By on December 4, 2009

IMG_2662As a child, I owned something called the Lego “Expert Builder Car”. It was a fascinating product. From one box of a thousand or so Lego pieces, it was possible to build many different kinds of cars, up to and including a two-seat roadster with a working transmission. Top-notch fun, and if Lego eventually took it off the market in favor of less advanced kits focusing on Star Wars, Disneyworld, and (possibly) Twilight then we have only the abject failure of the American educational system to blame.

IMG_2680Porsche has a Lego set as well. The same basic set of components is used to create everything from a $45,000 Boxster to a $230,000 GT2. If you think it costs five times as much to make a GT2 as it does a Boxster, you’re probably an outstanding candidate for one of those $11,000 Hublot watches that uses an el-cheapo ETA mechanism to actually tell time. Nope, it’s mostly additional profit at the top of the pyramid. Porsche protects their oh-so-exclusive product ladder by refusing to assemble their Legos into toys like, say, a turbocharged Cayman.

If one listens to Porsche spokespeople, they have many reasons why a turbo Cayman wouldn’t be possible, feasible, or reasonable. These reasons are quite convincing, and they are repeated ad infinitum. Eventually the strong impression is created that a turbo Cayman would be a feat equal to, say, the Manhattan Project. Which makes it all the more interesting that there’s a guy in a shed who builds them for ten grand.

Well, TPC’s Mike Levitas isn’t exactly a guy in a shed. He’s a former Rolex-GT-at-Daytona winner with an extensive engineering background, and he’s devoted a lot of thought to his pressurized Caymans. For $9,995 plus installation, he will put nearly five hundred horsepower behind the seats of Porsche’s factory-crippled hardtop Boxster.IMG_2665

I recently had the opportunity to drive a rather well-sorted TPC Cayman S Turbo at the company’s headquarters outside Washington, DC. In the name of “balance” — something Levitas can wax rather poetic about, given the opportunity — this car was set up for approximately 380 horsepower at 5psi or so of boost and modified with a variety of JRZ and TPC suspension items.

Outside of a racetrack, it’s difficult to get even a standard Cayman 2.7 to its limits, but I was able to verify in a few short triple-digit blasts that TPC’s power numbers seem very legit. This car has pull to match a GT3 and shame a 997S, delivered across a very broad torque curve. If anything, it feels stronger than a GT3 until the very end of the rev range. Naturally, TPC will happily reprofile your boost curve if you want that top-end hit for road course work or midnight street racing.

The rest of the TPC mods also seem reasonably successful. It’s not difficult to imagine that this car would run in nearly a dead heat with a brand-new GT3 around most road courses. Ride quality is no worse than what you would find in said GT3 and pothole compliance appears to be excellent. The (anonymous by request) owner of this particular example uses it as a daily driver and a stealthy, confusion-causing trackday toy. You could do the same.

And you could do it cheaply, relatively speaking. Early 3.4-liter Caymans are now crossing auction blocks for forty grand. A $25,000 check to TPC would nearly duplicate our tester, so it is perfectly possible to obtain Z06-matching performance for the price of a lightly-used Z06. Or you could look it as GT3 lap times for half price. Porsche Cars North America would no doubt prefer you didn’t.

IMG_2668Which brings us to one tiny problem with this lovely mid-engined coupe. The watercooled Porsche engines produced from 1997 to 2008 are famously fragile, even without turbocharging. Porsche kept its split-case race-style engine for the Turbo, GT3, and GT2 until the recent arrival of its completely re-engineered waterboxer. There is no way that this particular Lego set will be as durable as, say, a 2001 996 Turbo. Perhaps this was the reason Porsche never turbocharged the car, although it doesn’t explain why there’s no new-generation Cayman Turbo. Oh well. TPC states that they have yet to experience a turbo Cayman or turbo Boxster failure, which may be reassuring enough for most buyers.

As the price of Porsche’s 911 Carrera sneaks ever closer to $100,000 in even mildly-equipped form, it might be time for the German fiscal adventurists to admit that their core product is becoming rather irrelevant. A factory Cayman Turbo would offer performance just shy of the Nissan GT-R and Z06 Corvette for similar money. That’s a formula that has worked for Porsche in the past (see: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo) and it could work again. Heck, it might just create a new generation of Porsche fans. If the men from Weissach want some help assembling their Legos, I suspect TPC would be happy to take their call.

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33 Comments on “Review: Porsche Cayman S Turbo By TPC...”


  • avatar
    AccAzda

    Man…
    That is a damn nice picture.

