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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

I had a few ground clearance questions related to the 981 Cayman, and I did a super in-depth search but was unable to find the exact answers I was looking for—I figured I'd start a new thread in case anyone might be able to help out.

For those that went from a 987 to a 981...

1. Assuming the same suspension configuration (standard or PASM), do you notice a decrease or increase in approach angle compared to your previous car (987), or is it about the same? I'm asking specifically because although the 981 appears to have a slightly shorter overhang, there seems to be the black plastic/rubber thing that hangs below the bumper towards the bottom (that some have had issues with coming off or ripping off). My 987 scraped on a few steeper inclines, but I never had to worry about a trim piece tearing off.

2. Is the break over angle the same from the 987 to the 981? It appears as if the ground clearance in the mid point of the car seems to be about the same, but given the longer wheelbase, does the 981 run a higher risk of bottoming out when going over certain bumps/angles?

3. If anyone has the standard suspension on a 981 Cayman, would you be able to provide a measurement from the ground to the black plastic trim/flap underneath and towards the front the front bumper?

Thanks so much in advance. I know there's been lots of threads covering ground clearance, especially in regards to X73, but I haven't seen any definitive measurements to help me figure out whether or not the 981 will work for the driveways I encounter on a regular basis. My 987 was just barely okay...I'm hoping the 981 would be the same.
 

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My 2014 Cayman with standard suspension measures 6 and 3/4 inch from the bottom of the front trim to my garage floor. As far as ground clearance, I went from a 2008 Cayman base with 18 inch wheels to the current car with 19 inch wheels and have not noticed a measureable difference between the two. If you are near Napa, I could drive over and test your driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Napatom,

Thank you for the reply and for the generosity of letting me test with your car!

Unfortunately, I'm a little south of SF, so it'd really be too much to ask for you to drive down unless you happen to be down here anyway.

It's good to know that you haven't noticed any appreciable difference in the clearance between the two. If it's not too much trouble, could I ask you to do another measurement when you have a free moment?

Could you do an approximate estimate of the length from the center of the front wheel, to the edge of that front trim (black rubber lip)? And to be specific, the front trim you're referring to is the black plastic that sits UNDER the bumper, not the pointy splitter that is black on the Cayman models and painted on the Cayman S models, correct?

Thanks so much in advance.
 

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My measurement is from the ground to the flexible rubber-like trim piece below the hard rubber-like curved splitter. From the center of the wheel, I measure 3 feet 2 inches to that same trim piece, with the tip of the hard splitter one inch farther from the wheel. There may be a schematic available through Porsche with specific measurements.
 

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OP--your questions are important. Given how far forward the front bumper extends beyond the mid-point of the front wheels, the height of the bottom of the front bumper is way too low even without PASM or sport suspension. It's a frequent annoyance requiring slow angled driving on aprons to driveways, etc. I can't imagine what guys do who have the sport suspension. For me, this issue makes the sport suspension an automatic rule-out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
2015CS, thanks for the comment, but I'm not entirely sure what to do with this information. I could tell from your previous thread/posts that you've been scarred (literally and figuratively) by the lowness of the front.

I know it's low, which is why I'm looking for some info to help put my mind at ease...or not get the car at all. My 987 with PASM was low by normal car standards, and scraped from time to time, but could clear the few key driveways that I take on a daily basis. I'm hoping to piece enough evidence together to see if the 981 can do the same.

Obviously getting a loaner or demo with standard suspension for a few hours is the way to definitively tell. I just thought I'd check with the forum first.
 

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Unfortunately it's rather hard to explain to you whether your car will make it through the places you drive to mostly. The best (ghetto) way to do it is to hang two piece of cardboards with electrical tapes and see whether the cardboard will scrape with that simulation.

A lot of ramps may look very steep, but then are totally fine for my car. While other ramps may look ok, but I would end up scraping the front flaps no matter how slow I go in. It has to do with what the parking lot does with the lowest point of the ramp, rather it's smoothed out or kinked etc. I have a lowered car, about -13mm lower from PASM (so about -3mm lower than a Cayman R setup) with factory aerokit on the 987.1 car -- which sticks out more than the 987.2 car, and keep in mind the 981 cars have a even shorter nose than a 987.2. I actually find it quite bearable considering i drive through many ramps over the course of the week. I live in Hong Kong and there are ramps every where. My front lips are still in pretty good shape, as I rarely scrape those.

