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    Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's tranny

    There has already been one thread on this issue a few weeks ago, but it never seemed to lead to a conclusion.

    This month, Panorama, PCA's monthly magazine, has a review of the Cayman S. They bring up the issue of whether the Cayman's transmission is the latest victim of Porsche's product positioning.

    Here's a direct quote from page 10 of 11/05:

    "Except for a taller first and second gear (3.31:1 and 1.95:1 versus 3.67:1 and 2.05:1), the Cayman S' six-speed manual transmission ("specifically adjusted to the particular character of Porsche's new sports coupe," says the factory) carries over from the Boxster S and features triple synchromesh on the first two gears. Because the final drive ratio remains 3.88, one assumes that the loss of grunt in the Cayman's first two gears is compensated for by the more powerful and torquier engine. Or as Porsche says, "this configuration combines high performance with optimum use of engine torque and maximum output."

    Some late-breaking news for you shiftless types: although the ratios of the Cayman S' five speed Tiptronic S automatic are the same as the Boxster S', the Cayman's lower final drive ratio (4.16 vs. 3.91:1) should send a conspiracy theorist's heart racing. In short, did Porsche booger the Tip's final drive ratio to keep the Cayman S from going too fast and stepping on the 911's toes?"

    Well duh!

    Porsche is very much aware that hp and 0-60 times are powerful marketing tools. And certainly everyone at Porsche knows the Cayman's proper place: below the 911. So just to make sure that the 0-60 time is less than the base 911, we'll give it two taller gears in the manual. And in the Tiptronic, well, the cheapest way to fix that is in the differential, no need to alter the transmission itself.

    Call me cynical, but the Cayman is INTENTIONALLY CRIPPLED by Porsche. The 3.4L engine has LESS power than when it was in the 996, even though Porsche assures us it has been re-engineered. The transmission is "specifically adjusted to the particular character of Porsche's new sports coupe" which is a bunch of marketing doublespeak for "given taller gearing to reduce cannibalization of our higher margin products."

    The Cayman will be an excellent car. Unfortunately it is a better demonstration of Porsche's marketing ability than their dedication to building their best sportscars.

    Should you really put an 'S' on a vehicle that has its performance limitations built in from the factory?

    Porsche, feel free to mail me a nicely printed, full-color, professionally photographed brochure of a car that you REALLY care about. But no more Cayman stuff please.

    mcdelaug

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's tranny

    Very interesting, thank you for this post. And as per your request in another thread, I do have an order for a Cayman S even though I don't really need another car.

    I agree that the Cayman S is not all that it can be, as Porsche needs to offset its inherently superb chassis to protect the heirarchy among Porsche's sports cars. I also would like Porsche to offer a more "pure" mid-engine sports car in the sub-$100k price range (lighter weight, LSD, more power). The questions are (1) do you really expect Porsche to alter it's heirarchy and allow the 911 to be superseeded, (2) who really dictates what the heirarchy should be (customers or the company), and (3) what is the best way to encourage Porsche to built that "pure" Cayman CS/RS or whatever you want to call it? Not trying to be argue or provoke, but rather trying to encourange discourse that would improve the chances that Porsche will pursue a full development of the Cayman.

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Why are some people so shocked that the Cayman S is geared and engine mapped for its performance to fit between the Boxster S and 997 when Porsche told us that was their intention?

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Look...it doesn't take a genius to work out that Porsche has crippled the Cayman S performance deliberately.

    You can all argue your case until you're blue in the face. The fact is until the 911 does not meet Porsche's sales taget anymore and is regarded as surplus to requirements. Any sporting model Porsche puts out sans rear engined (CGT excepted), it will forever play second fiddle to the 911.

