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

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 cars for sale

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Porsche Cayman
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  • Porsche Cayman

    £36,000 £36,000

    Variant name:24V ,Derivative:981 ,Variant: 24V SAT NAV, 20 INCH ALLOYS COMING IN NEXT WEEK

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 15000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.7
    For sale
    Lifestyle Europe-Kia Tunbridge Wells
    01892 731 600 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Porsche Cayman

    £44,493 £44,493

    Full service history ***All vehicles come with a minimum of 6 months RAC warranty, 12 months breakdown and home start****, BLACK, GP Cars are proud to offer this stunning Cayman 3.4 981 S PDK The car comes with huge spec including Sports exhaust, PDK gearbox with paddle shift, Sports chrono, PASM suspension, 14 way memory sports seats, 20 inch Carrera satin alloys, Bi-xenon headlights, Park assist front and rear, PCM Sat navigation, Sports design steering wheel, PASM, LED daylight running lights, Porsche crest headrests, BOSE surround sound Switchable stop/start function, The interior is finished Black/Luxor beige two-tone leather and contrasting stitching.Full Service History.Category 1 alarm and immobilizer. ***This car is HPI clear, we accept credit and debit card payments, we can organise competitive finance for you and will would be happy to take your current vehicle as part exchange. Indoor viewing area. All vehicles are subject to a £80 admin fee. Viewing by appointment only. ***(DA13VOV), £44,493, If somebody replies with the e-mail address leontommy6gmail.com, please disregard and inform us directly, as they are not associated to our business.

    • Mileage: 16000 mi
    • Engine size: 3400
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman 3.4S Manual

    £27,995 £27,995

    A stunning Cayman S finished in Meteor grey, trimmed with full sand beige leather extended to the doors and dash. Options include PCM touch screen satellite navigation, 18" Cayman S alloys, multi function steering wheel trimmed with smooth leather, Porsche sound pack, Bluetooth connectivity, universal audio interface, rear park assist, automatic climate control, Porsche stability management and trip computer. Cridfords Ltd Independent Porsche Specialists since 1987, full service history, 6 months warranty. Ask us about the Cridfords Care package including an additional 12 months warranty and Williams F1 ceramic coating paint protection for only £995, Cridfords Ltd Independent Porsche Specialists since 1987, full service history, 6 months warranty.

    • Year: 2009
    • Mileage: 24000 mi
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman

    £69,950 £69,950

    Variant name:GTS PDK ,Derivative:981 ,Variant: GTS PDK 2016 ( 16 ) Finished in White with Black Full Leather - Upgrades Include - Red Instrument Dials, Red Seat Belts, PCM Navigation, 20" 911 Turbo Alloy Wheels, Cruise Control, Electric Folding Mirrors, Full Leather Interior, DAB Radio, Bose Sound System, Sports Chrono Pack Plus, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Xenon Headlights, Switchable Sports Exhaust, Heated Seats, Suede Headlining. Standard Features Include - Air conditioning, Alarm, Central locking, Height Adjustable Drivers Seat, Electric Windows, CD Player, Immobiliser, 2 seats.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 3880 mi
    • Engine size: 3.4
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman

    £109,882 £109,882


    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 2 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman 24V PDK

    £25,950 £25,950

    Body: Coupe Transmission: Semi-Automatic Mileage: 60,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2012 (12) Doors: 2 Engine Size: 2.9 Finished in: CARRERA WHITE 19" alloys Full Manufacturers Service History Very comprehensive warranty included. Bluetooth phone prep Air Conditioning Satellite Navigation System

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 60000 mi
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman

    £14,950 £14,950

    Variant name:24V ,Derivative:987 ,Variant: 24V Upgrades - Sports Seats, Bi-Xenon Lighting System, Metallic Paint, Alloy Wheels - 19in SportDesign, Floor Mats, Alloy Wheels - 18in Cayman S, ParkAssist - Rear, 12 months warranty, 12 months MOT, Full service history, Black Full leather interior, Standard Features - Air-Conditioning, Climate Control, Alloy Wheels (17in), Tracker, Tinted Glass, Computer (Driver Information System), In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD), Electric Windows (Front), Upholstery Leather, Alarm. 2 seats, Metallic METEOR GREY, ALL VEHICLES ARE METICULOUSLY PREPARED, COMPLIMENTED WITH A 12 MONTH WARRANTY, PLEASE CALL FOR INFO

    • Year: 2007
    • Mileage: 67273 mi
    • Engine size: 2.7
    For sale
  • PORSCHE Cayman S PDK

    £43,950 £43,950

    PCM Including Satellite Navigation Porsche Doppelkupplung Gearbox PDK Bi Xenon Headlights with Dynamic Cornering Lights 20' Carrera S Alloys Painted in Titanium Automatic Climate Control Automatic Dimming Interior and Exterior Mirrors with Integrated Rain Sensors Cruise Control Heated Seats 3 Spoke Sports Steering Wheel with Paddle Shifts Porsche Wheel Crests UK Supplied 1 Owner 20' Alloy Wheels Climate Control Heated Seats Satellite Navigation Dealer/Manufacturer Warranty Delivery Available Financing Available Full Service History