    Like looking at the back view of a bunch of racing equipment sponsor girls…

    Man… what a damn nice picture.

  • avatar

    From the Lego kit analogy, it initially sounded like he was taking a Porsche factory turbo engine and putting it into a Cayman. But reading on, he’s adding turbos to the stock Cayman engine, correct?

    What internal mods are made to the engine?

    Inspired by Wilkinson’s earlier piece on IMS failures, I started doing more to get Cayman and Boxster owners involved in TrueDelta’s survey.  303 signed up so far, so we should eventually be able to provide some reasonably precise numbers on how often these engines actually fail.

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    They will swear “it can’t be done” if they think you’re a reporter, or they’re afraid it might get back to someone who can fire them.

    Take the average Porsche engineer out, get them moderately drunk, and profess your hatred for the 911. They will try to hump your leg in agreement. Poor guys waste more time trying to keep a tiny engine in a lousy platform from killing it’s owners than one can imagine.

    From the 914 on, nothing is more powerful than the 911- wouldn’t want to show the public just how naked the emporer is. The 911 is inherently flawed, and always will be.

    Eventually, as Boxters get cheaper and cheaper they will be built, raced, and the myth of the 911 somehow being a competitive platform will be irrefutably, unceremoniously, scrapped.

    I helped with some design/tune work on a twinscrew Boxter about 5 years ago. Guy also owned a 911 TT. Turn off the electronics on the 911, and the Boxter was seconds faster with the same driver, equal with the electronics.

    I’m just waiting to get my hands on a stripped Cayman at the insurance auction…

  • avatar
    chuckR

    At http://www.planet-9.com/ there are some accounts of DIY’ers installing this kit themselves. Including, IIRC, some who had never done anything remotely as challenging. But then the temptation is to install GT3 suspension components and maybe track it with race tires. This is one avenue to IMS failure – the oiling apparently crosses the line from sort of OK to not OK under the increased cornering forces that can be generated.
    Michael Karesh – I’ve signed my Cayman S up with you – only 22k miles. No turbo, no race tires, oil changes at 5k miles. Internal mods to the engines from Porsche around the time of Cayman introduction included an IMS bearing that has 75% higher rating.  And now Porsche recommends  an oil change interval at 12k miles instead of 20k miles. On the Planet-9 site there are some interesting threads on these failures, including some 911 failures – rarer because the engine is installed backwards and apparently that makes a difference. Baruth is right, there is a lot more chassis than there is engine in Boxsters/Caymans. Not that I’m likely to find either limit.

  • avatar
    Adub

    We need more technical details.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I just had an epiphimy, a GT2 does not cost as much as 4 boxsters to make. That is true. I really believed up to know that research and development and exotic materials made the GT2, and Turbos even, so expensive. I consider myself a pretty smart person, but man have I been in denial.

  • avatar
    info@carsinpedia.com

    Quote :
    If you think it costs five times as much to make a GT2 as it does a Boxster, you’re probably an outstanding candidate for one of those $11,000 Hublot watches that uses an el-cheapo ETA mechanism to actually tell time.
    The best line and sums up nice the point made in the article..well done

  • avatar
    mpresley

    Sure, it may not cost x5 to build a GT2, but the buyer is getting something “special” for his money.  Value is always a personal judgment, and often has little to do with cost.  That being said, there is now talk (anyone can talk, but who really knows?) that with Piech behind the wheel, the Porsche line as we know it will be history, or at least modified substantially.  And, in the greatest heresy of all, some are openly speculating about the end of the 911.  What is clear is that VW wants to move product, and no one short of God can afford a GT2.  Many (relatively speaking) could, however, afford a tubocharged Cayman.

  • avatar
    Boff

    Midnight street racing??? Please strike that.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Never understood the Porsche mistque.  I’d by a used (not abused) 944 or 928, the two cars most Porshe-ifiles love to hate, but they’re also not stuuuuuuuuuuuupid expensive used and you don’t automatically look like a “that jerk in the Porsche” for buying one.  I know buying a 928 is buying a “German Corvette” but hey that kinda has a nice ring to it.  I also think (knowing the history of the 944) that as a VW or Audi people would have thought it was awesome but as a Porsche the 911 lovers had fits.  Maybe Bertel could write an article on here about the 944, where you still working for VW when that was being developed Mr. BS?

