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  1. #1
    STLPCA's Avatar
    STLPCA is offline PCA Member
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    Behind the wheel: 470+ HP Cayman

    As some of you know, a good friend shipped his CS to TPCicon for the installation of its turbocharger kit and some other work. Considerable time and energy was spent by TPC over several months to tweak the installation and the car was returned a few weeks ago. On paper, the results seem incredible: 423 RWHP (from 266 stock) and 359 ft-lb torque (from 230 stock). Using a 12% drivetrain loss factor yields about 480 HP at the crank (from 295 stock). Even more impressive is a torque curve from 4,000 to almost 7,000 rpm that stays more than 100 ft-lbs above the stock engine. Most impressive is all this happens with just 5.5 pounds of boost (less than 0.4 bar), meaning there's little added stress on the engine.

    Add to that Milltek headers, a Quaife ABD, lightweight flywheel, front splitters, Porsche's rear aero spoiler, beefier adjustable sway bars, GT3 front and rear lower control arms; all finished off with a pro-racer's adjustments to the PSS9 suspension and what do you get? I took the car for a healthy test drive to find out.

    First, the disclaimers. I'm not affiliated with TPC and having spent no money for its work product, I don't even have a psychological reason to find its conversion worthwhile. Plus, having driven many turbocharged cars, having owned a few and having completed a lowered compression engine rebuild to turbocharge a 240Z in my garage, I think I've got more than an average understanding of what to look for - good and bad. Last, whether because I live in the "Show-Me State" or grew up in NYC, I'm cynical of vendor claims, especially from sellers of aftermarket performance goodies.

    OK, I can't delay the conclusion. This is among the best (maybe THE best) high performance turbocharged cars I've ever driven. And I don't mean just aftermarket conversions, I mean including well integrated factory systems: 99xTT, Audi Rs, etc. I was blown away with the experience which far exceeded my "looks great on paper" expectations. This is a very well designed and executed modification with no negatives I could find, although, of course, component longevity, clutch life, etc. remains to be seen, as does its effect on one's driver's license.

    In contrast to most factory turbos which run higher boost on lower compression engines, TPC adds to the stock high compression CS engine. The result is that off boost the car is just as strong as a stock CS. But, hit the gas and there is virtually no turbo lag. Just an amazingly seamless, immediate, and very rapid ramp up of smoothly added thrust. No upsetting, violent or discomforting jolt like some cars I've driven. No dead or flat spots. Just a progressive addition from as low as 2,500 rpm, which at first feels linear and then geometric as you hit 4,000 rpm. It feels different than what the dyno would indicate because at about 4k the earth begins to shake, you get stuffed back into your seat and it feels like a big block V8 was dropped into the engine bay behind you. Automotive nirvana.

    I can't say what the LWF adds to the system (other than the expected rattling at idle), but this thing spools up so quickly that hitting the rev limiter in 1st during hard acceleration seems unavoidable. Perhaps more practice would help, but you're out of 1st in a blink. I wouldn't be surprised if the fastest 0-100 time would be to spool up the turbo and start in 2nd.

    In terms any CS owner will understand, when I floored the throttle while cruising in 5th at highway speeds the car accelerated faster than had I downshifted to 3rd in my CS. This is not a frightening car to drive, in fact it's joy is that it's so streetable, but it is frightenly fast. I was constantly focusing to stay below "lose your license" speeds. And that's maybe the only downside I found. The thrill arrives in bursts that can't last more than a few seconds on public roads. But that's the drawback of all high HP street cars. However, for those few seconds there's not much out there that'll stay with this TPC CS. Indeed, my friend left a frustrated driver of a new C4S muttering to himself and no doubt planning to bring his car in for service after he was easily left in the dust despite his fruitless efforts to keep up.

    I didn't hear any turbo whine, just the fluttering of the wastegate when I put my foot down. Mike Levitas, to his credit, wasn't content to just stuff gobs of power into the 3.4. He obviously spent considerable time fine tuning the mini-muffler exhaust to produce a throaty, but not obnoxiously loud, resonance free sweet sound that reflects refined power. Very, very tasteful and well done.

    Mike also didn't ignore the rest of the package. With the suspension changes and his expertise, the car is tight, solid and planted, with very neutral handling and easily handles all the power. As noted by Mike in the posted video, the stock brake pads are not up to the new performance envelope. That'll be changed tomorrow when we install the higher performance pads recommended by Mike.

