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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
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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
11791 83995 GBP
  • PORSCHE CAYMAN 3.4 S 2dr PDK Auto

    £27,281 £27,281

    Type: Used Year: 2011 Make: PORSCHE Model: CAYMAN Trim: 3.4 S 2dr PDK Auto Body: Coupe Trans: Automatic Mileage: 42725 Engine Size: 3436 Ext Color: Basalt Black Metallic

    • Mileage: 42725 mi
    • Engine size: 3436
    For sale
    £27,281 £27,281
    Stratstone Cardiff
    02920606839 View contact number
  • Porsche Cayman

    £83,995 £83,995

    Variant name:Coupe GT4 ,Derivative:GT4 ,Variant: 3.8 GT4 2dr We are happy to offer this incredible 2015 Porsche Cayman GT4 with only 4,000 Miles. This particular example is presented in Racing Yellow and has exceptional specification including the 918 Carbon Fibre Bucket Seats, Full Clubsport Specification which includes, Red Harnesses, Fire Extinguisher, Roll Cage. On the inside you will find plenty of Alcantara Trim with Yellow Contrast Stitching including Yellow Door Pulls, Carbon Fibre Trim, Alcantara Steering Wheel with Yellow 12 O'Clock Marker, Sports Chrono Dial, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Tyres, Gloss Red Porsche Calipers, Trip Computer, Alcantara Lower Dashboard, Colour Coded Porsche Key, Automatic Xenon Projector Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, Sports Exhaust System, PASM, Porsche Script on Storage Compartment. To discuss this terrific GT4 in further detail please don't hesitate to give us a call on the number as shown above.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 4000 mi
    • Engine size: 3.8
    For sale
    £83,995 £83,995
  • Porsche Cayman

    £60,990 £60,990

    Variant name:Coupe GTS ,Derivative:GTS ,Variant: 3.4 GTS 2dr PDK Porsche Centre Cardiff are proud to present this fabulous Porsche Cayman GTS finished in the fantastic Racing Yellow giving it a striking profile when paired with the Black leather and Alcantara interior, that is further complimented by Racing Yellow Seat belts and Instrument dials. The GTS sits on 20” Sport Techno Alloys painted partially black with the GTS exterior pack. Quite simply a stunning looking vehicle. The rest of the specification is also very comprehensive and includes Satellite Navigation, Adaptive Sports Seats, BOSE Surround sound system, Cruise Control, Heated Seats, Park Assist front and Rear and Bi-Xenon headlights including PDLS – Porsche Dynamic Lighting System amongst it’s factory options. This Cayman GTS has undergone its full Porsche Approved Used preparation including a 111 point check and 4 wheel laser alignment. It is supplied with 2 keys and its original owner’s handbook and manual. Here at Porsche Centre Cardiff we pride ourselves on our commitment to our customers ensuring that needs and requirements are fulfilled to the highest standard and this is reflected in our glowing customer feedback. We have a dedicated used car buyer at Porsche Cardiff who actively sources the best examples of used Porsche in the UK. All of our vehicles are HPI Clear and are prepared to the highest standards by our fully Porsche trained technicians. As with all of our Porsche Approved vehicles this Cayman GTS will be supplied with a 24 month Porsche warranty including 24 month Porsche European Breakdown Assistance. To arrange a viewing, test drive or if you would like more information about this Porsche Cayman GTS please call us today on 02920 350 911. We are able to organise nationwide delivery and can provide you with a personalised video presentation so that you can see the excellent condition that this Cayman GTS is presented in. We also offer tailored finance packages and our experienced sales team are on hand to offer the best price for your part exchange.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 12900 mi
    • Engine size: 3.4
    For sale
    £60,990 £60,990
  • Porsche Cayman

    £14,795 £14,795

    Air Conditioning, Full Leather, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, Height Adjustable Seat, Adjustable Steering Column, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Multiple Airbags, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Metallic Paintwork, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, CD Player, AA Roadside Assistance, Finance Available, Full VOSA History, H.P.I clear, Service Bills, Spare Key, 18'' Alloys, Service history ***Located at Abingdon Road Oxford*** The Porsche Cayman S is fun to drive, comes with a long MOT, service bills and a spare key. All cars purchased will be inspected in our workshops and will come with a current MOT and a comprehensive warranty. Feel free to come and visit us to view our range of over 150 cars in group stock. To book a test drive or for further information please contact Graham on 01865 240948. We can offer Finance, part exchange and extended warranties, please ask for further details., We have over 150 cars in group stock, please visit us at sdtimmocarsales.co.uk

    • Mileage: 66000 mi
    • Engine size: 3387
    For sale
    £14,795 £14,795
  • PORSCHE CAYMAN 2.7 2007

