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For those of you that didn't know, I've been considering if it's worth it to trade my '06 997C2 (non-S) for a Cayman S. Afterdigestingthe great responses from the collective wisdom of this forum, I decided to go for a test drive.


I drove my 997 for a good two hours before stopping at the dealer, so the feel of transitioning from one car to the other wouldn't be lost or diluted.Abeautiful black Cayman fitted with 18'sand no options to weigh it down other than heated seats and Bose. Ihoped they had one with sport chrono and PASM but since I'm considering PSS9's and perhaps an ECU flash I wanted to try a very basicCayman as well anyway.


Tha Cayman's exterioris very masculine indeed. The nose looks more agressive than my Carrera, and the haunches of the rear fenders looked very 'race car-ish' to me. Very Cool. But to be honest I think I still prefer the large hips of my 997's rear fenders. The 997's rear looks a bit larger than the rest of the car proportionally, whereas the Cayman's rear seems shorter than the rest of the car. It'sdifficult for me to explain, but I wound up preferring the bigger butt of my car. Nonetheless, the Cayman's lines flow extremely well,and that rear hatch is just trick! I think I can put two golf bags in there!


Inside the cockpit the first thing that caught my eye were the vents; not as appealing as the 997, but no big deal; I can get use to them. Just a taste preference that popped a flag when Igot in the car. The other item that came to my attention was the lack of a oil temperature gauge. I've come to live bythat gauge in my 997.I don't dip into the throttle until oil temps are up no matter what the water temp gauge is telling me.That's one item that should be standard in every P-car as far as I'm concerned.


On to the driving portion of my visit. Being a new car, the salesman asked me to keep the revs under 5200rpms, which is something he didn'tneed to tell me- I would've kept it under 4500rpms. But since he said 5200rps, I figured what the hec, 5200rpms it is! It took it easy for awhile (trying to make sure oil temps came up- unfortunately no way to know), but was able to take a few bends on the 2-way road we were on. I could tell right after the first corner theCayman felt better in the turn. A few more corners, and one hairpin turn that I was able to take at about 7/10ths, accelerating hard throughout of the corner.'YESSSS!!!' is what I yelled tomy salesguy.'That was guuuud!'A long stretch of straightaway followed, and this is where I had an opportunity to test torque of the car at different speeds and gears.


Off the line I could feel the taller first gear compared to my 997. It's quite a bit of difference. My 997has quite a bit of grunt in first gear. Funny thing is it reminds myof an old VW beetle's first gear. Engage the clutch off the line, give it firm throttle and 'VRAAAP!', immediately grab for second. Nothing near that in the Cayman, it almost felt like I was taking off in second gear. No matter though, this car isn'tdesigned for the'Stoplight Grand Prix'. Just something thatstood out during my comparison. Acceleration in second gear felt very close to my 997,but in thirdI could feel quite a bit of difference, and more so in fourth. Rolling the throttle on and off, checking response and torque, etc.the Cayman really feels underpowered in this area. Again, I didn't go past 5200rpm, but even so, I did enough on/off throttling in each gear (1-4) to get a good comparison feel.


The last part of the test drive route took me through a high speed off camber turn, and boy let me tell you, theCayman handled it like a champ!No hint of any surprise, no complaints, nada. Just beautiful!


We headed back into the dealership to talk numbersand as suspected, I'll be taking a pretty good hitif I decide to do a trade. Basically I'd be trading my 997C2 straight accross, maybe I'll get a little bit money back. I won't know for sure unless I really commit into a final negotiation, but I got a good indication that it's pretty much a wash. If I add PASM and sport chrono, I might have to come up with some to cover the difference.


I wanted to think about it and in doing so, I asked if we could take the Cayman S out again, so we did and repeated the same route, and I took each turn more agressively than the first outing. After returning I told them I needed to think about this and I'd get back to them with a decision.


I hopped back into my 997 and immediately took the same route we just drove twice with the Cayman S. I can tell you without adoubt the 997C2 3.6 is still substantially more powerful everywhere in the rev range. Of course no G-TechPro mounted to my windshield, but my butt dyno felt a pretty big difference in every gear. And believe me, I was really hoping to get the opposite feeling. It the turns I was even more aggressive (being that it's my car, no passenger to be responsible for, etc.) and although I could feel the heaviness of the rear fighting the massive amount of mechanical grip generatedby the highly evolved suspension of the 911, it wasn't as unstable (at least at that speed) as I anticipated. I will say however, if I pushed much more I might have found myself trying to recover from something so unexpected I probably wouldn't recover. That's where the Cayman really shines in my opinion. If I pushed past my limit in a corner, I feel that the car won't penalise me and I could have a chance at recovery, where with the 911 I might be toast.