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 7000 mi
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman

    £40,990 £40,990

    Variant name:24V ,Derivative:981 ,Variant: Cayman 2.7L 24V ***JUST ARRIVED*** Porsche Cayman 2.7l 24v Manual. Finished in beautiful Basalt Black Metallic, with Full Black Leather interior. Optional Extra's Fitted Include: 20'' Carrera S Wheels finished in Gloss Black, Coloured Wheel Centre Crests, Sports Twin Tailpipes, Rear Wiper, Rear Park Assist Sensors, Top Tint Window Scree, Full Porsche PCM Navigation System, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Bluetooth, Full Auto Climate Control, Heated Seats. FULL Porsche Service History and only Recently Serviced. ***MORE PHOTOS TO FOLLOW***

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 19620 mi
    • Engine size: 2.7
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman

    £30,993 £30,993

    Variant name:24V PDK ,Derivative:987 FL (GEN II) ,Variant: 24V PDK - Over 10000 Pounds Of Factory Options, One Owner With Porsche Service Record Due in stock we have a very special Porsche Cayman. Offered in Basalt Black metallic with Black leather. The factory optional extras on this car stand it apart and include 19 inch sport design alloy wheels with fine 5 spoke design, Porsche doppellkupplung PDK gearbox, Porsche communications management with extended navigation module, Comfort seats with driver memory, Sports chrono package plus, Telephone module for PCM, Fully automatic climate control, Sound package plus including CD storage box, Park Assist, Universal audio interface, Seat heating, Rear wiper, Top tinted windscreen, This is a one private owner example and benefits from a Porsche service record including recent in August 2016 at 16000 Miles. Please register early interest.

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 19258 mi
    • Engine size: 2.9
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman GTS PDK

    £62,995 £62,995

    Porsche’s models that have GTS written on them are always a blend of hardcore track car and a roadgoing car. In other words, they’re competent in both worlds without feeling like a compromise. That is the Cayman GTS in a nutshell. The GTS has a modest power increase to 340 from 325 in the Cayman S. After that, think of the letters GTS as an appearance and performance package to make your ideal Cayman S. You get Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Sport Seats Plus, the Sport Chrono package (adds Sport Plus drivetrain setting and launch control), switchable Sport exhaust system, leather and Alcantara all over the interior, the SportDesign steering wheel, dynamic bi-xenon lights (PDLS), tinted taillights, and 20-inch wheels (here, the 991 Turbo style). It's a prix fixe menu of go fast goodies carefully crafted by your friends from Stuttgart. The GTS hones what’s already so great about the Cayman without necessitating you go to a track to truly experience it. That’s the mark of inclusive performance, which is what automakers should strive for. This low mileage example comes in striking Sapphire Blue with black smooth leather interior extended to dashboard and door trim. Its co

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 4750 mi
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman

    £26,990 £26,990

    Climate Control, Full Leather, iPod Connectivity, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Locking Wheel Nuts, Remote Central Locking, Remote Alarm, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, Sports Seats, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Air Bag, Multiple Airbags, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Auto-dip Rearview, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Radio, 19'' Alloys, Full service history Porsche Cayman 2.9 PDK finished in Aqua Blue. A beautiful looking car in superb condition.All our cars are history checked. We are an RAC Approved Dealer.Finance and Part Exchange are available, viewing by appointment please

    • Mileage: 30644 mi
    • Engine size: 2893
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman

    £20,995 £20,995

    50 % OFF 3 YEAR PREMIUM WARRANTY OFFER, PARTS & LABOUR, WEAR & TEAR ''INCLUDING WORN PARTS'', COURTESY CAR, UPTO CURRENT MARKET VALUE, NO EXCESS Here We Have A Stunning Cayman S Finished In Carrara White With Unmarked Black Leather Sports Seats, This Vehicle Also Comes With A Great Specification Which Includes: Full Documented Service History, Carbon Interior Pack, Pcm Telephone Module, Sat Nav, Cd Autochanger, Short Shifter, Switchable Sports Exhaust, Xenon Headlights, 19'' Sports Design Alloy Wheels With Colour Crested Centre Caps. A 3Yr Warranty Is Available At A Cost Of £1995, But For A Limited Period We Are Offering 50% Discount Leaving Only £995 To Pay If.

    • Mileage: 60000 mi
    • Engine size: 3387
    For sale
  • Porsche Cayman "S" 3.4 "Gen 2" pdk

    £28,000 £28,000

    (09 - 2009) 320bhp 42,000 miles Basalt black with black leather 3.4 litre "S" model 2 wheel drive 7 speed pdk gearbox Climate control Porsche Stability Management (PSM) Active suspension (PASM) Satellite Navigation (PCM 3) Bluetooth Ipod & Aux & Usb Sound plus Sports chrono Heated seats Multifunction steering wheel Cruise control Rear parking sensors Litronic headlights 19 inch wheels

    • Mileage: 42000 mi
    For sale
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