    I could go on, but suffice it to say this is one suberb modification. Easily the highest proven and most significant HP yield for the dollar. More important, the car has been transformed by giving it an engine to match its chassis and suspension, making it what many here have argued it should have been from the factory. Of paramount importance is that the design and execution of this project by TPC is first rate and on a par with world class performance shops, maybe better. Take it from this cynic, it's perfection. Oh yeah, I want one.

    I won't have an opportunity to drive it on the track until Aug 6th. A track report will follow thereafter.
    Last edited by STLPCA; 06-28-2008 at 04:38 PM.
    Dan
    National PCA DE Instructor
    2006 Cayman S 3.8L 997S X51 Turbo

  2. #2
    Santa Fe's Avatar
    Santa Fe is offline Cayman Enthusiast
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    Dan, thanks. Most people I would have called BS but your feet are firmly on the floor. I think this fits the Cayman but the big question is going to be longevity of the engine with this modification. Only time will tell but until then it sounds like a fun piece.

  3. #3
    JimSouCal is offline Porsche Activist
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    Quote Originally Posted by STLPCA View Post
    I won't have an opportunity to drive it on the track until Aug 6th. A track report will follow thereafter.
    Wow.

    Newbie "no clue" question: are there stock brake issues with the added power and acceleration on the track or just more pad consumed?

  4. #4
    JDHC7's Avatar
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    and the real ??? is $$$$
    Or if I have to ask is it ?

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    Would there be any concerns with that power, half shaft life and the lsd? Can't wait to see pics.

  6. #6
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    I can't imagine how hard I'd have to work to my Cayman to catch up to a 480hp Cayman on the track.

    Dan your comments echo those I made last November and it sounds like you found the conversion every bit as intoxicating as I did. Some people thought I was just plugging TPCicon because they are a sponsor, but it is good to see the independent verifications coming in of what I reported on last year. I can only imagine the surprises your friend is going to give unsuspecting Porsche drivers.....

  7. #7
    STLPCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimSouCal View Post
    ... are there stock brake issues with the added power and acceleration on the track or just more pad consumed?
    Many here, including me, have experienced excessive fading and wear with the stock pads on the track. Others here have not. I solved my track issues with track pads, but still use stock pads on the street. My friend, who has very competitively raced in SCCA for 30 years, doesn't want to worry about fading brakes regardless of how hard he drives.

    Quote Originally Posted by JDHC7 View Post
    and the real ??? is $$$$
    Or if I have to ask is it ?
    This TPCicon CS is highly developed with several months in the shop and served as a development test bed. I'm not sure the pricing would be representative of an "off the shelf" installation.

    Quote Originally Posted by rsfdoc View Post
    Would there be any concerns with that power, half shaft life and the lsd? Can't wait to see pics.
    Only time will tell. Levitas' prototype has apparently survived a year of hard use. An issue for some may be the expected loss of warranty on driveline and engine components.

    Quote Originally Posted by K-Man S View Post
    Some people thought I was just plugging TPC because they are a sponsor, but it is good to see the independent verifications coming in of what I reported on last year.
    Ken, you know I've never allowed site sponsorship (or site ownership) to influence my opinions, good or bad I didn't expect to be as blown away (pun intended) as I was. I even waited a week before posting so my euphoria would wear off. It didn't.

    BTW, Mike's prototype produced less power from more boost, so the extra development time he took before bringing this to market really paid off. He seems to be a guy who is always trying to perfect his product. I think he's there with this one.
    Dan
    National PCA DE Instructor
    2006 Cayman S 3.8L 997S X51 Turbo

  8. #8
    smounic's Avatar
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    Dan, If you keep this up, you are going to have to handle the divorce proceedings
    "The Cayman doesn't need any more toys." -- My wife

  9. #9
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    Now when can we expect prices? you got me all excited now!!

    Hope its within my budget

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  10. #10
    LA Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-Man S View Post
    I can't imagine how hard I'd have to work to my Cayman to catch up to a 480hp Cayman on the track.

    Dan your comments echo those I made last November and it sounds like you found the conversion every bit as intoxicating as I did. Some people thought I was just plugging TPCicon because they are a sponsor, but it is good to see the independent verifications coming in of what I reported on last year. I can only imagine the surprises your friend is going to give unsuspecting Porsche drivers.....
    I want to see the look on the faces of drivers of other makes (vette, viper, etc.) when they get eaten by a little ole Cayman! I would really be interested in the price of the total package: turbocharging, LSD, upgraded suspension. I'm sure it will cost a few bucks, but hey, you only live once! This is my dream car. Now I own half a dream, I'm hoping to make the whole dream come true. I was thinking of a 3.8L transplant, but this sounds too good to pass up. I got to talk to Mike for a few minutes when he brought the prototype to Rennsport III. Very nice fellow and it was obvious that he was excitied about his creation and knew he had something special.

