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Discussion Starter #1
Just got back from my first track day in my ’09 Cayman S and wanted to do a little write up of my impressions. The car is bone stock non-PASM; non SC. Only things done prior to today were an alignment and replacement of the brake fluid with Motul RBF600. The track day was at Autoclub Speedway’s Roval configuration (road course + banked oval).

First off, let me say that I have not driven a stock car on street tires in maybe 3 years. Prior to the Cayman, I had been driving an EVO VIII with around 425hp and setup with Moton Club Sport double adjustable coilovers. That car was amazing but I decided I wanted to try something different. Today I drove somewhat conservatively given the rather drastic change from front-engine AWD and R compounds to mid-engined RWD on street tires.

Braking:
I was pretty impressed with the stock brakes. Their stopping power was very good and the pedal feel and grab was progressive. I found the pedal a little mushy as the day went on. Another bleed will be in order. The brakes only started to fade a little in one of my later runs as I pushed harder. I definitely found myself holding back a bit though for fear of having them go away completely. I think a set of Pagid Yellows or something similar are in order.

Power:
The power in the CS is good but would love another 50-100hp and feel like the chassis could handle it. The engine pulled nice and strong; enough to hit 140mph before entering the banking of the oval. I had become accustomed to rotating the car on corner exit with throttle in the EVO. This just wasn’t the case in the CS. I ended up working on my lines a lot more to improve corner exit speed and that is a good thing. I’m aware that power can cause/mask some bad driving habits and I’m guilty of that.

Handling:
This is why I bought this car. I left PSM on for my first two sessions to get a feel for the car and to see when it would intervene. I normally do not like any traction control but was glad initially it was there. It did a good job of reigning the car in when I intentionally pushed it too far. On the 3rd and 4th sessions of the day, I turned it off. I liked it MUCH better this way and could feel myself getting faster and faster (backed by lap times). I had not felt understeer in the car at all on the street but definitely felt it as the day went on. It wasn’t terrible but it was definitely there. The communication from the steering and the chassis was simply fantastic. The weight and feel in the wheel made me smile on several occasions. The suspension felt very good even coming off the back of the oval at 115mph+. It never felt squirrely or out of sorts. Only once did the car step out and try to come around on me but that was entirely my fault because I entered a very sharp left-hander entirely too fast. The rear swung around pretty fast when it let go but not so fast that it couldn’t be caught. It was a very good experience to feel what it was like when it let go.

Reliability / Issues / Problems:
Given all I’d read previously about power steering failures and oil starvation, I’d be lying if I said those things weren’t on my mind as I drove the car. I definitely was keenly aware of the motor in the banked oval at high RPM. I am happy to report though that the only casualties of the day were a few mm or tire and brake wear. The car did not consume a drop of oil, did not leak any fluids and the brakes did not squeel; it performed flawlessly.

Conclusion:
I was really impressed with this car in stock form. The handling limits are high and the car is pretty benign unless you do something really hair brained. It even rewarded a hack like me with a great driving experience and decent lap times. I do agree now with what many fellow CS owners have said about the mod path for tracking. I immediately want the GT3 control arms for more camber; I want R compounds; I definitely want an LSD. Oh, and most important of all, I want more instruction time to work on my driving to take better advantage of what this platform has to offer!

PS: To the poster who called the CS “undrivable” at the track – I simply do not agree with your assessment. You need to drive some truly crappy performance cars if you think the CS is that bad ;)
 

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Interesting feedback that I have been looking for. I track an Evo IX with ~420hp, NT05's, and custom CBRD Ohlins. I have been wanting something more refined but am scared of the lack of power compared to my current car.

What is your feedback compared to your evo? Do you feel a few bolt on's could bring this car up to the level of your modded evo on the track?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
evotocayman: Regarding bolt-ons, yes, I think you could achieve the same or greater limits than the EVO with respect to handling. As far as power - no way in hell unless you did something like the TPC turbo kit. Technically, it IS bolt on though ;)

To make the jump from EVO to CS, I think you have to accept that you are buying into a different experience. My EVO was fantastic at the track, but I found I didn't drive it much on the street anymore because it was a loud and a uncivilized. Today, I packed up my stuff from the track, settled into my heated leather seat and punched in the Nav for a restaurant on the way home. There was no heavy clutch, no rough idle. I'm getting older and I'm finding my tolerance for the rough edges is waning. IMHO, the CS gives up that rush of power, but gives you a fantastic chassis and a level of interior refinement that you won't find in a Japanese econobox. The EVO X has come a long way in terms of interior, but in that process, it gained 400lbs! I really enjoyed the fact that the CS is lighter and more nimble in feel.

