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Porsche Cayman 987: Buying guide and review (2005-2012)

Porsche Cayman 987: Buying guide and review (2005-2012) Classic and Performance Car
Porsche Cayman Porsche Cayman Porsche Cayman Porsche Cayman Porsche Cayman R Porsche Cayman R Porsche Cayman R Porsche Cayman R Porsche Cayman R
For years, Porsche 911 fans claimed that there would only ever be one true Porsche sports coupe. First came the Porsche 928, more of a GT than an all-out sports car, and the 911 remained king. The 944 and 968 models were certainly sporty, but no match for the rear-engined and much more powerful 911s. Head down a twisty road in a Cayman however, and you might just change your tune. 
Released in 2005 in top of the range S form, the Cayman was much more than just a hardtop Boxster. It may have shared a lot of componentry with its stablemate, but its increased rigidity and sportier set-up gave the new coupe a very definite edge. 
Now in its second generation, the Cayman range has developed a loyal following thanks to its excellent handling, precise steering and everyday usability. The good ones have started to firm up in value so now seems like a good time to delve into what it takes to get a great used one. 

Which Cayman to buy?

The 3.4-litre 295bhp Cayman S arrived first, joined the following year by the base 245bhp 2.7-litre Cayman. The less powerful car had a five-speed ‘box as standard, but the six-speed manual from the S or a five-speed Tiptronic could be optioned. The limited edition Cayman S Sport was launched in 2008 and featured 303bhp, PASM, a sports exhaust and some individual touches to differentiate it from the rest of the range. 
The mid-life face-lift came in 2009 and some welcome changes were made across the range. The engines were upgraded, both losing the troublesome RMS seals, the S cars gained direct fuel injection along with 25bhp while the non-S models got a 200cc increase and an additional 20bhp. The PDK double clutch transmission replaced the ageing Tiptronic gearbox, the five-speed ‘box was dropped and visually, LED lighting and revised wheels and colour palettes were offered.
Standard equipment was not exactly generous, but in truth, there were few extras that significantly improved the driving experience. Worthwhile options to look out for are PASM (active suspension management) which improves the ride, especially on 19 inch wheels, the sports exhaust system and the LSD which could be optioned on the last Gen II cars. While the early Tiptronic boxes work well enough, the PDK is a far greater setup. It’s of course the manuals that most people went for when new, and the one you will want for the more engaging experience. 
For the ultimate Gen 2 Cayman, the R is the one you will want. With 330bhp and a limited slip diff, it was the default choice in its segment – eclipsing a base 911 around a track too. 
As a daily driver the sweet spot in the range has to be the Gen 2 base model 2.9 Cayman. Well balanced and with enough power to put a smile on your face, this mid-engined sports car is about as good as it gets. The lower levels of grip and more pliant suspension are better suited to bumpy UK roads too.

Performance and specs

Gen II Porsche Cayman S
Engine 3436cc, 24 valve Boxer-six 
Power 321bhp @ 7400rpm 
Torque 273lb.ft @ 4500-5800rpm
Top speed 180mph 
0-62mph 5.0seconds 
Fuel consumption 32.1mpg 
Gearbox Six-speed manual

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2475mm
Length 4380mm
Width 1801mm
Height 1295mm
Weight 1320kg

Common problems

Pre-2009 Caymans, as well as any Porsche using the same block (First two generations of Boxster and first two generations of water cooled 911) are all susceptible to IMS bearing failure, bore scoring or rear main seal leakage. Many cars have gone on to cover 200,000 miles without any issues while a handful have failed far sooner than that. Keep calm, arm yourself with knowledge, and remember that the percentage of cars affected is very low:

• A noisy idle can indicate an impending Intermediate Shaft (IMS) bearing failure. Check for evidence of previous engine rebuilds or repairs.
• Excessive smoke on a cold start and/or high oil consumption may mean that the cylinder bores are scored. Check for an oily exhaust pipe. If unsure a bore scope should be used to check the condition of the cylinder walls.
• Less of an issue are the Rear Main Seals (RMS) which tend to leak a little just to let you know there is still oil in the engine. These can be replaced at the next service but heavy leaking should be checked sooner.
• With all the above issues, the services of a Porsche specialist can be invaluable in providing peace of mind before a purchase.
• While the engines are strong (aside from the points listed above) Gen I cars may develop cylinder head warping if tracked regularly, Gen II cars had four oil pickups (up from two) alleviating the problem. Whether driven hard or gently, changing the oil frequently is highly recommended.
• Specialists can check the ECU to see whether a car has been over-revved, warped discs and non-Porsche specification tyres may also indicate neglect.
• The Gen I cars can suffer from premature front suspension wear and corrosion of the exhaust mountings. Check for knocks and rattles when on the test drive.
• Multiple owners and low mileages may mean lots of cold starts and short trips so don’t be put off by higher mileage examples.
• Cooling systems can develop leaks from road debris damaging the front mounted radiator.