When I stick my foot under the front bumper, the bottom of the flip in front of the wheels would touch the top of my toes a bit. So my car is pretty low ... That flap scrapes a lot, even in some of the tighter downhill back roads I drive every day.

THere is nothing to worry about on the 981 bottoming out with the marginally longer wheelbase. These cars aren't so long like Quartroportte or something anyway. I have seen a few 981 cars with X73 suspension running around in where I live, and they seem to do pretty well. If anything, a lowered 981 is much easier to manage compared to a lowered 987.1 car with aerokit. As reference, you can sort of see how low my front flaps are hanging in the photo below (the front yellow one is mine), and i still managed to drive through some pretty steep ramps using this car ...

photo_3.jpg
 

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I have bottomed out my car with PASM a few times at the parking garage where I work. Some of the ramps go up and then imediately down like flattened, inverted Vs. No matter how careful you are, you will probably end up scraping from time to time. You will just have to live with it.
 

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It's not bad at all if you have the standard suspension. Coming from a G37 to a 981CS, the front of my old car is much lower. I have yet to scratch my 981.
 

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The standard suspension has been no problem at all. Speed bumps, inclined drive ways etc. no scrapes in 5 months. My previous 12 Cayman with Standard suspension had a few issues because of the longer front overhang but none with my new CS.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The standard suspension has been no problem at all. Speed bumps, inclined drive ways etc. no scrapes in 5 months. My previous 12 Cayman with Standard suspension had a few issues because of the longer front overhang but none with my new CS.
Thank you! What a fantastic comment—you just gave me a few years back of my life. ;)

Exactly the comparison I was hoping for 987 vs 981...so in your opinion, even with the black plastic thing that sits below the 981 bumper, it's not any lower than any part of the 987 bumper, correct?
 

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Thank you! What a fantastic comment—you just gave me a few years back of my life. ;)

Exactly the comparison I was hoping for 987 vs 981...so in your opinion, even with the black plastic thing that sits below the 981 bumper, it's not any lower than any part of the 987 bumper, correct?
That is correct!
 

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i had no issues with my 981 cs...I had more issues with my 997.1S..recently I installed X73 and still have no issues..I live in North Carolina and the driveways are awful so I just take it easy,and have had no issue..We had a 2011 Panamera and that was far worse than all of them!!
 

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I previously had 987 BS w/PASM and now I have 981 CS w/PASM. I have not taken measurements but the scraping potential in day-to-day usage is about the same. In both cars, I'll scrape a little on straight approach to suburban driveways, but no problem if they are taken at an angle. I'm referring to the type of curbing that's slightly angled, like in newer developments where the curbing is installed before the houses/driveways are built. Speed bumps are rarely a problem in either car unless they are hit too fast. YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for your comments. It's been reassuring, and I'm quite hopeful now. Maybe I'll shell out a few bucks to rent a cayman from hertz for the day just to be 100%

I always wondered why Porsche needs to make the front end so damn long on these cars, but then I remembered all the things inside it...sigh.

I agree, you just get used to it...I don't know how the GT3 guys do it, but then again it's probably not their DD.
 

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I agree, you just get used to it...I don't know how the GT3 guys do it, but then again it's probably not their DD.

A couple of days ago, I stopped in at my local dealer who had a new GT3 (slightly used at just over 400 miles) sitting on the showroom floor. There were a number of things interesting about the car....but the ride height of the front (this car did not have the front lift system) looked very low indeed for normal street driving. It was bad enough that I wondered if that had something to do with the car sitting there with only 400 miles on the clock. I have always considered the GT3 as one of very best Porsche values (compare the out the door price/performance compared to an optioned Carrera S/GTS), but as I looked at the car I realized that there would be tradeoffs trying to use the car as a daily driver.

As a note, my 991S has a very accommodating front end compared to my previous 987.1CS. I do not think there is a lot of difference in overall height....but as Porsche states....a few millimeters can make a big difference here. ;)
 
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