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Discussion Starter #1
So before I get completely flamed for bring this up yet again, I wanted to preface this by saying I did do a search. I've done a lot of searches. But instead of resurrecting an old thread I thought I would bring up this question again, but with my specific conundrum.

Here are the points I am working with:

- I have the choice between a Cayman S or Carrera S. I have to decide by next week.
- The price differential is not important, and is not a factor in the decision
- I currently own an E46 M3 and an E36 M3. I like the power of the E46 but the steering is vague. I love the precision of the E36 but feel it is underpowered. Both cars have modifications to the suspension, exhaust, intake, etc.
- I am planning on taking the car at least once a month (whenever possible) to the track. I have taken the E46 to the track and loved the power out of the corners but did not like the understeer going into a corner or the vagueness of mid corner correction.
- I am also planning on taking the car on some long road trips this year, as well as use it as a daily driver.
- I have a high threshold for noise and vibration in a daily driver. Like I mentioned both cars have modified exhaust intake and suspension
- I am looking to replace the E46 because of the vagueness in the handling. However, I LOVE the engine in the M3 and really don't want to take a step down.
- I generally like GT's but am willing to try a true two seater. However most of the two seaters I have been in seem a little claustrophobic for long drives. (350Z, Gallardo ) But maybe this is just something you get used to?
- The most important thing to me is the fun factor. I love my E36 because it feels so small and precise but also serves as a great GT. But at the end of the day I am just looking for the car that is the most fun to drive, both on the track and on the street, GT or two seater.

The reason I am posting this on the Cayman forum and not a 997 forum is I believe I will get the most unbiased results.

So knowing my priorities, what do you guys think?
 

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Hopefully, you will drive a Cayman S and a C2 to see how you like them. Of course, I would choose the Cayman S because it is the most involving and the best car in the corners.


The Cayman Club already hasthe testimony of quite a few M3 owners who are now very satisfied Cayman owners and you will likely be hearing from them. As a happy BMW owner, I think the 3 Series is still the best Sports Sedan while the Cayman S is the best Sports Car. For sporty driving there is little to compare to a Cayman S.


On the Spectrum of Sport Sedan<--> Sport GT <--> Sports Car, I suppose the Carrera would fit in the middle, with the M3 and Cayman S on either end.




Edited by - mpollard on 04/20/2006 4:50:58 PM
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hopefully, you will drive a Cayman S and a C2 to see how you like them. Of course, I would choose the Cayman S because it is the most involving and the best car in the corners.


The Cayman Club already hasthe testimony of quite a few M3 owners who are now very satisfied Cayman owners and you will likely be hearing from them. As a happy BMW owner, I think the 3 Series is still the best Sports Sedan while the Cayman S is the best Sports Car. For sporty driving there is little to compare to a Cayman S.


On the Spectrum of Sport Sedan<--> Sport GT <--> Sports Car, I suppose the Carrera would fit in the middle, with the M3 and Cayman S on either end.



Edited by - mpollard on 04/20/2006 4:50:58 PM
I've driven both but it has been 2 months now so it is a little fuzzy. Next week I will be driving them both back to back again. Also it is so hard to get a good impression from a short test drive. I would interested to hear anyones perspective from being on the track and long term exposure to both cars.

I do want to point out that I am not considering a regular 997, only the 997S as a comparison to the Cayman S. I think the Cayman S is more fun than a stock 997. However with the added power, better brakes and PASM of the Carrera S, I'm wondering if this changes the overall story.

Ideally I would be looking at a GT3 but the 996 is too raw for me as a daily driver and the first chance for me to get a 997GT3 is Spring 07.

hmmm.....decisions, decisions.
 

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The Carrera S is nice no doubt, difficult desicion. I always wanted a 911 but this Cayman things changed all of that. The 997S looks just that, a grown up Carrera. Its a GT and has 2 worthless seats in the back (gotta get rid of those or make them a bit more confy Porche come on). Right now if you asked me my next logical move up after the Cayman would be a TT or a GT3, but with true Cayman DNA. Luv those rear hips! So the perfect car, would be a TT, half 997 and half cayman, an inch longer, targa, and a true 2 seater. Maybe would be called the Gazelle. Drive them both again and make your choice. Wont go wrong with either one, both are sweet rides! Just make sure its a Porsche....COCO
 

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I can give you the perspective from owning both a 911 Carrera S (997) and Boxster S (986).


I love the balance and speediness of the Boxster S. It is very similar to a go-kart: inspires much confidence and is enjoyable every second at high and low speeds.


The 997S is a very different beast. It has loads of power, is fast right out the gate in a straight line, and is significantly more torquey than the boxster. It is not as balanced. There is a learning curve to using the car, and it can even be considered scary when accelerating out of the bends. The funny thing is that I've grown to love that 'losing control' feeling, even though the car is VERY planted. Its part of the thrill of driving it: gaining confidence in the car and becoming a better driver.


