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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

I'm new around here and I would like to present the 981 Cayman I bought a few months ago.
This should also be a build thread and the thread where I share adventures with this car. Hopefully you will enjoy the read!
If this is not the right place for such a thread, I would kindly ask one of the moderators in the right area.

So, first question: why Porsche Cayman?
Simple: Porsche sport cars have always been a dream for me. Of course, I dreamt of 911 variants - because I did not like the styling of the 987 Cayman. But that all changed in 2013 when the 981 Cayman was unveiled. I like the new styling very much and the majority of the car magazines praised the chassis and the handling of the new Porsche. They considered the chassis to be the best in it's class especially for the money (they made some comments that it was the best chassis up to Ferrari 458 money - which says a lot). The handling was considered better that the 911 and, very important to me, very predictable.
I spent many days configuring a 981 Black Edition with LSD, Adaptive Dampers, Sport Exhaust and Sport Chrono Package. But, mid 2016 the 981 was discontinued and Porsche started with the 718 Cayman.
The 718 Cayman was (still is) just a bit better than the 981. The steering is a bit improved, the rear axle is from the 981 GT4, the brakes are better, the infotainment system is much better BUT it gave up the previous 6 cylinder boxer engine for a turbocharged 4 cylinder boxer engine. All the reviews said the new car is much faster than the previous one, but that the engine sound is really not suitable for the rest of the car ("The engine is a normal 4 pot, it's not a Porsche Engine").

By the begging of the year I had enough money to make a down payment for my dream car. The 911 was out of my budget (they were 100k EURO plus) so I had to chose between the 981 Cayman or the 982 Cayman (718).
I originally thought of buying the Porsche new. So I contacted the Romanian Porsche dealer and I settled for 2 configurations:
- 718 Cayman Manual with LSD, Adaptive Dampers, Sport Exhaust and Sport Chrono Package and a few other comfort bits
- 718 Cayman GTS Manual with all of the above (standard anyway) and a few comfort bits
Out of these 2 I decided to go for the GTS because the delivery date was 2 months earlier than the normal variant. Unfortunately, right when I was suppose to make the down payment, the dealer told me I would have to pay a bit (10% of the full price) more than we agreed initially. I was a bit upset of this turnaround of events and a bit confused because he was not actually gaining anything with this move.
In the meanwhile I was watching the pre-owned cars daily on Porsche.de. I've see a car extremely close to my ideal configuration:
Black Edition which came with the following extras
- black exterior and leather black interior
- 20 inch Carrera Classic wheels
- Bi-Xenon headlights with cornering
- Porsche Communication Module with Navigation
- automatic dual climate control (yes, this is an extra for a 50k+ EURO car)
- heated seats
- parking sensors
- Sound Package Plus
- cruise control
- other bits and pieces

And on top of that the following extras
- Porsche Active Suspension Management - adjustable dampers and 10mm reduced hight
- Porsche Torque Vectoring - rear LSD and individual braking of the interior back wheel
- Sport Chrono - adaptive engine mounts and rev matching
- Sport Exhaust
- Leather Package - leather on the lower door cards.
- multifunction steering wheel
- interior alarm
- exterior Aluminum around the windows
- Porsche Vehicle Tracking System

and after the discussions with the Romanian Dealer, I decided to buy it.

Of course, it was not as easy as buying it straight away... The Porsche Dealer Fulda would not sell the car to me directly because I am from Romania. I am pretty sure the EURO's have the same color over here but some companies have this approach... So I went to my old VW Dealer, who now had a Used Cars division, and I got to buy the car from them (of course with their commission on top). Here are the pictures from the collection day.