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss further. That way we can keep the EVO content down to a minimum ;)
 

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I agree with all the assessment. If you can keep both do it. Two very different cars where the addiction are on two different places. The craving for Cayman's handling is on par craving for power on a modified EVO's power. Before the apex I really like to brake late on a cayman but after the apex I really love to power out of the EVO8. The turbo boost above 3000 rpm is crazy.:hilarious:
 

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You guys are on drugs. Seriously. First off... there is no replacement for traction. A rear wheel drive versus all wheel drive is not even in the same basket at the picnic. In fact, I read in your report a lot of denial in qualities we both know the Evo simply and flat-out dominates in track use.

I will agree the Cayman is a much more civilized vehicle on the street... no doubts there. You are simply replacing sheer brawn with finesse and its a fight between Bruce Lee & Mike Tyson.

Maybe an 08 STi with its factory adjustable modes, Navigation and comforts like heated seats would be closer to the qualities you are looking for, but then again... not remotely close to the lack of power & traction you get with the Cayman. In this day & age, it boggles my mind to believe a manufacturer would even deliver a car without a LSD.

Just wait til you get R-compound tires, better brakes and even more power to find that the Yaw sensor even when turned off ruins your day because it kicks in above 1.2g in braking and since you are running on an oval, will automatically apply rear ABS thinking it is in a roll accident... then sending back to the pits in LIMP MODE!

Don't catch me wrong here... I think the Cayman is a great car with amazing potential! I think a full turbo system with a water to air xchanger and front cooling tank with pump would give an easy 200hp. Think of it as the NSX was back in the day... a "Driver's Car" but not a real racecar like the Evo or the STi. Those are simply Wolves in Sheep's clothing and you know it! How many Vettes & Mustangs did you hunt down?
 

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Curious on an apples/apples comparison. Do you think the 09 STI in stock form against an 09 CS in stock form on the same track would come out on top? I have never seen this comparison.
 

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Test at the ring for stock cars.

Subaru Impreza WRX STi 8:24 147 ´05 280

Porsche Cayman S 8:11 151 ´05 295

Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX 8:11 151 ´05 290 / 1482


Bottom line the Stock Cayman and the Stock EVO kills a stock STI.
 

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Test at the ring for stock cars.

Subaru Impreza WRX STi 8:24 147 ´05 280

Porsche Cayman S 8:11 151 ´05 295

Mitsubishi Lancer EVO IX 8:11 151 ´05 290 / 1482


Bottom line the Stock Cayman and the Stock EVO kills a stock STI.
No doubt as both are 300 pounds lighter than the stock STi. Add 100 horsepower to a Cayman S costs $7000.00 and takes at least a week in the shop. Adding 100 horsepower to the STi takes a 15 minute reflash, new air intake, downpipe and less than $1000.00! Now address the braking difference... There goes another $grand! You can throw parts at any car to build it to be what you want.

My point is that if the desire is a trackday/Daily driver is to be had... the Subaru STi is a really hard car to beat. You can change drive modes with a simple knob turn. My brother's car makes 600+awhp and still has the stock cat-back exhaust. LOL! Okay, it also has an electric actuated cut-out on a larger downpipe... it also had the babyseat in the back during the Grassroots Motorsports Shootout at VIR. Since this is a Porsche forum, the internet is full of info about all cars and I will leave it at that.

The question was asked, stock vs stock... I would have to believe the STi would prevail in a 30 minute session due to the simple fact that the Cayman will lose its brakes in the first few laps which will significantly hurt the laptimes. So lets take the same money spent to have a shop add SRF & race pads to the Cayman... take the same cost to reflash the STi ecu and add the downpipe worth 50-75 awhp more power. You now have a big advantage power to weight ratio to the STi. So I hope that answers the question.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
pixx:

It's like I said above: it depends on the experience you want. I'm 41 years old and got tired of worrying about loud exhausts, attracting attention with the wing, etc. To me, there is 0 debate which car is cheaper to make fast - the EVO VIII. Been there; done that - moved on. The EVO spent more time sitting in my garage and that's why I made the change. That was the right decision for me; YMMV.
 

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pixx:

It's like I said above: it depends on the experience you want. I'm 41 years old and got tired of worrying about loud exhausts, attracting attention with the wing, etc. To me, there is 0 debate which car is cheaper to make fast - the EVO VIII. Been there; done that - moved on. The EVO spent more time sitting in my garage and that's why I made the change. That was the right decision for me; YMMV.
I understand that... I am 41 as well and somehow find quieter cars more practical, thus the reason I suggested the STi over the Evo. The newer design also removes big wings and boy racer looks. Another alternative is the LegacyGT which has the STi engine and tranny but lacks the larger turbo. This car readily accepts the STi Brembo brakes and all the suspension parts for a family-looking sedan. In the Atlanta & Charleston area there are a couple 500 awhp Legacys rolling around in complete disguise.
 