Model history

2005: Porsche Cayman S launched featuring 295bhp 3.4-litre boxer motor. Six-speed manual and five-speed Tiptronic gearboxes available
2006: 245bhp 2.7-litre Cayman launched
2008: Cayman S Sport edition introduced, power up to 303bhp, sports exhaust and PASM standard – 700 built
2009: Mid-life face-lift on all models, 7-speed PDK gearbox replaces Tiptronic unit. PCM (Porsche Communication Management) is upgraded offering touchscreen operation. Cayman S get power upgrade to 320bhp. Base Cayman receives new DFI 2.9l engine pushing power up to 265bhp
2011: Cayman S Black Edition with bespoke trim and lightweight Cayman R with 330bhp and LSD introduced
2012: 981 Cayman launched in late 2012 phasing out the 987 Cayman

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• www.porscheclubgb.com – UK Porsche Club
• www.caymanoc.com – Cayman owners club
• www.rennlist.com – Porsche Forum

Summary and prices

A high-mileage pre-facelift 2006 2.7-litre Cayman starts at £12,000 while an ’05 3.4S is not much more and provides a significant performance boost. Avoid ultra-low mileage multiple owner cars, and sketchy service histories.

The Gen II 2.9-litre Cayman can be found from £18,000 and is a well-balanced choice. At the other end of the scale the 911 baiting Cayman R starts at £40,000 and Gen II S models can be found from £24,000. The capabilities of the Cayman are aptly demonstrated by how fastidious Porsche were in stopping it from eclipsing the 911, get one now while they are still underrated and undervalued.
Words: John Tallodi
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Last updated: 14th Oct 2016
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Porsche Cayman
13950 89990 GBP
  • Porsche Cayman

    £88,981 £88,981

    Variant name:Coupe GT4 ,Derivative:GT4 ,Variant: 3.8 GT4 2dr Porsche Cayman 3.8 GT4 2dr

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 2049 mi
    • Engine size: 3.8
    For sale
    £88,981 £88,981
    Dick Lovett-Porsche Centre - Tewkesbury
    01684 212 911 View contact number
  • Porsche Cayman ON SALE NOW

    £39,995 £39,995

    Maundrells are pleased to offer this Porsche Cayman S PDK first supplied by Porsche Centre Guildford complete with a full Porsche history. Porsche West London; 02/12/15 at 28,225 miles. Porsche Centre Cardiff; 31/05/17 at 48,857 miles. A pre-sale inspection has been completed in our on site workshop by Porsche trained technicians. This Porsche Cayman S PDK presented in Basalt Black comes with the following specification; black leather, adaptive electric seats with memory, three spoke PDK steering wheel with paddles, automatic climate control, Porsche Communication Module (PCM3) with navigation, bluetooth phone connectivity with media streaming, embossed headrests, cruise control, automatic dimming mirrors, automatic Xenon headlights, rain sensor, park assist front and rear, sport chrono plus, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), ceramic brakes with yellow calipers and 20" alloy wheels. Part exchange welcome, competitive finance available. We are a respected Porsche specialist with full Porsche workshop facilities. Viewings welcome by appointment only. Body: Coupe Transmission: Automatic Mileage: 56,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2013 (13) Doors: 2 Engine Size: 3.4 Finish

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 56000 mi
    For sale
    £39,995 £39,995
  • 2008 Porsche Cayman 2.7 Manual


    Classic Silver & Black leather with some nice upgrades, Excellent to drive with much recent maintenance having been carried, No suspension knocks or rattles, No leaks, Recent clutch, service, battery & lower arms., Upgrades – 18in Alloys Wheels with nearly new tyres, Seat Heating, Electrically Adjustable Seats, Sports Seats, CDC-4 Six-Disc CD Autochanger, 6 months warranty, Next MOT due 26/06/2018, Last serviced on 19/06/2017 at 84,943 miles, Full service history, Excellent bodywork, Interior – Excellent Condition, Tyre condition Excellent, Standard Features – Climate Control, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD), Upholstery Leather, Computer (Driver Information System), Tinted Glass, Electric Windows (Front), Porsche Security System, 2 Keys. Metallic Arctic silver, Extensive Porsche specialist service history with 7 stamps, HPI clear…..6 MONTH IN-HOUSE PARTS & LABOUR WARRANTY INCLUDED, DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED, VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT PLEASE. FULL SERVICING FACILITIES FOR YOUR PORSCHE – CALL US ON 01483 799245