And after I brought it home:





First impressions: it is an awesome car. Much, much better than I though.
I also drive a 1.4 TSI 160hp mk5 VW Golf/Rabbit (with a lot of mods except the engine) and a 1.4 MPI 85hp Seat Ibiza. So, the power of the Porsche is more than enough.
But not the power was not the only thing that surprised me it was:
- the clutch is hard similar to racing cars
- the gear stick is in the ideal position and the gear change is much more mechanical
- the engine sound (intake & exhaust) are coming from behind the driver
- you sit very low and you get to see the nice front arches from inside and the "hips" by looking in the mirror.
- the engine sound is INCREDIBLE
- the rev matching (that comes with the Sport Chrono Package) is probably the best thing on this car
- the handling is different to the Golf, I got to oversteer a few times in the Porsche (by driving it at about 7/10) and the car is still very unpredictable for me (btw, it's the first time I regularly drive a RWD car)

I will leave other pictures and stories for the following posts.

Whenever I am searching the web regarding a 981 mod, this site is always in top. By reading the threads I know there are some very passionate and knowledgeable people around here so, any ideas/ thoughts are welcomed .
 

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Congrats man. Enjoy the car and do not compare too much with 718 S or any 911 variants. They have different DNA.. In general people feel better with their purchase when others agree with their reasoning for buying a 981 cayman. Like you I too lusted for a 981 until I drove the 718 S and a 997.2 S ..Some of the common mods most do are
1. Subtle lite tint on tail lights (some just put on the GTS tail lights)
2. Matte black wrap the window shadowline trim
3. Since you already have the PSE you can throw in a BMC filter for some extra nice sound
4. hard wire radar detector and jammer if allowed in your country (blendmount like mount under mirror or something)
5. Reverse camera integration ...but since yours is a 2016 you may have it i guess
6. Steering wheel swap with a sport steering like this
7. Bland wheels replace -- most expensive and can be done when time for new tires.. Get 19" for better ride.
8. Red seatbelts will rock if still money left..
 

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v_rex...

Welcome to the Planet and congratulations on your 981 Black Edition...

You found a beautiful, well equipped Cayman that creates a concerto with six keys instead of four...

Your friends will wonder why you always have that silly grin on your face now....
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Congrats man. Enjoy the car and do not compare too much with 718 S or any 911 variants. They have different DNA.. In general people feel better with their purchase when others agree with their reasoning for buying a 981 cayman. Like you I too lusted for a 981 until I drove the 718 S and a 997.2 S ..Some of the common mods most do are
1. Subtle lite tint on tail lights (some just put on the GTS tail lights)
2. Matte black wrap the window shadowline trim
3. Since you already have the PSE you can throw in a BMC filter for some extra nice sound
4. hard wire radar detector and jammer if allowed in your country (blendmount like mount under mirror or something)
5. Reverse camera integration ...but since yours is a 2016 you may have it i guess
6. Steering wheel swap with a sport steering like this
7. Bland wheels replace -- most expensive and can be done when time for new tires.. Get 19" for better ride.
8. Red seatbelts will rock if still money left..
Thanks for the comment and ideas!
I am quite happy with the 981 and I would not trade it for an equally (or even better) equipped 718, regardless of the trim.
I am using the car as a daily (city) and I will also use it as a track-day car from time to time (the VW Golf will remain the dedicated track car) and having a NA is better in both situations. I say it's better because it gets warmer faster (and I usually have 6 miles to get to work) and during track days it won't overheat as much. Not to mention the need of not so big brakes because I get to speed a bit harder.
So even if people say I should have take the 718, I will still be happy with my buy :)

1. Yup, GTS lights will be for me
2. I quite like the aluminum trim - so it stays like this, at least for now.
3. As the car still has factory warranty (and I plan to extend the warranty) I will use the OEM filter for the next few years
4. Not really interested in a detector or jammer - I rarely exceed the speed limit with 50 kph (31mph) and only then do I lose my license. Also, in my case, not the straight speed excites me, but the G's I pull in the bends :).
5. Since I have front and rear parking sensors, I don't think the camera is necessary
6. I quite like that my steering wheel is multifunction and I will change the steering wheel only with the 718 GTSport variant
7. I already made the down payment for my winter (and possibly track) rims - 19 inch BBS CH-R
8. I don't really fancy the red seatbelts.

I have a few mods in mind but nothing ironed out, yet. I will give a few details after I put all the pieces together.

Thanks again for the ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
v_rex...

Welcome to the Planet and congratulations on your 981 Black Edition...