  11. #11
    boobernackle is offline Porsche Specialist 500 post club
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    The price for this mod was around 12K the last time I spoke to them, but that was just for the turbo kit alone. TPCicon is legit and if you go to their shop you will see my point. I was seriously looking into this, but since my CS is still new, I figured to delay it until the warranty expires.

    They saved me a lot of money by telling it like it is, when I mentioned certain mods, even those that users here have posted and raved about, if it is a waste of money, they will expose it.

    That honesty and integrity is hard to find sometimes.
    Last edited by boobernackle; 06-28-2008 at 09:16 AM.

  12. #12
    Bodhii's Avatar
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    From TPCicon invoice

    TPC Cayman S Turbo Kit with Advanced Tuning Package 9,9990.00
    Center radiator kit 0.00
    2 Engine coolant 39.98
    1 Shop Supplies 45.00

    Subtotal 10,083.98


    Installation 2,375.00

    Completion time is about 2 weeks from the day we recieve the car

    SUBTOTAL 12,458.98
    Sales Tax 6% 605.04


    TOTAL $13,064.02
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  13. #13
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    wpmjr is offline Porsche Idealist
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    Is the tuning package the suspension/LSD? I already have that stuff- I would like to know engine upgrade price alone.

    thanks
    996 GT3 lower control arms at all corners
    997 GT3 front sway bar
    Quaife TBD
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  14. #14
    Bodhii's Avatar
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    Is the tuning package the suspension/LSD?
    LOL! You must have a very inexpensive idea as to quaife, suspensions, and turbos!

    The "tuning package" has nothing to do with suspension or drive train. It is just the complete turbo package kit itself.

    They will also evaluate your car as to some obvious possible improvements that you may wish to consider. But there is no hard sell as to anything.
    Last edited by Bodhii; 06-28-2008 at 09:44 AM.

  15. #15
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    Can that be applied to a tip car? In other words, can the tip tranny handle that much power and torque?!

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  16. #16
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    Here is the parts list for the kit:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Behind the wheel: 470+ HP Cayman-tpc-cayman-s-turbo-parts-list.jpg  
    2014 911 Turbo
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  17. #17
    Vik's Avatar
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    Vik is offline Porsche Enthusiast
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    I had emailed them awhile back as to compatibility with my Tiptronic - they said it would not be an issue ...... i haven't gone ahead since my CS is leased ......

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  18. #18
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    I got quoted higher at:

    the kit costs $9995.00 – $75.00 shipping - the front radiator and mount kit (OEM Porsche) $500.00 – installation/tuning $3500.00

    Total: $14070, this is from MaxRPM in WA. I brought the car new last year, don't plan on buying the kit till my car hits 40k miles


    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhii View Post
    From TPCicon invoice
    07 Cayman S - 6 Speed l 03 M3 - SMG l 07 Ridgeline

  19. #19
    tach miami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by advantyper View Post
    I got quoted higher at:

    the kit costs $9995.00 $75.00 shipping - the front radiator and mount kit (OEM Porsche) $500.00 installation/tuning $3500.00

    Total: $14070, this is from MaxRPM in WA. I brought the car new last year, don't plan on buying the kit till my car hits 40k miles
    You either can pay a little more to MaxRPM or you can pay to ship your car back and forth from Maryland.

    Bodhii...since you got your invoice, when do you expect to get your car?
    2014 911 Turbo
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  20. #20
    Bodhii's Avatar
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    tach miami,.. It will be a little longer. My car already has quaife and JIC suspension, but Mike will be doing some extra setup work on it. I'm also awaiting the Italian's new oil tank and oil separator competition kit for the CS, so that TPCicon can install and check it out, and then give a quality report on the whole thing... Hopefully during this time Tess's front splitter will show up and I can then get that installed as well.

    Thankfully I have the R8 to keep me pacified, ( and on track) until my CS is back at home. This TPC Turbo Cayman should be a bit faster than the R8, and with a little better handling. The Cayman, I believe will become my main tracking car, though not a fully stripped and dedicated track car.

    BTW, STLPCA, Thank you for the excellent review. That's the stuff that makes CC really stand out.
    Last edited by Bodhii; 06-28-2008 at 12:12 PM.

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