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    PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Needing an interlude before assessing the 991, and following the advice of PofC's President, we purchased a Cayman S with PDK and basic suspension this last summer...August. A similar example was driven as demonstrator, several times, and it seemed lovely. FIne engine, 'run-in', so highway-speeds were dominant in our testing.

    Three weeks later the PDK's joys were wearing very thin: too much like a video game, annoying jerkiness and non-linear throttle pedal at lower speeds/in traffic, too much programatic  detail written into the PDK software,  downshifting for sharper corners not easy to define [needs a heads-up  image of revs/gear, so that less time is spent checking the instruments. And the Cayman's basic supension is stiffer than the Carrera, and not compliant enough over many of our roads [transverse cracks/expansion joints...our testing was not thorough enough]. This combination is that recomended, and stocked, by/in most Candain dealers, through PofC. Wrong...

    So we ordered the same car but with Manual and PASM...and 4 months later, for Xmas, Cayman II arrives , complete with OZ Golden light -weight 18in wheels and PA2 winters. Transformed, different car: best manual I have ever driven/owned, with splendid matches between engine, clutch, gearing and shifter [seemless changes within the 1st  couple of km]; and PASM, now refined after 5 years of optimization in all the 911 versions, absolutely beautiful  matching between the variable dampers and the sport's suspension...compliance, enough information about every road surface without more than we need to know, sensitivity, responsiveness, clarity and comfort . Almost as though a whiff of the Lotus philosophy has at last blown through the minds and innovations of the world of Porsche...which of course it has. Pete Stout of Excellence  was again correct in his uniquely insightful driving and analyses. And PASM sport is now usable, and rather like the basic supension on a 'good' road...

     It has been a great experience...that many of us will never share, given the enthusiasm and pre-ordering-superficial-road testing dominating many of the Car magazines. Some will really enjoy 'Cayman I'...fine...but Cayman II is the better sports car...more of the time, on more roads, at a greater variety of speeds, PASM+ Manual provides more pleasure  and challenge, as the driver has a greater role in shaping a more exciting and complete experience.

    Happy New Porsches!

    ALanM    KiwiCanuck

     


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

     Good write-up Alan! thanks for sharing 


    --


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Thanks for sharing your impressions - really glad you arrived at the right choice for you and where you drive  


    --


    RT Moderator - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Hi Alan Smiley - pleased to hear you are enjoying your Cayman and many thanks for sharing your experiences - after two Boxster S, we are similarly thrilled with our Cayman S. Interesting though, ours is similar in spec to your first one, PDK with standard suspension. Our demonstrator (non S) also had standard suspension and on the basis of that ordered our S also with standard suspension on 18" wheels. Our first thoughts on the fairly rutted roads where we live is that it was too firm and wished we'd specified PASM which we had on our Boxsters as both those had 19" wheels. With hindsight we'd probably dug deeper into our pockets to have PASM though, interesting that you feel PASM Sport is now more compliant than it was, we found it far too hard to be usable on the Boxsters on normal roads, your comments suggest on the latest versions it has become more compliant, it was harder than the Cayman's stock suspension. We've come to terms with the firmer ride now, GR in reply to my Cayman thread "Great Car Dismal Day"

    http://www.rennteam.com/forum/thread/20188800/Great_car_dismal_day/page1.html

    felt that PASM normal was too soft and PASM sport was too hard. It's one of those personal choices. The one thing we'd wish we'd specified again with the benefit of hindsight was the Comfort seats we had in our second Boxster,  SWMBO's frame is not as resilient as mine and she really misses the adjustable squab and orthopaedic support those seats offer. She finds the rear of the squab too low with the standard seats, so on longer trips we will experiment with packing out the squab with a towel or similar to raise it. Perhaps this has been accentuated by the firmer ride. 