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Hi Schao,

    1- No I don't expect Porsche to allow the Cayman to impose on the 911's turf. Quite the contrary actually. But there has been a certain amount of hype in magazines and, to a lesser extent on rennteam, about this car's performance doing just that. I think it's important that everyone be honest about what this car is and what it isn't. And if I can't expect that type of honesty from Porsche, then at least I can help promote it here.
    2- I understand your point that Porsche dictates the positioning of their products. But it is frustrating to me that Porsche sacrifices the higher end of the mid-engine sportscar market to other manufacturers (Lambo and Ferrari) becuase of their need to protect the 911.
    3- The best way to encourage Porsche to build the car I want to buy? Post my desires in a forum we know they read and try to generate similar sentiments? I just can't bring myself to buy a Cayman in its current form. And Porsche needs to understand why this is and that at least some of its customers want more than what they currently offer in a mid-engine car. I'll be one of the customers Porsche will lose to another company if they don't get serious about a better mid-engine car. I don't want a rear engine vehicle and the Cayman, while a fine car, is not enough of what I'm looking for.


    Jim,

    I'm not schocked the Cayman is positioned where it is, I just find the whole experience unpleasant. I guess the fundamental problem is I want to see Porsche offer me a mid-engine car with performance similar to the 997S or TT, and the 987 platform culd provide most of that. But greed and fear prevents Porsche from doing it. It is just more aggravating when I have to read magazine articles and posts that heap praise on this car which is so clearly limited from what it could be.


    And Lava,

    Yes you're right. Porsche can only see the world through the eyes of the 911. I hope their long term strategy is to develop and market the Cayman as their mid-engine sportscar regardless of the 911's abilities. But so far it looks like they will only allow it to limp along like a poor stepchild. What is the point of having a mid-engine setup if it is forced to reside in a performance envelope less than that of it's rear-engined "big brother"?

    mcdelaug

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    "Should you really put an 'S' on a vehicle that has its performance limitations built in from the factory?"

    All cars, even the new Bugatti, have performance limitations built in at the factory. The 997, 997S, etc. are just as factory-limited as the Cayman S.

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Quote:
    mcdelaug said:3- The best way to encourage Porsche to build the car I want to buy? Post my desires in a forum we know they read and try to generate similar sentiments?


    mcdelaug,

    While I agree with all your sentiments re: the intentionally crippled step child Cayman S, we should consider a few facts. As of today, there are about 7200 registerd users on this forum. In 2004 Porsche sold 88,000 cars. So of the 7200 on this forum, how many are in that 88,000? How many will be in next year's 90,000 or whatever the number will be?

    I think the reality is that the people who read and especially post to these forums represent the "hard code" car fanatics. The ones who study the car's specs and understand it's missing some critical parts (LSD for example). But these fanatics are but a fraction of the new Porsche buyers in just one year. I think that a larger % of Porsche buyers are not even close to that level of commitment to car fanaticism and instead buy a car for its associated image factor (whatever that may be in their mind). They not only don't know what an LSD is, they probably don't care either.

    As long as Porsche can keep selling those numbers of cars, the hard core enthusiasts will have to be content with being a minority of the total customer base. Sad perhaps but money talks as they say.

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    2006 Model year

    Boxter S Cayman S 911 Carrera

    hp/L:

    88.1 87.1 90.4

    Fuel Economy City/Highway mpg:

    TBD 20/28 18/26

    2006 MY 2005 MY
    Cayman S Carrera S

    Final drive ratio:

    3.88 3.44

    Overall ratio Gears 1 thru 6:

    12.84 13.45
    7.57 7.98
    5.47 5.54
    4.38 4.40
    3.76 3.72
    3.18 3.03

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Craig,

    You bring up very good and valid points but as discussed before, us Porsche enthusiasts, form probably 5% of true Porsche community. Porsche is targeting the other 95% that have no idea anything about the technology used in Porsche cars except the name "Porsche".