    Having said that, a kid in my neighborhood drives a 944 like the jerk he is.  I think he bought it just cause “oooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh it’s a Porsche!” but if that’s getting him a little tail then high school girls are just as stupid as I think they are.  (BTW I’m a teacher and have taught 6th -12th grade students.) 

    • 0 avatar
      Jimmy7

      You might have better luck understanding the Porsche ‘mystique.’

    • 0 avatar
      Damage

      I have owned 944s and 911s and I love them both. I can’t speak for others, but for me, the Porsche mystique is like those Jeeps with the stickers that say “It’s a Jeep thing. You wouldn’t understand.” It’s the smell of hot oil and German vinyl and that fantastic exhaust note, like a Beetle, only angry, and the way you feel when you master the handling and realize that the horror stories are all just BS.

  • avatar
    TZ

    Two thoughts:
    1)  The new Boxster/Cayman S PDK does 0-60 in 4.1 seconds.  Wouldn’t exactly call that “factory-crippled”.  That’s within an eye-blink of the 911.
     
    2)  A company trying to sell you a $10k kit for your Boxster or Cayman probably isn’t a solid source for accurate information about failure rates of engines in said Boxsters and Caymans, particularly massaged ones.
    Unless the failure rate is highly exaggerated by user forums (which is certainly possible), the consequences of tacking a couple hundred horsepower on an already-fragile engine should not be summarily dismissed.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Setright himself thought the 914 was superior in concept, if not in reality, to the 911. And Clarkson said he wouldn’t want to own a Porsche because he couldn’t respect a company that willfully underdeveloped its best car (meaning, the Boxster) in order to protect its second-best. 

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    If you have a concern about (fill in the 6) just swap it for the one you want. There are some differences, but it’ll fit. 

    Properly executed forced induction (especially around 5-6PSI) is pretty much a non-event. Big emphasis on ‘properly’.

    Never understood the Porsche mistque.  I’d by a used (not abused) 944 or 928, the two cars most Porshe-ifiles love to hate, but they’re also not stuuuuuuuuuuuupid expensive used and you don’t automatically look like a “that jerk in the Porsche” for buying one.  I know buying a 928 is buying a “German Corvette” but hey that kinda has a nice ring to it.  I also think (knowing the history of the 944) that as a VW or Audi people would have thought it was awesome but as a Porsche the 911 lovers had fits. operly’.

    The 928 was the first clean-sheet Porsche. The 911 is the Beetle-Evo. Even the 356 was rear-midengine for a good reason. On the other hand, the 911 was a tired father letting little Butzi make a grand mistake.  Throw some money (25K-ish) at a 928 or 951 and you can embarass GT3 owners all day long. In comfort.

    911-philes are (mostly) just there for the image. True Porschephiles are about evolutionary product and ultimate performing daily-drivers. I don’t want a Cayenne, but it is far ahead of the 911, and will eat a 959 for lunch.   

    • 0 avatar
      Damage

      911-philes are (mostly) just there for the image. True Porschephiles are about evolutionary product and ultimate performing daily-drivers.
      That’s a little harsh. While I have no patience for the “Porschephile” bigots who won’t have anything to do with any watercooled P-car, I still prefer the aircooled 911. Same as some guys prefer 32 Fords. Aircooled 911s are long past their image car days. They are old and need special care and feeding, enough to weed out the poseurs who have since moved on to…I don’t know…Hummer H3s?

    • 0 avatar
      mpresley

      I don’t want a Cayenne, but it is far ahead of the 911, and will eat a 959 for lunch.
       
      Not sure where you eat lunch.  959:  0-60 in 3.6 sec;  top speed 195 or so.  Cayenne: 0-60 6.4 sec with top speed 155 mph.

    • 0 avatar
      TZ

      I don’t want a Cayenne, but it is far ahead of the 911, and will eat a 959 for lunch.
      I presume that you mean Cayman.  There is a slight difference.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    After I decided an MR2 Spyder would outlive (and under-spend) a Boxster as a weekend car, I admit I lost track of this issue: Has everyone forgiven (forgotten?) Porsche for making the Boxster Hardtop (Cayman) MORE expensive than the convertible? It seems accepting the reasons for this detail is a big part of swallowing the whole Porsche mystique (which actually seems more of a brand positioning and marketing tactic).