When I first joined this board, I had the same dilemma as you: Cayman S or Carrera S. I chose the 997S because it was something completely different (rear engine) than my boxster S (mid-engine dynamics similar to a Cayman). I prefer the looks of the Cayman to my 911, but I like the 911 interior's extra space and useless seats (I've stored unexpected passengers on occassion and use the seats as storage space).


So what am I driving everyday now? I'm being thrilled and scared and impressed by the 911. I'm starting to like it for its flaws /fckeditor/editor/images/smiley/MWPX/teeth_smile.gif When I start to get bored of it, I may move into a Cayman next! We'll see how long it will take.


So that's my 2 cents. Good luck on your decision!


Chuck
 

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i think you made your decision with one point--it will be your daily drive. I LOVE my Cayman..it has the most fun factor of any care i've ever driven, much less owned. but for a daily driver....the 997 wins. more room, quieter, more comofrtable. simple as that. for fun weekend drives (my reason for buying a p car), cayman wins hands down--eaiser to have fun in, less 'work' to get to 8/10s, more confidence inspiring at 9/10s.


it's my weekend car, and i drive it every weekend and love it. but not every day. small, cozy, noisy, etc etc


but my next car...probably a 911 for commuting!
 

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I ordered a new Cayman today. It will be an '07 model to arrive in late August or September. I may not be able to add much here that hasn't already been said elsewhere, but you may find my .02 worthwhile nonetheless.


I've been looking for a new car for a few weeks. During one stretch I test drove a Cayman every day for six straight days back to back with a Boxster S, a 997, and a 997S. I have a very laid back local dealer who handed me the keys of these cars with no questions asked. Over those six days I had a fabulous opportunity to put each car through its paces. I came away feeling thoroughly convinced that a Cayman is the best choice for me right now.


I am 50 years old. I can afford to buy any of these cars. I have been a driving enthusiast for 30 years. I have run national driving schools for the BMW Club, I've been an instructor at driving schools since I was 24, and I have done all sorts of competitive driving events short of wheel to wheel racing. I have alot of high speed driving experienceand I have driven alot of different street cars on different race tracks, including the Nurburgring.


After those six days of driving Porsches I can tell you clearly and resolutely that I have never driven a car that handled as well as a Cayman and, more importantly, I have never driven a car that was as much fun to drive as the Cayman. Period. Every time I got out of those Caymans I was grinning.


The Boxster S was a fabulous car. I nixed it for several reasons. I want the safety of a hardtop. I liked the kick of the Cayman's variocam. The Cayman's motor is more powerful and the Cayman just plain handles better.


Eliminating the basic 997 was a no-brainer for me because it just didn't excite me. The 997Sseems to be the sweet spot in that model lineup as far as value and performance go and choosing between that car and the Cayman was more difficult. The power , especially the torque of the 997S, was addictive. The cockpit of the car and the ride are both more refined than the Cayman. But it has its faults. First, it does not provide nearly the same level of feedback to the driver as a Cayman. I found it hard to find the 997S's limits until I had already exceeded them. Second, I thought the Cayman felt more stable at highway speeds and above.


If price were no object, the most compelling reason to buy a Cayman is for the handling. No matter what they have done to that car over the years, the 997 is still a rear engine car. It's an engineering fact that a mid-engine design is just going to be a better platform. The Cayman feels much more nimble than the 997. And, most importantly, the Cayman is much safer and much more fun to drive at and even above its limits. The Caymans I drove did not have PASM or Sport Chrono. I ended up having to shut off the PSM because it kept interfering. Even with it shut off the car still felt incredibly safe and easy to manage at the limit.


As brief as my experience was with the Cayman, I got into the car each time feeling like I was putting on an old pair of shoes. That car is that comfortable and it is that easy to drive.
 

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Look. The Cayman is the first car ever to put a smile on my face, even when I'm in a bad mood.


It does it everyday and I can't wait for tomorrow... to start it all over again.


I hadtwo C4s before this Cayman. I had fun, but that wasit. Now I'm in love. The Cayman is this much better.
 

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After owning 944,964,996x2,corvette,BMW (525,530,633,325),Toyota MR2 turbo,Honda Prelude, MB500 SL and others.....nothing even comes close.......handling,looks,ergonomics,ride,tranny,brakes,feeling....LONG LIVE THE CAYMAN S....
 

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If you are coming out of M3s (E46 especially), the Cayman S may feel under-powered. The Carrera S will be more satisfying. I came from an M5 and there is no way I can be happy with a Carrea, or a Cayman S, in the power/torqure department.