    I met a very nice gentleman at sturbucks (Westgray and shephered) driving a black GT2, I commanded him on his selection of the car. He got his coffee and came out and sat next to me and we had some Porsche talks, for example he had no clue as to what GT3 was or how it stacks up in the Porsche line up he told me himself that his criteria was he wanted the best Porsche but CGT was too expensive so the sales guy pointed a GT2 that they had in the show room and he bought it.

    There are many others out there that Porsche is caching on them quickly. One would be the potential Cayman buyers; whose are the other 95%, that don't wanna be seen in a Nissan 350Z but rather in a Porsche, so here is Cayman for this segment.

    No doubt in my mind, as you mentioned, that Porsche has intentionally hampered the capability of Cayman, otherwise for a powerful mid-engine sports car they would charge way more than targeted 56k or may be even close to F430. But of course the ones that truly care about this car will tune it and get more power out of it. There will be soon a version from RUF and every other tuner you can think of.

    Porsche wanted a product that fit between Boxster and 911(which to begin with didn't make any sense) and they came up with Cayman. There are always buyers for new products but it will cool down sooner or later, look at the Cayenne.

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's tranny

    Well, that is no surprise. It is supposed to fit in between the Carrera and the Boxter. But then the Carrera versus Cayman talk started, "is is better than the 911?", mostly by motor journalists and quite a few people fell for that on this forum. The Cayman has been designed and engineered to fit exactly where it is, between the Carrera and the Boxster, and what you pay for is exactly this. It does not make any sense to build a new car that would replace the 911 since it is such a success (revenue wise). Porsche tried that in the 80:ies with the 928. The 911 is still here, the 928 not.

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's tranny

    Quote:
    mcdelaug said:
    Call me cynical, but the Cayman is INTENTIONALLY CRIPPLED by Porsche



    Talking about conspiracy theories...
    Are you sure only Porsche is involved, not also the NSA maybe? I heard their CO got a nice Porsche lately.

    Seriously: especially the longer first gear has to do with the engine, environmental and emissions issues. It would be very easy for a car company to "cripple" a car using a certain ECU blackbox programming only.

    I honestly think that in a certain way, you're right but not because of the gear ratio but regarding the engine. This engine is good for at least 320 horses without any major problem. I know that Porsche seems to want people to believe that this is an improved Boxster engine using some 996 parts but I'd rather say that this is an adapted 996 engine with some adaptations to the Cayman S of course.
    So IF there is some sort of "crippled" theory, it should be about the engine and nothing else.

    Well, one of my dark sources actually told me, that the Cayman S is a GT3 in disguise and you just have to pay me 5000 bucks and I'll give you the secret code for the PST2 to remove the disguise. How does that sound? Should I publish my bank account?

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Quote:
    KenH said:
    "Should you really put an 'S' on a vehicle that has its performance limitations built in from the factory?"

    All cars, even the new Bugatti, have performance limitations built in at the factory. The 997, 997S, etc. are just as factory-limited as the Cayman S.



    Except that they aren't. I agree that a combination of physics and cost imposes performance limitations on all things made by man or nature, including Porsche cars. But look at the specific output numbers posted by HHG:

    Boxter S Cayman S 911 Carrera

    hp/L:

    88.1 87.1 90.4

    And the 997S calculates to about 93.4 hp/L. A 6 hp/L difference doesn't occur by random chance. Clearly some models have more stringent limitations than others.

    mcdelaug

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's tranny

    Plz, Ron and blue,

    Deep down inside I know you are all correct.

    But I still don't have to like it.

    Perhaps it is a little difficult for me to accept that something I enjoy so much for a certain set of reasons is just a fashion statement for the majority of Porsche's customers. Be that as it may, I intend to hold Porsche to my standards even if they would prefer to live by their own.
    I am very happy with my 987S, but I won't buy a more expensive Porsche until they build the car I want (and I know they can build).

    mcdelaug

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's tranny

    Quote:
    RC said:
    Quote:
    mcdelaug said:
    Call me cynical, but the Cayman is INTENTIONALLY CRIPPLED by Porsche



    Talking about conspiracy theories...
    Are you sure only Porsche is involved, not also the NSA maybe? I heard their CO got a nice Porsche lately.