  • avatar
    saponetta

    3.4 caymans for 40k at the auction? I have gotten calls on quite a few, i was passing on cars much cheaper than 40k.  I bought 2 this year.  i didn’t pay near 40k for cars with PASM, 19″s good miles etc.  But I would like to send all me inventory to the auction where cayman S’s brought 40k.  Are caymans S even bringing 40k retail?  I was doing finance at a porshce /audi store when the Cayman was released.  I remember the 39 month(36 was the same) residual on the S being 50% on the dot. The 2.7 cayman had the same residual as the S i believe when it came out the following model year.
    BTW folks, porsche is smarter than you.  If they did release a turbo 987 it would be on the gt1 based engine which is now 3.8 litres.  They would not be bolting piping and a turbo to the stock manifolds like these guys and running 1,000,000:1   backpressure/pressure ratio on  an engine that was not built for this stress. 
    Bitch about porshce pricing, the performance hierarchy, etc, but don’t say they can’t build a sports car to the highest levels of performance, reliablility and livability.  If porsche built a factory 987 turbo it would have a motor that is  durable to double its original output

  • avatar
    casey@tpc

    Please feel free to email us for more details and reference this article…

    also, our website has lots of info…

    To answer a few of the questions.

    The internals are completely stock, we run very low boost pressures ~5psi and that makes for little to no stress on the engine.  We have not had a single failure in more than 100 kits that are installed worldwide.

    Regards,
    Casey @ TPC

  • avatar
    chuckR

    It seems to me that buying a performance car is like buying a sailboat. The latter is a hole in the ocean into which you pour money; the former is a hole in the pavement into…. There is no sound economic argument for either – you accept that you are just going to blow a bunch of money for an enjoyable time. I held onto a 911 C4 for 14 years but I don’t know if I’ll hold onto a Cayman S for nearly that long. At 14 years the C4 was pretty flat on the depreciation curve, unless you neglected maintenance.
    There is at least one Cayman 3.8 X51 transplant – which also uses the TPC turbo setup. From the account I read, the car was practically remanufactured. Sounds like it might have been as cheap to buy a GT3. To use a split case GT3 engine instead of the X51 would pose some additional headaches as it is a true dry sump engine, like the turbos, unlike the 911′s 3.8 or the 3.4/2.7 pseudo-dry sump design.  The new generation engines don’t suffer from the same weakness as the older ones, either 3.4s or 3.8s. No more IMS and supposedly better oil pickup design.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    That’s a little harsh. While I have no patience for the “Porschephile” bigots who won’t have anything to do with any watercooled P-car, I still prefer the aircooled 911.
    OK, perhaps a bit harsh. One likes what they like, and there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as you acknowledge the realities of the product. You sound as though you may be part of the 5% of 911 owners who is not delusionary. If you’re part of that 5%, no offense intended.

    Not sure where you eat lunch.  959:  0-60 in 3.6 sec;  top speed 195 or so.  Cayenne: 0-60 6.4 sec with top speed 155 mph.

    Not referencing a NA Cayenne. Cayenne Turbo S, factory spec mid 5 to 60, 175MPH. Easily tuned to 4 second 60 and 200 MPH, for way less money than you will drop on a US compliance 959. Far better handling, far more advanced electronics,  far more reliable. But, hey, if you want a 959, I think that poor SOB down in the ‘Cruz is still stuck with some. We can race hwy 9 back up to SJ.   

    BTW folks, porsche is smarter than you.  If they did release a turbo 987 it would be on the gt1 based engine which is now 3.8 litres.  They would not be bolting piping and a turbo to the stock manifolds like these guys and running 1,000,000:1   backpressure/pressure ratio on  an engine that was not built for this stress. 

    I think you’re missing the point. The point is that Porsche could easily build a turbo Boxster/Cayman, but there are those at Porsche who still think they have to keep the 911 the top of the range car.  The Cayman is simply a better platform, and the engine is in the right place. Equally powered, a Cayman will slaughter a 911.

    Force-inducting a stock car is not rocket science and pretty much any car or motorcycle that has been built in the last 30 years will take 5-6 PSI just fine unless you do something really stupid.

    Bitch about porshce pricing, the performance hierarchy, etc, but don’t say they can’t build a sports car to the highest levels of performance, reliablility and livability.  If porsche built a factory 987 turbo it would have a motor that is  durable to double its original output

    Uhh, aparently you have never looked in the service department. 944,928, Cayenne – pretty damn reliable. Often cover 100′s of thousands of miles without major failures.
    Anything flat-6? Not so much. Head studs, oiling issues, timing drive issues, case shift issues - every generation of the layout has had at least one major issue. If you get lucky, it happens in warantee.  


     
     

  • avatar
    casey@tpc

    Just read through all of these posts again.  And i do have some comments regarding the M97 engine…
    Porsche is an absolutely premier builder.  They dont build trash… especially for the most sold engine family that they distribute.
     
