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The stock exhaust isn't that restrictive on these cars. Even going catless long tube headers and a better catback will get you less than 10HP to the wheels. Its not much of a difference.
I would think that my Soul long tube race catless headers and a Milltec muffler is more like 15 HP. The Softronic flash, race 78 mm throttle body and Plenum certainly pulls it all together nicely. I would guesstimate is about 308HP @ 6700 rpm at the wheels. I did this to improve the flat spot in torque around 4500, which it certainly did. I have had no problems with this system in 4 years of use.
 

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I used these mods/parts to improve the cars performance, which they do. So, I really don't want to get my money back from others, just to be competitive in my use of the car. Its just like why I would spend money on Bridgestone RE71RS for 90% street use and 10% track. These tires are worth the extra money to me vs other summer tires. The TireRack's white papers confirms the performance these tires vs 3 other summer tires with useage on a BRZ. Close is the A052, but their wear is much higher.

Some 987,2 S owners mimic the R build and with careful purchase, they do have good resale value.
 

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Ernest,
If you have the money, then sky is the limit. You certainly can install the long tube catted headers and even a Softronic ECU flash, Thats about it for the engine. The suspension can be modified with either a X-71 group that includes swaybars and springs. The other way to go would be adding Ohlin R&T coilovers. The ride is just a little stiffer due to higher spring rates, but they differently improve turn in and weight transfer across the car. The final part would be Tarett GT adjustable sway bars. Then get yourself a set of wide lightweight forged wheels. Many Cayman owners go for 19 " because they fill the wheel well a little better than 18". I perfer the 18", 9" in f and 10" in the rear. Currently using Bridgestone summer performance tires RE71RS in 255/35/18 f and 275/35/18 r size. I lowered the coilovers to about 15 mm lower than OEM. No real downside to this setup except for speed bumps. In canyon driving, this suspension really comes alive.
 
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dibehrns, I use my car mostly for the street and now just a few autocross. The exhaust does have a smell on startup but not when under any load. I use engine braking a lot, but the exhaust is not appearant. I keep the rear deck/window lid closed though so who knows about the actual smell. My wife does suggest on startup there is some smell. Again, this header system gives more power than the cated Soul system. I use a cloth to clean my Milltek exhaust tips. Not much on the cloth with a slight abrasive cleaner, (head light film cleaner). My car does not burn oil as I do not add oil during 4k fill intervals, so some of the exhaust gas residue would be on the tips.
 

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I agree that when these parts are installed the seat of the pants issue is noticeable. But it wears off soon. After 5 years, 4 with long tube catless headers and Softronics Race Kit, which includes at early GT3 78 mm throttle body and a custom flash. Scott/Softroncis pair the wave pulses from the induction system to the Milltec exhaust muffler and twin tips through the ECU maps. EVOMS V flow induction system as well. This all sounds good, maybe 13-15 hp for a total of around 308-310 hp. The whole feeling is that these mods creatate a smooth delivery and the thrust is linear starting around 2500. This means that I do not need to wind out the engine into the 6 range to get really good boost on the street.
My reason for the mods was to improve my mid range torque out of the corners in autocross. I also added a Wavetrac LSD to capture as much torque without wheel spin using as much throttle as possible. Many times slamming the throttle down like a sprint booster would do as early as possible. No wicked HP here, just manageable Porsche power.
 
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