    Seriously: especially the longer first gear has to do with the engine, environmental and emissions issues. It would be very easy for a car company to "cripple" a car using a certain ECU blackbox programming only.

    I honestly think that in a certain way, you're right but not because of the gear ratio but regarding the engine. This engine is good for at least 320 horses without any major problem. I know that Porsche seems to want people to believe that this is an improved Boxster engine using some 996 parts but I'd rather say that this is an adapted 996 engine with some adaptations to the Cayman S of course.
    So IF there is some sort of "crippled" theory, it should be about the engine and nothing else.

    Well, one of my dark sources actually told me, that the Cayman S is a GT3 in disguise and you just have to pay me 5000 bucks and I'll give you the secret code for the PST2 to remove the disguise. How does that sound? Should I publish my bank account?



    RC,

    I am aware that the ECU software would be the easiest way to cripple a vehicle. It would also be the easiest way for a tuner to override Porsche's intended product positioning.

    And as much as I appreciate your excellent site and Porsche knowledge, your statement about the manual transmission being modified for environmental and emissions issues doesn't make sense. The tiptronic has a taller final drive ratio that applies to all its gears, probably because it was the cheapest way to insure that it would have worse performance than the base 997 tiptronic. If Porsche needed greater efficiency and didn't care about performance then the same could have been done to the manuial Cayman. But instead they specifically changed the first two gear ratios about 5-6%. Porsche engineers a larger margin of error than 5% for their emissions, so that cannot be the answer. But 5% of a 0-60 time (all of which occurs in 1st and 2nd gear) is 0.2 or 0.3 seconds. That's enough to make the Cayman too competitive with the base 997.

    I read your Cayman review...seems like you thought first gear might have been a little tall too? To what addresss should I send your "Cayman conspiracy club" membership card?

    And I can unequivocally state that all of us at rennteam think you should publish your bank account numbers, but only after you have PMed to me first.

    mcdelaug

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's tranny

    Well, the same complaint can be lodged against the base 997. It is not what it can and should be. To get it (997S) you MUST PAY!

    Btw I agree with your points. I believe Jeremy's biggest complaint about the Cayman was the lack of excitement in the driving experience and he attributes that to the car essentially being crippled by Porsche in order to place it in its niche between the 987 and 997.

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Well, the same complaint can be lodged against the base 997. It is not what it can and should be. To get it (997S) you MUST PAY!

    Btw I agree with your points. I believe Jeremy's biggest complaint about the Cayman was the lack of excitement in the driving experience and he attributes that to the car essentially being crippled by Porsche in order to place it in its niche between the 987 and 997.



    Nick, PAY WHAT? The going rates for european sports cars?

    Im not a fan of the Cayman, its small, expensive and not a good deal for the money. But name another 170mph european sports car thats cheaper? tick tick rick ....

    Did Porsche ever issue forth some sort of "performance fairness manifesto?" For decades they have used customers as human financial dodge balls, who cares? Want one, then pay up or shut up. Think Ferrari is anymore generous?

    Im just crying about it all. And to think that Ferrari buyers are so willing to pay 200K just to keep up with
    a Chevy.The injustice of it all! Life just isnt fair!

    What more tragedies must the rich endure?

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    I must admit I am passionate about the Cayman. Yes, I've ordered one. Guard Red, Sand Beige Full Leather, Sport Design Wheels, and, yes, PCCB.

    I think Porsche lived up to its promises. All I ever saw was that the car would have 295 hp, and it does, and that its performance would be between the 987S and the 997, and it is.

    But I also believe there were engineers at Porsche who were passionate about the Cayman. The bodywork must have been created with passion and care. And why give us a 3.4 liter engine with 911 cylinder heads, VarioCam Plus, and 911S profile camshafts to produce only 15 additional hp?

