out of alignment by kerb-hopping or crunching into kerbs. Noisy front suspension bushes and ball joints can be routine replacement items.

Expensive 19-inch rims and tyres on Cayman S are easily damaged by Australian potholes.

Low front with long overhang snags speed humps or dipped driveways so check carefully underneath.

Liftback rattles on early examples, should have been fixed under warranty.



More reviews:

> Driven: Porsche Cayman S (July 2013)


Search used:

>> Search for a used Porsche here



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