However, the handling and fun to drive parts go to the Cayman S hands down. One day I will have a Cayman for my daily driver as I then can enjoy the nimble ride everyday. But that would be in addition to the RUF.


Here are a few more possibilities: A RUF Cayman or a Cayman GTR. That would beat the M3 and the Carrera S any day.


Or a Cayman Splus a 993. That would be similar price to a well-endowed Carrera S.


Enjoy.


CP
 

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I've driven both. The 997S is a wonderful machine. I really enjoyed the interior space and it definitely pulls better than the Cayman. The Cayman beats it everywhere else in my opinion: looks, handling, braking feel (no twitchiness), useable space, track-ability. Oddly, the 997S also has a deeper, more remote exhaust that is 'almost' hard to even hear. This is a choice you can't 'screw up', they're both great cars, although completely different in character.


Paul
 

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Here are a few more possibilities: A RUF Cayman or a Cayman GTR. That would beat the M3 and the Carrera S any day.


Or a Cayman Splus a 993. That would be similar price to a well-endowed Carrera S.


Enjoy.


CP
Hear hear, this is what I was going to say. To reiterate, if price is no object:
1. Ruf Cayman (I would, and may, lightly Ruf it) + Audi something (for winter/practical)
2. Cayman + 993 C4S (for winter)
3. 997 C4S
 

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My little brother drives a 2004 350Z and test drove a Cayman S today. He said that the cockpit of the Cayman S seemed small to him compared to his 350Z (He's 6'4'). He said it was okay, but it just seemed small. Just putting in my .02 since you said you would worry about it feeling cramped on a long drive. It doesn't bother me one bit. But, I just test drove the Cayman and then ordered it. It's not here yet.

Shane
 

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As well as the power, aCarrera Shas so much moretraction but not so good with the balance. You really need to left foot brake and play with the weight bias on a Carrera S. It means that you have to not only be a very good driver but also one who knows how to drive a 911. I would go for a Carrera S with the -20mm/LSD sports suspension package if I was in your position.
 

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The Cayman's handling, in terms of balance, is closest to the E46, but offers significantly more feedback and you can feel the agility of the car at every move. The 997S is different and requires slightly different approach in driving technique that you will need to get used to.


If it was my money, I am not which way I would go, I'd probably wait for the 997 GT3. If you are going to participate in track events 12 times a year and probably go into club racing soon, you have to modify your car in numerous ways. I believe the 911 platform is better in that regard, I think it would be a better investment. However, the modifications required for the 997S will be considerably more than I think will be necessary for the GT3, even the 996 version.


Cheers,
 

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I think that Cayman S owners shouldn't get so defensive about their car versus the 997 or 997S. The 911 will always be a 'better' car (whatever that means), IMO. If the Cayman S was 'better' than a 911, it would cost more than a 911. Porsche isn't dumb enough to produce a 911-slayer at the price of a Cayman S. The Porsche Cayman S really need to be compared with other similarly priced cars.


BTW, i've just ordered a Cayman S! :) I'm expecting delivery in September. If I had another 20-25K British Pounds Sterling, I would have ordered a similarly specified 911. At the price I paid, nothing touches a Porsche Cayman S.
 

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Well.....given equal power there is no doubt the Cayman would be a much better car than the 997S......at least in all around performance......it's just not allowed to be by Porsche.


This is a hard choice......if we're talking standard 997, no problem, Cayman S wins.But the 997S is a much different animal. As WAY said......if the 997S with -20mm/LSD sport chassis was the version offered upin this choice.......that is the way I would go.
 

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My little brother drives a 2004 350Z and test drove a Cayman S today. He said that the cockpit of the Cayman S seemed small to him compared to his 350Z (He's 6'4'). He said it was okay, but it just seemed small. Just putting in my .02 since you said you would worry about it feeling cramped on a long drive. It doesn't bother me one bit. But, I just test drove the Cayman and then ordered it. It's not here yet.

Shane

I had my 350Z for a bit over 3 years. The width of the 350Z interioris about 1-2' wider (noticeable in the center console width) but the 'cockpit' area was the same. I didn't feel cramped at all in either one.


Paul
 

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I think that if a "serious" track car is to be in the equation either a 996 GT3 MKII or a 997 GT3 make more sense than a 997S if only for the GT1 derived engine. Otherwise it's a question of which flavor appeals most to you, your family, and your wallet. The Cayman already has more than enough acceleration and speed potential to alert the local gendarms to my presence, so unless you live someplace where hitting 80mph is not a problem on local streets, off track performance becomes more bragging rights than real use. Fortunately I can appreciate the Cayman's charms on local twisties and on/off ramps without risking my drivers license.

Edited by - DaveC on 04/21/2006 06:34:33 AM
 
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