To sum up my long *** diatribe, I found the Cayman S just an incredible car.I walkedawayknowing thatit has got to be one of the best handling cars on the market. But to be perfectly honest I'm still deciding if it's enough to lure meaway from my 997.As I stated,theI think the Cayman wins in the handling dept hands down. That said, I found my 997C2 no slouch either! It's really just a great testament to Porsche designing such great products. Do we pay through the *** for this emotional therapy? Hell yes, but boooooy it's worth it!


I'm on the fence here boys and girls. Not quite sure what I want to do here. Is the depreciation hit an issue? Of course it is. Id' be an idiot not to admit I'm going to take a bath if I trade. But to be honest I'm more concerned with which car I'll be happier driving. If it's the Cayman S, I won't mind the cash hit, so long as I don't regret the trade in the long run.


Another concern I have is availability of mods. I don't have a ton of money to do a 3.8 conversion, but mods like intake, full exhaust, racing seats, harness bar, and perhaps an ECU flash are readily available for my 997 (which btw brings me on par with 997S perf) but what can I do with the Cayman S? I haven't seen much out there other than full on conversions which is out of the question. What can I do to the Cayman which won't void warranty and how much power should I be able to expect from those mods? I say this is a pretty large concern for me because I feel the Cayman really does lack in the power department compared to my 997. I'd like to to feel at least on par with my current ride, even if I have to mod it a bit that's fine.I think it is in the power delivery department that will make or break my decision to make this trade. I really like to torque my 997puts out in comparison the the Cayman. If I can get it without major modificationsand voiding the warranty then I'll convert.


I completely apologize to all of you for this long long post, most of this info you are probably well aware of. I just wanted to share the exciting experience that I waited all week for and it was everything all of you said it would be and more. If any of you would like to add your opinions to help further my decision, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
 

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you will be able to get the power....but probably not without voiding the warranty on those specific parts/areas, or without spending some semi serious cash...except for the De-Snork mod../fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/MWPX/wink_smile.gif. The availability of aftermarket performance modificationis still in its infancy for obvious reasons, but several mfrs. are working on power kits at this very moment.


you know...i like big butts too....there is a picture on the forum somewhere of a cayman next to a 996 (i think) and if i remember correctly our caymans have what appears to be a wider load.


sounds like your married to your 997, but you would really like to have an affair with a cayman....i say go for it.

Edited by - RedRocket on 04/21/2006 6:25:31 PM
 

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Good review.. The only thing that I would do is try a cayman with the sports chronos option. I test drove the cayman with and without the chronos, and I can tell you it transforms the car... Much better throttle response with this option and at least subjectively makes the car feel faster off the line.. BTW.. I traded my 05 997 for a cayman and have no regrets.
 

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Keep the 997. Don't take the financial bath. I love my Cayman but I think you will be better off to wait a couple of years for the next generation Cayman and then move '<u>up</u>'. There is little wrong with the 997 in my view.
 

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Mika, if you do a search on some post I have made about the 997C2 vs Cayman, you will see that I have the same conclusion as you. I like to think that I am a very experience driver given that I spent some time in my youth doing illegal street racing (/fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/MWPX/embaressed_smile.gifnot something I am proud of btw but we were all 18 once) and now doing track days. So I would like to think that I know the difference between driving on the road and on the track. Although I am not a professional racing driver, I would like to think that I know a think or two about handling, balance and traction which are things that are much harder to feel and quantify than say power and torque. Anyway, there is a very clear distinction between the two cars in those three areas. When you couple in the fact that the 997 has so much more torque in the lower gears (even in second the Cayman feels much less torquey than the 997 IMO) I would take a 997 if they were the same price (which is the case for you). In my case, given the difference in price of a new Cayman vis-a-vis 997, a Cayman is a bargain ($50k difference between the two cars here in Oz). IThe Cayman would be even be much more of a bargain if it comes with the -20mm/LSD option that you can get on the 997 in leau of the PASM and would be happy to pay more for it. Hope I haven't offended all the Caymanites here, but I only speak the truth as I know it, and of course everyone have their own opinion which is healthy.


Cheers


Schumacher-Rossi-Raikonen /fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/MWPX/tounge_smile.gif

Edited by - WAY on 04/21/2006 7:36:27 PM
 

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I agree with Santa Fe completely. I just wouldn't take the money hit, not with your car being so new and, let's face it, another hit when you move off the lot in the Cayman. One thing about our group is that we're big boys (and girls) and we know that the 997 is a great car, we just happen to prefer the Cayman and we're glad Porsche made it available to us. I really think you should get more out of your 997 before getting into anything else, have fun with what you've got and stay out of the "bath".
 