    And, perhaps, the engineers were able to give us a bit more than the marketing department wanted us to have. Walter Rohrl said:

    "We were a little bit surprised how near we were to the 911 (in performance) ------ I remember a funny thing (with Cayman development). We were at Nurburging, it was my first lap and I did 8 minuts, 11 seconds - my first lap! But that was a car with 19-inch wheels and ceramic brakes, so it was a little bit quicker."

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    The Cayman rear fenders are awesome looking in person. No matter what Porsche you choose you are ahead of the pack, so enjoy!

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Yeah I agree that with the exception of the fog lights, the car looks good. I especially like the TT like spoiler and the standard wheels.

    mcdelaug

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Hi everybody,

    talking about the "long" first & second gears ... some Tuning guys i've spoken to mentioned that especially this ... in combination with the variocam plus ... provides a lot of opportunities performancewise ... 340 hp are a very realistic figure you can hit by changing/modifying exhaust system and motronic (5-7k Euro) ... and i spoke to the serious guys in the business ?!

    So Porsche will leave the business to the tuning people ... and they will love it ... although the cost for a powerful Cayman S capable to challenge the 997 S will certainly be a 30k Euro investment ... but then again ... having a 3.8l engine planted in a Cayman creating something about 380 hp could be attractive to some people ...

    Let's see ...

    Greetings from Berlin, Germany
    Tom

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    It still does not have a LSD, so all that hp on a track will not do much good...

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    LSD can be bought for money ... just pick one ... there are plenty out there ... most likely you can get it from Porsche Rennsport too ... although it will have a 997.xx part number ...

    Greets

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    yep, it sure can be bought... and after installing the LSD and tuning the engine you end up with a car costing more than a 996 GT3... which has LSD and the 380hp from factory

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Something like that ... but i'd see such a Cayman project in the price range of a 997S i.e 'round 90k Euro ... but most probably it could outperform and outhandle a 997S

    I am sure we'll see such cars in the first quarter of 06 ... maybe Sportauto will do some testing to find an answer to the potential of a midengined concept in comparison to the 911 ...

    Greets

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    oh, what a surprise, this thread also turned into cayman vs. 997 i give up...

    hey, if you put a 600hp tuned 996TT engine in the cayman it might even beat the carrera gt...

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Quote:
    Rookie said:
    Something like that ... but i'd see such a Cayman project in the price range of a 997S i.e 'round 90k Euro ... but most probably it could outperform and outhandle a 997S

    I am sure we'll see such cars in the first quarter of 06 ... maybe Sportauto will do some testing to find an answer to the potential of a midengined concept in comparison to the 911 ...

    Greets



    In case you're serious about what you're talking: bluelines was just teasing you.

    Re: Panorama questions Porsche's motives with Cayman's trann

    Quote:
    In case you're serious about what you're talking: bluelines was just teasing you



    ... thanks for helping me out RC

    But honestly ... i'm just curious about the question whether a modified Cayman would match an equally equipped 911 on track ... just to figure out about the potential of an midengined Cayman.

    I personally owned a Boxster S, and a 3.6 996 cab ... right now i have a 993 C2 that i really like a lot although i just bought it to bridge the time until i can get a one year old "Werkswagen" 'cause i dont't want to take the first depreciation hit.

    Today i picked up a Cayman to figure out whether i like it or not ... and ... if i would choose it over a 997S which i had on schedule for late next year ... because of the caymans price tag i could get that one right now ???! But it is not a question of price in the first place 'cause the investment would be nearly the same. So that is the motivation for my thoughts ... i think that i can say that i am not biased at all ... just curious about some facts ?!!

    Talking about the design ... i think it is a bit too "kinky" in the sense of fashionable ... don't find the right words ... designwise i'd prefer the 997 ... it has grown on me.

    I'll write down my impression in the evening if i find some time ...

    Greets
    Tom

     
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