    The m97 engine is a well built engine.  People on forums and the internet blogs read one or two reviews about how something catastrophic happened to an engine and completely blow it out of proportion… Now, i know that some of these have happened as i have read it too.  But here are the facts…
    The m97 engine family has forged pistons(that are like holding jewelry) with a pinned second ring like a true race engine, nikasil liners, a nitrided crank, killer connecting rods, overkill bearing journal area and a rod ratio to make the split case jealous…
    These are not trash engines.  We race GT3s and we build monster 997TTs utilizing the famed split case motor, we know there are differences but the M97 is not a family to scoff at.

  • avatar
    Ronman

    I asked the new Cayman Project head about a Turbo Charged Cayman during their Launch in spain last year… he mumbled a few words, turned away and left…i insisted, but he wouldn’t answer. as if there is a gag order on the issue at Porsche…. At least they are offering an LSD as optional, that alone puts  a Cayman inches ahead of a 911 Carrera…

  • avatar

    “Early 3.4-liter Caymans are now crossing auction blocks for forty grand. A $25,000 check to TPC would nearly duplicate our tester, so it is perfectly possible to obtain Z06-matching performance for the price of a lightly-used Z06.”
    Hmmm, an aftermarket turbo setup on a motor not known for its longevity for the price of a 2000 mile 2008 Z06, with a motor designed for 100,000 mile durability. I wonder which would be the more reliable track day performer when flogged by the likes of Mr. Baruth?
    Unless one is an avowed Vette hater, a 2006 Z06 can be picked up and made track ready for under $50k all day long, with none of the potential maladies of an aftermarket turbocharged small displacement motor.
     
     
     
     

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    Hmmm, an aftermarket turbo setup on a motor not known for its longevity for the price of a 2000 mile 2008 Z06, with a motor designed for 100,000 mile durability. I wonder which would be the more reliable track day performer when flogged by the likes of Mr. Baruth?
    Unless one is an avowed Vette hater, a 2006 Z06 can be picked up and made track ready for under $50k all day long, with none of the potential maladies of an aftermarket turbocharged small displacement motor.

    I am an avowed ‘Vette hater, which does not prevent me from acknowleging the C6 as the most bang for the buck on anything resembling a new car. Goes quick,  fast, and for the first time, a ‘Vette actually has brakes. Handling is pretty impressive. (Amazing what GM can do when a few guys do most of  the car as a skunkworks project.) 
    Build quality, interior, and the fact that you’ll see yourself 10 times a day not withstanding, can’t argue with the value.
    @casey,
    If you’re going to make a case for flat6 reliablity, you might want to use facts that are relevant and/or substantive. Forged pistons have been semi-standard on Porsches over the years. Nikasil hardly anything special. Nitrided crank?  Just a surface treatment. If one is building a serious race engine (or street, frankly) it gets  sent out for cryo and a coating.  

    Yes, you can build the hell out of a flat-6. In the world of racing, odds are it’ll outlast the Ferrari. In the world of the street cars, the odds of any Porsche flat-6 reaching  100K without a major repair are not so good. Every generation has had some design flaw. Not always fatal, but generally expensive. 

    The I4s and V8s have demonstrated far greater MTBF.
     

  • avatar
    saponetta

    “Uhh, aparently you have never looked in the service department. 944,928, Cayenne – pretty damn reliable. Often cover 100’s of thousands of miles without major failures.
    Anything flat-6? Not so much. Head studs, oiling issues, timing drive issues, case shift issues - every generation of the layout has had at least one major issue. If you get lucky, it happens in warantee.  ”
    Well I sold and did finance at the largest and only single point porsche dealer in my city.  Overall the 911 is bulletproof compared to the cars oyu listed.  The cayenne was terrible from a  service standpoint, especially the first two years.  The 928 may be the single most unreliable car they ever built-there is a reason the most desirable models are worthless than half what a reasonable condition 80′s 911 is worth.  Most people don’t bring their 944 to the dealership as any repair will cost more than the car is worth.  The early watercooled cars had a small percentage of engine failures that porsche fixed.  The rear main seal issue effected a lot of cars and porsche continues to pay at least partial repairs on cars many years out of warranty.   I’ve seen many boxsters and a couple 996′s with well over 100k with nothing outside of routine service.  The 996 and later cars just haven’t been around long enough to se a lot of cars with 100k+.  For what its worth, i’ve had my 2006 carerra S for a couple years and drive it alot.  I would not be exaggerating to say it is as easy to own as a honda civic.  I’ve had one warranty claim on a bose speaker and have spent less on scheduled maintainence than one set of tires.
     