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I'm with Sante Fe on this one. I would not sell a 997 for the Cayman as much as I love my Cayman. In two or three years the Cay will have the power you want and you won't take as big a hit on the 997 trade in.
 

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I think you should buy the Cayman and sell me the 997:) Just kidding, but I'm back on the fence. I'm leaning more to the Cayman, but if I bought a used 997 in the states I could drive it here in Canada for 3 years without losing a cent in depreciation.
Really, the Cayman vs 997 debate comes to power/torque vs handling and as this is the Cayman Club, most here prefer handling. I think both cars are great (and in black, I think the 997 looks stunning)!
 

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Mika,


Excellent write up. Short of a RUF Cayman or a Cayman GTR, it is difficult to power up a Cayman to satisfy 'lazy' driver like us that are spoiled by 'torque-everywhere' cars. And I'm thoroughly spoiled by my M5 and my RUF.


However, in my case, I am happy to live with the relatively low power/torque in exchange for the road feel, turn-in brilliance, and cornering prowess. As a DD in the Bay Area, I can only use so much HP. So that does not bother me one bit. I can also make up the deficiency by keeping the Revs high (All S2000 drivers learn that).


However, in you case, if you have to give up a trade-in hit, a power down-grade, and possibly higher down-stream depreciation, I'd think real hardbefore swapping the 997 for a Cayman S. In fact, being a real cheap skate, and that my wife is not happy with too many cars, and we have 5 cars at home already, I'm reining in my lust and waitfor an used regular Cayman. It may be 2008/2009 before I pull the trigger, but I have plenty of cars to drive, and I don't loose much fun driving the RUF. I hope that I'd eventually drive a basic Cayman for under $40k. It should handle the same, no?


CP

Edited by - CP on 04/21/2006 8:47:18 PM
 

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I'm on the boat with they guys saying: 'Keep the car for a year or two and then trade it in on Cayman S if you still want it'. If there are bugs to be worked out, they will be worked out by 2008. Buy it then. That way you won't take such a bath with your 911.

Shane
 

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What the big deal with waiting a couple of years and when you decide to move on from the C2 see what they've done to the CS by then. Don't take a hit on one great car for another. Porsche ain't going out of buisness and they'll be happy to take your money later.

G.
 

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Keep the 997. I agree with Santa Fe.


I will say one thing though, after breakin and getting to run the full RPM range, and with Sport Chrono, the difference in power is much, much less that you experienced. I know my car perfroms better at 4000 miles than it did at 400 - way, way better.


Re appearance, I like the look of the Cayman much more than the 997C2. I do like the look of the wide body C4 though.
 

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it is different for every person. i have driven all types of porsche made after 1986 extensively. there are no other porsches i would take over cayman except GT3 and CGT. cayman is that good. not perfect, but really really good. powerwise 997 isn't much more than cayman and there is NO way a 997 can possibly keep up with a cayman on a race track given equal driver. 997S, yes, but the 3.6L 997 no way.


that said, 997's do feel differerent and look different then cayman. so it all depends on WHAT you like. i dont like cars with lots of low end torque, that makes the driver lazy. i like to shift and peg the redline all day. cars i like are lotus, s2k, GT3 and cayman, all these are low in torque. even GT3, it's a hell of a boring car until 7000 rpm.
 

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powerwise 997 isn't much more than cayman
Mika - Thanks for the post. I always enjoy an objective review from other car guys. I tend to agree with mooty on the power issue. After driving a new 987S and 997 back to back on the same road with the same respect for their green engines I found the 997 felt only marginally faster than the 987S. The Cayman S once broken in really opens up at 5,000 rpm so there is more power there than you experienced. The good old butt dyno we all use can be deceiving. A car that initially pushes you back in the seat may feel faster than a car with more linear power but the latter car may actually be quicker. Unless you are racing, I find the feel of power to be more important than actual speed. If you prefer the feel of the Carrera but the handling of the Cayman, you have a tough choice.


Starting with a clean slate, the Cayman was an easy choice for me over the Carrera. If I already owned the Carrera the decision gets more difficult. While I agree with the others that you have already taken a major hit on the 911 and it seems sensible to get some more use out of it before moving to a Cayman, there is another side to the coin. You can make an even swap now but next year your 911 will be worth less and the Cayman could see a price increase so it will probably cost you money out of pocket to make the move. I assume Porsche will make improvements to the Cayman so you will get a slightly better car for your money if you wait.