    In contrast with you we are thrilled with PDK, we had manual with sports shift in our last Boxster, and as superb a shift as that was we'd never go back. Having said that, we find both Normal and Sport Plus too extreme in their own ways, Sport is spot on, Normal changes up far too early, sets the engine up almost as if it were a diesel, labouring it in too high a gear in the name of economy. Sport plus is too extreme other than for track use, keeping the engine in  the upper rev range at all times. You don't say whether your PDK car had sport chrono,an absolutely essential option with PDK, IMO. Without it I wouldn't have liked PDK either, being lumbered with Normal set up all the time.

    May I respectfully suggest, as this is not my thread, a Moderator considers moving it to the Cayman Board? Alan - I hope you don't mind me suggesting this? Smiley

     


    --

    Porsche Cayman S PDK Aqua Blue / Ocean Blue  (November 10) : Toyota Yaris D4D (Oct 10) 


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Good idea dreamcar - it's taken care of  


    --


    RT Moderator - 997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm sports suspension/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen collection


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    easy_rider911:

    Good idea dreamcar - it's taken care of  

    Thanks easy - much appreciated Smiley


    --

    Porsche Cayman S PDK Aqua Blue / Ocean Blue  (November 10) : Toyota Yaris D4D (Oct 10) 


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Thanks for the insightful report Alan.

    Any pictures handy with the OZ wheels?


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Nice report, thanks. But to have a cleart picture it is essential that you specify if you had Sports Chrono , and if you had the paddles or buttons.

    Those two options change the experience and the behaviour a lot.


    --

     997.2 C2S, PDK, -20mm


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

     For me this would be easy to solve - take the PDK. We are writing 2011 - no need anymore to shift anything manually except an vintage car! (IMO)


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Thanks 'dreamcar'.,

    I entered my subject under "Porsche", as the matter of PDK or not, and the almost positive-only hype on it, is relevant to several types of 911, as well as Boxter and Cayman.

    My PDK was with sports Chrono: I agree that Sports PDK almost covered all the useful bases. Although for careful 'running in' of the car [adherring to the 'rules of Rennteam' rather than those of PAG] made sports-auto too hot to use at times, sports+ auto should have a strong ECM on it for the 1st 3000km [or not even 'allow' it until then], and the 'shunting' at low revs/traffic in auto-sports was a bit too ruf for a non-race car.

    Cheers

    AlanM


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Thanks Gnil,

    Yes I had PDK sports chrono...that is part of the Canian package for the Cayman S...all my remarks refered to this combo. It added more good stuff, and bad stuff, pretty much in equal parts.

    Yes, he had paddles, which are pretty much essential for straight line blasts away from stop lights, when only PDK can give that irresistable and trivial-to-perform searing acceleration. However: I really dislike steering wheel mounted paddles [or buttons], as steering-ratios on non-race cars are slow enough that more that than 180degrees of rotation are needed on many corners, where seemless gear changes by PDK are desirable. Steering column paddles, such as on Ferrari and the esteemned NSX, allow for that  very well.

    These provisos covered, we still respectfully suggest that buyers of Carrera, Boxter or Cayman, who may instinctively now head for PDK, try the manual as well, for significant comparisons. And that the slow speed traffic doodles, that are seemingly inescapable and not a trivial part of driving experience, be fully explored and accepted as 'OK' before ticking that PDK box.

    Also the inescable downshifts though every gear if you happen to use atuto PDK modes on occasions...and some of the Tiptronic owners of yore will find themselves in PDKs now, unless they road test extensively to locate the negatives ...

     

    Cheers  KiwiCanuck


    Re: PDK or Manual for the Cayman S!

    Hhello Ffaust,

    I have digitals of the emulsion originals...will try to find them and insert in the web. The tirerack test graphic with the OZ Aleg HLT inserted is quite realistic

    Guards red with gold are ggreat! Such a strong contrast from my bejewelled suumer BBS RS-GT...I was, I must admit,  a little anxious until I saw the car with 'gold' installed.

    Red with gold wheels are often used in the racing scene [MotorSport]; and I note that the beautiful GT2 RS shown this week in this site, has golden wheels. Yummy!

    Cheers

    KiwiCanuck

     

     


     
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