    • Year: 2008
    • Mileage: 84000 mi
    For sale
  • PORSCHE CAYMAN 2011 24V S PDK Auto 52802 Petrol Silver

    £28,995 £28,995

    Porsche Cayman 3.4 987 S PDK 2dr ;;Chrono Pack /Bose /Porsche SH;; 2011 (61 reg), Coupe ;;52,802 miles;Automatic;3387cc;Petrol;;;Upgrades - Sports Chrono Package Plus, Bose Sound Package, Heated Seats, PCM 3 Navigation, Porsche Stability Management (PSM), Electronic Air Conditioning, Bi Xenon Cornering Lights, Headlight Cleaning System, Universal Multimedia Interface, Porsche Crest Embossed in Headrests, Sports Steering Wheel with PDK Paddle, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Windscreen Top Tint, Park assist Rear, Cruise Control, Bi Xenon Headlights, GBP 305 a Year Tax, Full service history, 2 seats, Metallic Platinum Silver, VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, CLOSED ;;

    • Mileage: 52802 mi
    • Engine size: 3.436
    For sale
    £28,995 £28,995
  • Porsche Cayman

    £59,990 £59,990

    Variant name:GTS PDK ,Derivative:981 ,Variant: 2015 65 Porsche Cayman GTS 3.4 PDK Coupe We are delighted to be able to offer this low mileage 1 owner from new 2015 65 reg Porsche Cayman GTS 3.4 Litre PDK 340 BHP 2 Door Coupe which has been fully maintained and cared for by Porsche to the highest of standards and finished in white with contrasting black leather & alcantara GTS Interior which is without doubt the finest colour combination . The new Porsche Cayman GTS is the top of the range version of Porsche Mid Engined Two seater Sports Coupe and there hasn't been a quicker or more powerful example from Porsche. No expense spared on the optional extra specification which includes Porsche Doppel kupplung (PDK) Gearbox, GTS Interior Package, Porsche Communication management (PCM), BOSE Surround, Park Assist (Front & Rear), Light Design package, Front seat heating, Speed limit display,Instrument dial in Carmine Red, Telephone Module , Exterior mirror lower trims painted, exterior folding mirrors, rear side intakes painted , Wheels painted in black with a total cost of £8098. Also includes satellite navigation, paddle shift, sports exhaust system, carbon interior inlays, cruise control, bluetooth technology and much more. Also benefits from the remainder of the manufacturers warranty. There is one more very important (no cost) option fitted which is the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard with 20" Gloss Black Carrera S Alloy Wheels. Viewing is essential as we are extremely confident there is no better example available on the market with this mileage or this specification so call us now for more information and to avoid disappointment as this sports car is ready to drive away today.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 6240 mi
    • Engine size: 3.4
    For sale
    £59,990 £59,990

    £56,890 £56,890

    Stunning 2014/64 Porsche Cayman GTS 3.4 Manual finished in Carmine Red with Black leather and Alcantara interior including headliner, gear knob, doors and dashboard. 20" Porsche Carrera S alloy wheels finished in black. 1 owner. Full Porsche Service History.;;Great Specifcation - Sport chrono package with Sport Plus, Porsche switchable Sports exhaust, BOSE surround sound package, 6 speed manual, Park assist front and rear, electric folding outside mirrors, SportDesign steering wheel, heated seats, sports seats plus, bluetooth, PCM including navigation and DAB, air conditioning, electric windows, 2 keys. ;;** FULL DEALER FACILITIES. GREAT LOW RATE FINANCE SOLUTIONS WITH A VARIETY OF THE UK'S LEADING FINANCE COMPANIES, HPI CLEAR WITH CERTIFICATE, ALL MAJOR DEBIT and CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED, VIEWING AVAILABLE AT OUR INDOOR SHOWROOM, PLEASE CONTACT US WITH ANY QUESTIONS. OFFICE - 01487 830386, MOBILE - 07796 446157, WEBSITE - Vogue4x4.com **

    • Mileage: 27900 mi
    For sale
    £56,890 £56,890