Good luck with your decision. Everyone should have such problems.


Alan
 

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Mika, not being able to take the engine past 5200 means you're missing the best bit of the rev range in the Cayman, the Cayman can feel a bit flat below 4500 revs compared to the 997. Porsche have lengthened the first two gears to make sure the Cayman doesn't tread on the 997 toes in 0-60 and -100 times and they have also kept the power in the upper end of the rev range to ensure the 911's performance. The 997 only manages 0-125 one second quicker than the Cayman in a straight line drag race.





You really need to drive a car where you can use all the revs, it feels like a differernt car when you do, below 4500 the Cayman feels to close to the Boxster. The engine is designed to revfreely in the Cayman, that's the main difference betweenit and the Boxster.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Awesome feedback guys, I really appreciate everyone's thoughts on this.


I've always been one to sleep on things before making a big decision, because usually the next morning brings clarity. Not the case though this time. I'm still torn on what I'm going to do.


I realized overnight something that was also mentioned on an above post that the Cayman I drove has yet to be broken in. I remember a distinct character change in my 997 when I reached around 900 miles. The car seemed to 'wake up'. Even though I was maintaining revs below 4200-4500rpm, the car's responsiveness stepped up a good notch. I have no doubt that the Cayman would be similar. So yes, I'm sure the test drive yesterday was a bit deceptive.


Plus as Mooty points out (I'm in total agreement) that the Cayman will lap faster than the 997. The ability for the Cayman to maintain speed throughout the entire corner will overcome any slight torque deficiencies over the course of an entire lap compared to the 997. I'm going to guess the brakes are bigger on the Cayman S as well, no? So moreconsistent braking with lessfade over the course of a race/lapping session. I agree- lots of pluses towards the Cayman in this area.


I'd like to point out that one of the reasons I'm looking at converting over to the Cayman is because I'm interested in participating in Auto-X's, DE's.I want toexperience lapping sessions at all the cool tracks here in California, especially Laguna Seca. Maybe not real wheel to wheel stuff yet, I can't afford to have a major'off' and bend up the car. I just wouldn't be able to afford the consequences!But who knows, if circumstances allow I might get more serious with track events and at that point I'll want the best track car I can get my hands on. Mooty- that's why I asked you about the Exige on the other forum, since that seems to be another star at the track. But after driving the Elise, I ran into the same issue (more than less) that I ran into yesterday. More so because I've come to love the Porsche build quality, interior, ease of entry/exit etc. As it stands I'l probably to realistically participate in up to six events a year. Damn work schedule- why does the need to make money always have to get in the way!!!


As for getting back to day to day driving, yes I will admit that I do like the extra low-end my 997 offers there, albeit 'lazy', lol! It just makes dealing with traffic situations that much easier. As I just mentioned I'm gravitating towards a car with a more focused application and I do think the Cayman S is that car, however since it's not a 'dedicated track car', I want to consider the downsidesof what I'd miss.


I'm going back to the dealer today. I'm going to do some more back to back test driving. Hopefully a few more sessions at the wheel of the Cayman S will bring clarity to me. As you all can see, I'm still confused!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok thanks- I'll see if I can find a dealersihp that has a Cayman demo with some 'miles' on it already, one that I can rev past 5200rpm. That's really the only way to make a fair comparison isn't it.


I'll get back to you all later today :)
 

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Keep the 997. The difference in performance is minimal, power to the 997, handling to the Cayman S. The 997 is a beautiful, classic car. If it was a choice between the 997 vice the Cayman going in I'd say take the Cayman. I just can't see taking the depreciation on a very fine automobile that for all practical purposes is comparable,actuallysuperiorin some performance parameters. I think SantaFe said it best. Keep the 997 for a while then trade for a Cayman a couple of years out. By then there will be factory performance enhancementsfor the Caymanthat will undoubtably be better than your cuurent car. In the meantime drive that beautiful 997 with Porsche pride.
 

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I'm poisoned by my 997S, so you know I'm going to tell you to keep the 997! With all due respect to the Cayman S (which is the car I initially wanted before buying the 997S), the 997 is the car to hold on to for now. It is a classic car refined over 40 years, and its development technology has been shared w/ the other porsche models. I agree with some of the posts above: the financial wash of going into a cayman is not worth it.


Its better to wait for a more powerful cayman S (2008-9 or maybe an RS), then trade up. I'm actually waiting for the base cayman, which I will beat around the track. The 997S is mainly used as a daily driver and for kill stories against the rice boys in M3's and WRX's. /fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/MWPX/tounge_smile.gif
 
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