You found a beautiful, well equipped Cayman that creates a concerto with six keys instead of four...

Your friends will wonder why you always have that silly grin on your face now....
Thanks!
Yes, most of them can't believe how well it sounds (it was a huge surprise for me as well)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
And to continue the story with the cars first track day, held at Hungaroring F1 track (Budapest, Hungary)

But first, a bit of intro...
This year I was a bit unlucky when it came to attending trackdays. Whenever a trackday was announced I was either on vacation or on a business trip. So, this year I couldn't attend any.
A friend of mine posted the ad for the 26th of June, when an event was organized at Hungaroring. Of course, I had to be in Italy for a business trip. But, 4 days before going I found out another colleague could take my place so I quickly regrouped and made the reservation to attend the Hungaroring event. I also took a friend with me who rented a 718 Cayman S.
So, on the day of the event I went to Hungaroring to find out it was a very exclusive private event. You can see it by the cars attending:











I carried on like I did not have the cheapest car ;). I've setup my cameras, the VBox, reduced the tire pressure and got going.
The track was opened throughout the day (open pitlane) and there were no sessions like there are on a public trackday. I do as may laps I wish but, because the car is 100% stock I set up a target of 30-40 laps in order not to kill it.

During the whole day I got to understand the car better and better. And boy, what a car it is:
- incredible sound - finally my car cars sounds like a proper sports car


- incredible grip and traction - I could really use more power :hilarious:
- the brakes are ok but they get hot very fast - I could only do 3 hot laps per "session" with a cool-down lap after each hot lap. After these the brakes and the tires were no longer ok. I definitely need an upgrade over here if I am to properly enjoy the car during trackdays
- the tires Pirelli PZero were ok-ish for stock tires
- because of the tires the car was a bit unpredictable and not consistent (too low pressure at the beginning, to high pressure at the end and the grip was alternating)
- I left the EPS on (the ESP has a special program if I select the Sport Plus setup, which I did, that allows more movement) and I felt it was restricting me in some parts. But I am not yet brave enough to deactivate it completely.





My best time was 2:15.5 that is more than 6 seconds faster than my best lap with the VW Golf (2:21.6) and 12 seconds behind the best lap of the GT3 RS and the 997 GT2 RS.
The best laps video will follow.
Thanks for watching! :cheers:
 

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Sounds like you need a better quality brake fluid. If I am not mistaken the brakes are pretty much the same between the 718S and 981S.

If you want to improve your handling I would suggest the x73 swaybars and the rear brace from the 981. I have zero regets and I like you have an S with PASM.

If you want a little more power and an improved power band, software, I went with Softronic and have zero complaints.

To eliminate the oversteer mentioned, I think the Michelin 4S is the answer. At least it was for me coming from the stock Goodyear F1 with 14k miles on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will need bigger discs, better pads, steel brake lines AND brake fluid :). I plan to change them all but I will bring this topic again with mode data.
Nope, 718S and 981S have totally different calipers.

Yes, bigger ARB's are a possibility. If I do go for the IX73 sway bars (IX73 is the core for sport chassis -20mm sport suspension) I would like to have them both on the front and rear. At the moment I am trying the limits of the car (and mine) and I will do this change when I feel comfortable with the way I am handling the car.

Yes, having a remap is always an option but with these NA engines there isn't much of a difference.

I doubt the Michelin's are that much better than the Pirelli (if any). I think unsettling the car before some bends will resolve the understeer and getting semi slick tires.

Thanks for your tips!
 

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Yes I did both of the x73 bars did the rear first and Of course it was different and improved but didn’t feel as balance front or back as stock. Adding the front bar brought back the balanced feeling. I think the Porsche Engineers got this right with the X73 bars. It also stiffened the ride but not at all uncomfortable. I didn’t want a lower ride so I didn’t add the x73 springs and from my research they are 5-10% stiffer. All in all for my 98% street driving an a occasional DE I think it is great setup.

Yes, having a remap is always an option but with these NA engines there isn't much of a difference.”