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Nice write up Chris, nice to hear words of wisdom from an experienced camper. I opted for the factory LSD & took the Cayman last night to my local mountain windy roads. I find an improvement in traction up hills through the bends.

Oh as for the turbo discussion, well I'm been driving turbo cars most my life, but grew out of the engine dynamics, they kind of remind me of the girls I used to date in my early 20's.
 

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Congrats on the new car. You will enjoy it. I had a Cayman S for a year or so, did 5 or 6 track weekends with it and had no problems. I had come from a ZO6, so the power level was something to which I did not fully adjust. Long story short, I sold it and bought a used 996 GT3. The CS handling is terrific, and for a street car used for occasional track days, it is perfect. The only minor issue I experienced was with the brake system. For aggressive track use, the system is highly stressed. Depending on track demand and driving style, you might find it difficult to avoid some fading. Motul 600 and Pagid Yellow (29) pads worked well for me. If you stay on street tires and do not add hp or significant suspension enhancements, the brakes should work fine for you. It's a great car, enjoy it!
 

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You guys are on drugs. ...

Just wait til you get R-compound tires, better brakes and even more power to find that the Yaw sensor even when turned off ruins your day because it kicks in above 1.2g in braking and since you are running on an oval, will automatically apply rear ABS thinking it is in a roll accident... then sending back to the pits in LIMP MODE!
And what drugs are you on? Just where did you get this absolute nonsense from? Have you tracked a CS? If that was your experience, either you or the Cayman had a serious malfunction.
 

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And what drugs are you on? Just where did you get this absolute nonsense from? Have you tracked a CS? If that was your experience, either you or the Cayman had a serious malfunction.
Whoa! Slow down... its Miller Time...!! I can hand pick more than several Caymans that all experienced this phenomenon and have pictures of them too! The issue is being addressed by people who have the ability to fix it. So, before you start calling me out, you may just want to figure out where I get my info from. Porsche uses a different communication system for its Gyro based functions over that of the Analog ones used by other manufaturers, so modifying the voltage to alter the gyro sensitivity and speed as has worked with other cars couldn't make the fix here.

 

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It all comes down to choices. What do you want to pay to play and what makes you happy.

One final thought, the new STI is way better looking than than previous one. That was one ugly car. Remember, choices :cheers:
 

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Hey guys,lets all stay friends! I have 2008 WRX STI and it is easily hands down the best all round car I have ever owned.It does so many things well including great all weather performance and hatchback practicality. When it comes off warranty I look forward to trying some of the mods suggested above.That said,I'm looking forward to the arrival of my Cayman S in a few months. Both will be fun at the track and on the street.:cheers:
 

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I can hand pick more than several Caymans that all experienced this phenomenon and have pictures of them too!
So in the midst of a thread by an OP reporting his track experience with a STOCK Cayman, you are now interjecting issues claimed to have been experienced with fully race prepped cars because their performance is outside Porsche's street car design parameters. Duh!

Apples and doughnuts. There are plenty here who run R comps, better brakes and higher power. I've yet to hear of any PSM issues on their street legal cars. Are you aware of any?

BTW, nice photo. Yours?
 

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No. The photo was taken by me. I'm assuming you race at St. Louis? Nice & short track there. We posted some nice laps when winning the Redline Time Attack event there in the Unlimited Class.

Certainly the time will come when someone in a street trimmed car will find the threshold. I'm done commenting on this thread. My opinion is based on my experiences with both cars as compared by the author of this thread. I, along with others have stated the benefits of both cars. :cheers:
 

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The question was asked, stock vs stock... I would have to believe the STi would prevail in a 30 minute session due to the simple fact that the Cayman will lose its brakes in the first few laps which will significantly hurt the laptimes..
:hilarious::hilarious::hilarious::hilarious:
 

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The question was asked, stock vs stock... I would have to believe the STi would prevail in a 30 minute session due to the simple fact that the Cayman will lose its brakes in the first few laps which will significantly hurt the laptimes.
I don't buy that the stock brakes on the nearly 300lb heavier STI will out last the cayman's. If anything I will go out on a limb and say neither are adequately set up for heavy track use. And that electronic widgetry on the STI, while useful for the variability of everyday drive but for track, seriously, one mode is enough. Didn't it take Clarkson few hours to setup the playstation like car? How many causal driver races in wet weather and over 30 mins per stint? :crazy:

STI is a performance gem and the clear winner in the best-bang for the buck category. However, there are characteristics of the Cayman that can't be duplicated with the nose heavy STI. Think of the cost of relocating STI's engine to the rear seat. Pleasure and satisfaction can't be measure through track time and g-force alone. (Yes I am a 6spd fan.) Both of these cars have limits far exceeding most demanding owner on the road, let just say they are both great cars and call it a day.
 
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