     

  • avatar
    porschespeed

     Overall the 911 is bulletproof compared to the cars oyu listed.  The cayenne was terrible from a  service standpoint, especially the first two years.  The 928 may be the single most unreliable car they ever built-there is a reason the most desirable models are worthless than half what a reasonable condition 80’s 911 is worth.  Most people don’t bring their 944 to the dealership as any repair will cost more than the car is worth.  The early watercooled cars had a small percentage of engine failures that porsche fixed.  The rear main seal issue effected a lot of cars and porsche continues to pay at least partial repairs on cars many years out of warranty.   I’ve seen many boxsters and a couple 996’s with well over 100k with nothing outside of routine service.  The 996 and later cars just haven’t been around long enough to se a lot of cars with 100k+.  For what its worth, i’ve had my 2006 carerra S for a couple years and drive it alot.  I would not be exaggerating to say it is as easy to own as a honda civic.  I’ve had one warranty claim on a bose speaker and have spent less on scheduled maintainence than one set of tires.

    A good percentage of 28s,44s and 51s did get into the hands of some marginal buyers who couldn’t afford to do routine maint and didn’t know how to wrench their own. So, yes, those cars can be problematic. Point?  Everybody, including Porsche knows the I4s and V8s are for more reliable powerplants than any flat6 they’ve ever made. Of course without data, that’s just a pissing match. So, if anybody wants to learn, feel free to cruise the internet Porsche boards or join their local PCA. Just sit around and listen to the issues 911s owners have with all the stuff I mentioned and more. I have seen more than a few 928s and 944s that have gone over 300K miles without any engine work save for routine maint. Find me a 911 that has. 
     

    The facts are all out there. See how many engines it takes you to get over 250K miles in your Carrera. Odds are, at least two.

    • 0 avatar
      saponetta

      Porschespeed,
      Again,
      I was in the Porsche business for  along time.  It seems your evidence is heresay you read on the internet, at least that is what you cite as your source.  I literally know hundreds or porshce owners.  I have been to dozens of PCA and drivers ed events.  I have tracked or ridden along an many different porsche models form mild to fairly wild.  I’m a car guy and customers know it. they always come to me to chat when dropping their cars off for service.  Genrally speaking, the boxters/911/cayman are much more reliable than the cayenne/928/944.  The 928 is probably the biggest POS they made.  I know plenty of guys personally(that means i didn’t read it on the interweb) who have spent 10′s of thousands keeping their 928 on the road.  I know a porsche tech who at this point has probably eclipsed 500k miles on his 1978 Sc.  When we worked together he was over 400 on the original engine and transmission.  Again, this is all first hand information.  You may read more web forums than me, but I doubt you’ve spent as much time within 100 feet or a porsche service facility as i have.  I also doubt you have as much time at porsche club sponsored track days and events as me.
       
      The aircooled 2.7 was the only 6 cyl they built that had major issues affecting a large number of cars.   Any other issues over the years except the rear main problem affected a very very small percentage of cars.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    A GT certified Porsche tech buddy of mine says that the 911 rear-engine design is still king for one reason:  Drivetrain layout options.
     
    It is very easy to offer an all wheel drive variant with the engine in the rear of the car.  Put the engine in front of the rear axle, and now you have a much bigger engineering challenge to get power to the front wheels.
     
    Yes, there are those in Porsche who still think the 911 should remain at the top of the line – but at the end of the day, Porsche needs to sell cars, and having drivetrain variety helps to sell more cars.

  • avatar
    rcolayco

    The reason Ruf gave me for not shoe-horning a turbo-charger into the Boxster/Cayman was that the GT1 block was too large to ever fit into the narrow body of the mid-engined model.
    With the new block said to have an “integrated dry-sump,” it’s conceivable that the old problem no longer exists.
    My guess is that Porsche will squeeze the last drop of value out of the 911 brand before elevating the Cayman or other model to top-model category.  At the end of the day, Porsche is a business.
    Let’s hope that under VW, Porsche’s finely honed combination of engineering and marketing acumen get sharper, not dulled.

  • avatar
    prosumer

    Randy Pobst drives the TPC Cayman
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEgEGwaPwZ0
    Accumoto Motorsport TPC Turbo Cayman RS in-car with Randy Pobst in the rain


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  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States