I would normally agree with your NA engine thoughts. But not the case with these engines. The 3.4 in the 911 is mechanically the same but puts out 350 in the 981GTS 340, 981 S 325-330 with Softronic and others 355-360 is possible plus reduce or eliminate flat spot and it seems to move the power band lower in the rev range.

But do your own Due diligence on this and the tires.
 

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Great post and a big thumbs up for using your Cayman as it was intended to be.

I think the best line of your post was:

“ During the whole day I got to understand the car better and better. And boy, what a car it is:
- incredible sound - finally my car cars sounds like a proper sports car “

Almost every time I take my car out I learn more and more about its abilities- such a fun process for me.
 

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You should also have ventilated seats. Because it has been so hot lately, that's my favorite option.
 

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Congrats on the greatest car in the world and welcome to the club!

Driving an F1 circuit is always special too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes I did both of the x73 bars did the rear first and Of course it was different and improved but didn’t feel as balance front or back as stock. Adding the front bar brought back the balanced feeling. I think the Porsche Engineers got this right with the X73 bars. It also stiffened the ride but not at all uncomfortable. I didn’t want a lower ride so I didn’t add the x73 springs and from my research they are 5-10% stiffer. All in all for my 98% street driving an a occasional DE I think it is great setup.

Yes, having a remap is always an option but with these NA engines there isn't much of a difference.”

I would normally agree with your NA engine thoughts. But not the case with these engines. The 3.4 in the 911 is mechanically the same but puts out 350 in the 981GTS 340, 981 S 325-330 with Softronic and others 355-360 is possible plus reduce or eliminate flat spot and it seems to move the power band lower in the rev range.

But do your own Due diligence on this and the tires.
Yup, what you said makes a lot of sense.
BUT I have the 2.7l engine and that is over 100PS per liter so I doubt the remap will make a significant change (not to mention losing the warranty).
I'll think more of it when the warranty runs out and when I am more in control of the car.

Great post and a big thumbs up for using your Cayman as it was intended to be.

I think the best line of your post was:

“ During the whole day I got to understand the car better and better. And boy, what a car it is:
- incredible sound - finally my car cars sounds like a proper sports car “

Almost every time I take my car out I learn more and more about its abilities- such a fun process for me.
Thanks!
I bet yours is much more fun than mine - a MT GTS was my dream car but they are incredible hard to find with factory warranty or with Porsche Approved program.
Enjoy your car!

You should also have ventilated seats. Because it has been so hot lately, that's my favorite option.
Unfortunately as I bought the car used (only 11k miles but still used) I did not have the luxury to spec it up exactly to my liking. Good enough, though...
Yes, ventilated seat are nice but since, when I use the car daily I go from one underground parking lot to another, I really don't feel the need for.
On the few occasions I leave the car in the sun, the sun gets really hot (being black with a black interior - hence Black Edition) and I somehow miss having ventilated seats. For long journeys they might also make sense.

Congrats on the greatest car in the world and welcome to the club!

Driving an F1 circuit is always special too!
Thanks!
A GTS or a GT4 might be the greatest cars in the world :)
Mine is just the entry level :(, but right now, for me at least, it is the greatest car in the world.


Thank you very much for your comments and ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
And the Hungaroring track day video ;):


And a few words about the video...
I have had 6 fast laps, out of which I am showing 4, the rest were either with more traffic or with more mistakes.
As you can see, the laptimes are: 2:15.7, 2:15.5, 2:16.1, 2:16.5 (the last 2 ones are with a passenger - and obviously, the weight of another grown man is visible in the laptimes). According to CircuitTools (one of the tool I use for analyzing the laps), the ideal best lap is 2:15.0, so there is potential to go to 2:14.x with the stock car.

First lap:
0:30 - I miss the gear shift, and I lose about 0.14 sec (according to CircuitTools)
1:03 - I always shortshift in that corner... if I am to go to 7500 RPM and then shift, I would shift in the middle of the bend which I am afraid would unsettle the car. So I prefer this approach - but I can push the shifting a bit further...
1:46 - the car is a bit unsettled and a slight oversteer

Second lap (best lap - 2:15.5):
3:46 - I have to overtake the GT3 and I lose about 0.15 sec
4:22 - I turned in too early and in order not to be incorrectly aligned for the next corner I have to ease of the gas... I lose about 0.15 sec again

Third lap:
6:13 - one of the best lines and speeds into that corner. I can still push a bit harder but that's for the next trip.
6:58 - the car always understeers in that corner... I prefer to let it run wide... The Golf is very balanced or even oversteers in the same corner so I don't know what to make of this :thinking:... It may be the tires, the ESP or who knows...