    £17,495 £17,495

    Porsche Cayman 2.7 Coupe, 2007, manual, 26,000 miles, Guards red, Black Leather, 18’’ Alloy wheels, Full Service History, Immaculate Condition Throughout.;;*2007 Cayman 2.7 Coupe;*5 Speed Manual;*26,000 miles;*Guards Red;*Black Leather;*18inch Alloy Wheels;*Air Conditioning;*CD Multi-changer;*Reverse Park Assist;*Private ‘CAY’ Registration;*Outstanding Throughout;*Full Service History;*HPi Clear;*6 Months Warranty;;HIGH DEFINITION PHOTO GALLERY:;To view, click the following link:-;*to follow shortly.;;CSC present for sale this beautifully presented low mileage Cayman 2.7 manual Coupe in classic Porsche Guards Red with black Leather interior. This example is quite simply, without a doubt one of the best Caymans currently available nationwide and will not disappoint any potential purchaser.;;Sometimes over looked in favour of the 3.4 S, the 2.7 engine giving 245bhp actually suits the Cayman very well and offers a perfect balance between power and handling for every day road use. These cars offer a better ride on their 18inch wheels, and the 5 speed manual gear box suits road use perfectly. The 2.7 Cayman also saves a considerable 40kg of weight over the S model. ;;The 2.7 engine is also generally less prone to the IMS, engine cylinder and gear box issues associated with its bigger 3.4 litre brother, whilst other obvious benefits are the cheaper general running and maintenance costs of the smaller engine. If ride and handling are more important than flat out on the edge driving, then the 2.7 Cayman ticks a lot of boxes and makes perfect sense. ;;This superb example retains its original factory paintwork with barely a stone chip to be found and comes with a full service history including recent plug change. The interior shows no signs of hard use or wear and the car drives as new and wears a matching set of recent Porsche approved N rated tyres. The car also comes with a Cayman themed private registration plate included in the price. ;;If you are looking for a low mileage, un-molested classic Cayman in original condition then look no further.;;SPECIFICATION:;Year: 2007 ;Colour: L844 – Guards Red;Interior: Black Leather;Equipment:C16 – UK spec;397 – 18inch Boxster S Alloy Wheels;446 – Colour Crested Wheel Centre Caps;567 – Top-tint windscreen;573 – Auto Air-Conditioning;635 – Rear Park Assist;692 – 6 Disc CD Changer;946 – Leather Seats;;EXTERNAL FEATURES INCLUDE:;Classic Guards Red Paintwork;18’’ Alloy Wheels;Active Aero rear Spoiler;Centre Exit Exhaust;Cayman themed Private registration;;INTERIOR FEATURES INCLUDE:;Black Leather Seats;Power Assisted Steering;Automatic Air Conditioning;Rear Parking Assist Sensors;Anti-lock Brakes;Front and Side Airbags;Radio CD with 6 disk CD Multi-changer;Electric windows and mirrors;Fitted over carpet mats;;PERFORMANCE:;Engine: 2.7 flat six;Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive;Power: 245bhp;Acceleration:0-62mph in 5.9 seconds;Top Speed: 160 mph (where legal)!;Economy: 30mpg;;HISTORY:;The car was first registered on 1st March 2007 at Porsche Centre Nottingham. Over the next few years, the car covered very little mileage being sold in succession to three customers of the same prestige specialists including the current owner who has owned the car since July 2015 having covered just 16,000 miles at the time.;;The Service records show the following Service details:;;DateMileageGarage;01/03/07deliveryPorsche Centre Nottingham;21/01/09*5,037Porsche Centre Nottingham;10/01/11*7,305Porsche Centre Nottingham;20/03/1310,394Porsche Centre Sheffield;10/04/15*15,536AMB Porsche Nottingham;10/05/1724,165Auto Tecnic Manchester;;*Brake fluid change included;Following our pre-sales inspection, a front water hose was replaced due to a small coolant weep from a perished connection and the spark plugs were replaced in accordance with the service schedule.;;The current MOT is valid until 9th May 2018, however the car will be sold with a fresh 12 months MOT certificate. A full MOT history and various service and maintenance receipts come with the cars history to confirm the very low mileage.;;This superb Cayman is HPi clear, comes with two keys, and its original Porsche wallet containing all the correct handbooks, service books and information packs.;;PRICE:;This outstanding Cayman is priced at GBP 17,495 including 6 months warranty.;;Card payments taken;Part exchange welcome;Finance available through our preferred specialist Zuto Car Finance;;LOCATION:;We are located in South Warrington, Cheshire, just a few minutes from M6 Junction 20 or M56 Junctions 10 or 11. We are located just 15 minutes from Manchester Airport and Warrington’s railway stations, collection from which can be arranged.;;VEIWING:;Viewing is by appointment only, please call to arrange a suitable day and time. For security, please bring your driving license and photo ID. Emails and text messages are welcome, but may take a while to return.;;*SIMILAR STOCK REQUIRED;;

    • Mileage: 26000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.687
    For sale
    £17,495 £17,495