I'm with you 100% MarkStudy:
Is the 981 better than the 987 "in every way"?
The "vast majority" usually go with the herd and the hype, so for them the new hot set-up always trumps the current model, and the future's Porsche always seems to be the best of all possible products. And that's exactly what the car manufacturer wants the consumer to believe, and what the toady press wants to write. THAT'S THEIR JOB! Do you really believe that the next generation will be better because they say so?
A quick review of Bruce Anderson's Buyers Guide articles in Excellence (or any credible guide to buying a used Porsche) would suggest that from a historical perspective Porsche has had some great models in certain years, and more than a few others that were not so successful for a variety of reasons. (Lemons, anyone?) It always takes a while to get the bugs out, but since Porsche evolves their cars, they usually do improve over time.
For the record I should disclose that I still own my 968, which was never a popular car, and will never be considered a classic. I do have the sales brochures to prove that Porsche was enthusiastic about the car when they built it. But I really don't care what anybody else thinks. The 968 is a beauty, its comfortable, and I love driving that car! The cabriolet is no where as good on the track as the 944S2 coupe, and it doesn't dart, dance and zip like the Cayman, but when the occasional dry day comes to western Oregon, the top goes down, the seat heaters and stereo get turned up, and this kid takes off for the coastal twisties with a smile on his face.
I saw Miles Collier's 550-001 twice a week all last summer at the Portland Art Museum, and its difficult to find much fault with Gustaf's opinion of the those Porsche Spyders. But I did get down to Monterey CA last fall, and seeing bunches of 550, Carrera Abarth and 904 GTS models took my breath away. Rod Emory has also made some dandy outlaws that put many legitimate Porsches to shame. Not all Porsches built after James Dean's car are ugly.
Seeing my pal Ken Bender's brand new 427 Cobra in 1966 was an epiphany. I didn't have $70, let alone $7,000, but I promised myself, one day...
40 years later, when I saw the first pictures and videos of the CaymanS, I was immediately knocked out by the simplicity and elegance of the machine. The hips, the slope of the hood between the rounded front fenders, the smooth unadorned sides and straight line from nose to tail. My friend Win Casey told me "There is no excuse for anyone to buy a new Porsche. There are too many great used ones around." But I was in lust, and unlike my situation in 1966, there was a little extra change in my pocket. Kenny Bender liked my Cayman's looks, and Mr. Casey called it "the best looking Porsche designed car, ever."
When I saw my nephew Carl Hertlein in Carmel in the summer of 2006, he said "Hey Uncle Denis! How about that new Cayman?"
I answered, "Got one."
I had the distracting rear deck's "Cayman S" script removed with dental floss, switched out the yellow side markers for the Euro clear ones, and mounted 19" Champion RS98 wheels, all before taking delivery. When Porsche offered the all red tail light lenses for Boxster and Caymen, those were installed. Seal gray metallic was discontinued shortly after the Cayman S was introduced, and though I briefly considered yellow, the more stealthy hue fits me better. The car came with silver spoiler lips in front (practically unnoticeable) but the stock exhaust tips were soon switched for an easier to keep clean chrome unit. The last gift the Cayman got was red seat belts, a small hint of heat that matches the brake calipers and above mentioned tail lights. Oh, there are other goodies inside, like a smaller Alcantara steering wheel and shift knob on the short shifter, the HIP clear engine cover exposing silver air intakes and the IPD plenum, and other mods, but most of that doesn't show.
My point? The car looked great as delivered. It looks even better now. For me: less is more; simplify. Anything that distracts from the clean and obviously correct shape of the original Cayman concept should be eliminated.
I haven't read all the reviews by those who have seen the new 981 Cayman. I do recall someone wrote the interior was "Horrendous", and lots of folks posting on this site seem less than dazzled. Maybe its just personal taste, or lack of same. And maybe, like the new 991, the Cayman version of the 981 will grow on me. I'm not afraid to change my mind, but so far the new look just leaves me limp.