Last lap:
8:58 - I brake a bit too late
9:32 - I am bit slowed by traffic and I lose about 0.7 sec only in that corner

Comments (especially with advice :burnout:) are welcomed!
 

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The likely fix for the understeer is a track oriented alignment. The stock/factory alignment sucks for performance driving. Without making any modifications you can easily get about -1 degree of camber in the front and about -1.5 in the rear, go with 0 front toe and just a little rear to keep the handling neutral. Mine is around -1.4 front and -1.5 rear, 0 toe front and .15 rear, and works so much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the input! I'll look at the geometry after the next trip.
I use a 2.30' negative camber in the front, 2 degrees negative in the rear on my Golf and a 0.10' negative toe. I would go with more camber on the front than in the back but I am not sure how to setup the RWD Cayman, I should do some more reading and I'll start with your proposal. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Still in Germany - leaving for France tomorrow - but I need to share the last Nurburgring experience with you (and it can't wait till I return).
So... After the Hungaoring trip, I had a, sort-off, road trip planned for the Porsche - visiting Germany and France. While in Germany I couldn't ignore the Nurburgring so I stayed for 2 nights there. I only did 7 laps - since the trip goal was not a specific trackday - again with the 100% stock car.

If I had to sum up the experience in a few words, I'd say: "Man, now I understand the power of POWER" :evilgrin:.
Of course, 275 BHP is nothing compared to what a lot of people have around here on their S's, GTS's or even GT4's, but compared to my beloved mk5 VW Golf/Rabbit (with 165 bhp) IT'S A LOT. I could finally be competitive on the straights (overtake GTI's, Megane RS's, stay with M3's, etc).
My driving performance is not quite satisfactory for me. I had to re-learn many bends and I struggled with the gearing. The Porsche has a much longer gearing and I always have to use a lower gear than the Golf (where I am in 3rd in the Golf I have to be in 2nd in the Porsche). I am at least 20 laps away from being consistent around the track, but I will leave this for the next visits.
Even if my driving performance is not quite to my liking, the best laptime is way out of my wildest dreams...
I managed a 8:30.1 (BTG) on the 6th lap, even with traffic in high speed areas... I will discuss more about this lap when I upload the video.

For now I will leave you with some pictures taken by my wife or me:











And with a TechArt modified Cayman S





The amount of Porsches you see at Nurburgring is amazing... Mostly 911's but some Cayman (mainly GT4's) and Boxsters too.
Next up, some professional photos with the car in action... Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
And the promised photos with the car "in action":









Some stiffer ARB's are definitely needed:







Next up... video / videos (after I have some time to edit them). Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
And the fastest lap of the trip:


Not that proud of this lap as I usually am, because there were less times when I was on the limit than I would have liked. Anyway, it's a solid starting point.
Also I am struggling a bit with selecting the proper gear for some bends because of the huge difference with the VW Golf's gearing.
Like I previously said, my best time with the Golf was 8:56 but it was a much better lap than with the Porsche. Nonetheless, I managed 8:30 with the Porsche and it all comes down to the power difference 160 bhp vs 275 bhp.

This was the 6th lap of the trip (out of a total of 7) and I will probably post the 7th one as well because I follow a Seat Cupra ~330bhp, 1200kg and it may be interesting...

Like always, any comments/advice are welcomed.
 

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The cheapest fix for your front brakes is a set of GT2 brake ducts, or Cup brake ducts, which are clip on. You can check out your OEM brake ducts by looking under your car, then look up these two sets on line to compare the size and quality of air coming onto your rotors. The rears should be ok, but again these are not that pricey to replace with bigger more efficient ducts.
 
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