Mid-engine cars
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By fpena944
#107617
It's been two weeks since my 2014 Cayman arrived. This car came about as I needed a reliable daily driver to ease the load off my 2002 996 Cabrio. Initially I though of getting a truck (read my initial thread at viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3434) but decided for daily use I still needed a Porsche!

I'll start my impressions from the outside and then move on in finally ending with the driving dynamics:

Styling

First off - maybe I'm getting old or just maturing in my tastes. But I'm not a fan of silver, or at least I wasn't before. However this car in silver is stunning to me. It looks modern and attractive at basically every angle. Only in the rear with the spoiler in the "down" position does it look a little plain to me. But aside from that this car is eye-catching.

The color suits the purpose of this car just great. I intend to use it daily so I can't have a dark color that looks awful with a hint of dust and I never had great luck keeping white cars clean so to me this is a good compromise color.

I'm really a fan of the 981 style. I always thought the older Caymans looked like Boxsters with a hardtop but this one looks like it was designed to be this way from the beginning. Really a fan of the design. Personally I would probably prefer the 20" wheels on this body style but the 19s seem to suit it pretty well and given the use of it will probably be more practical anyway.

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Interior

Standard black partial leather interior on the car and I can't complain about how good this looks either. Reminds me of our Cayenne Turbo so quite familiar. Modern again but still with a nod to tradition with the centrally located tach and the ignition key on the left side.

Since it's only a two seater it feels a lot smaller inside than my 911 does. The fact that those back seats are behind you really adds a tremendous amount of perceived interior space to the car. I mean once you are seated it is quite cozy and I don't have any complaints about the amount of room I have to sit in, but you are well aware that this is a small car.

My main complaint is really the lack of storage space. There are some door pockets, the center console, and the glovebox. The door pockets can fit my sunglasses and wallet but that's about it. The center console is pretty shallow so it can fit a cell phone and maybe a few other items. The glovebox is really the only place for anything larger. I miss the little cubby I have on my 996 where I can put my phone and other items so they are readily accessible. Going to try some cell phone mounts to see what I can do about that as I do like to have it visible while driving.

Driving Impression

Here comes the heart of my review...How's this thing drive?

Honestly I didn't have high expectations for this car. My 996 is 12 years older and still has 45 more horsepower. So I expected this to be a decent vehicle but not exactly a speed demon. Also the other huge change for me is that I've never experienced a PDK transmission before.

Driving position on this car is like a performance car should be. You're closer to the steering wheel and the wheel itself is perfectly suited for cornering with ease without resorting to shuffle steering. He can keep your hands on the wheel constantly and not having to let go during aggressive driving. This is all a good thing!

When you start the car it barks just like any good Porsche should. It looks modern but upon startup it sounds like an old Porsche with somewhat of a lumpy idle and a metallic sound. As it warms up it begins to quiet down a bit and become more proper but when waking up it can't hide its roots.

If you leave the car in automatic mode and not make any adjustments then it is a bit lazy in its response and shifting. It shifts FAST because that's just what the PDK does but it also is in 6th gear by 30 MPH all in the name of saving fuel so throttle response is a bit disappointing for a sports car. I mean for driving around town it's fine but it feels held back for performance.

Hit the Sport button though and finally things get better. It holds shifts longer, throttle response is much more crisp, and even the exhaust sounds a little more aggressive. Finally the Sport Plus mode forces you to use the paddles (which took me a while to get used to since I'm a manual transmission advocate) so with those lightning fast shifts and the ability to hold the revs up past 7k RPM, the sound coming out of that little flat six with the windows down is intoxicating. It sounds so different than my 996 with performance exhaust but still very satisfying. Only thing is not until you hit those higher RPMs can you really hear the personality of this engine.

So to circle back, it's still not the fastest but it reminds me of a go kart where you might not be going more than 45-60 MPH but it feels faster and is therefore just as much fun as going fast without getting in quite as much trouble.

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Utility

Funny that this is a section in a Cayman review. Yes I needed to add this because one of the initial criteria was making sure I can use this as a daily driver.

This morning I had to make a run to our storage unit to pick up a box. Here is the Cayman taking care of chores:

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Well aside from my complaints about interior storage, I have to say between the frunk and the rear trunk, the car does have a lot of capacity considering how small it is. The swallowed up a decent sized box and still had capacity for more. So yes this is likely not how Porsche intended for it to be used but oh well, this how my Porsches live - they serve multiple purposes beyond their core capabilities.

Here it is taking advantage of it's generous front trunk capacity:

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Overall I'm really happy with the purchase. Yes not quite as much utility as a full-size pickup truck but I would argue more fun to drive on a daily basis.

I'll do a comparison across our 3 Porsches (Cayenne Turbo, 996 Cabrio, and this Cayman) one of these days just for a fun compare/contrast but for now I'm really glad to add this to our collection and look forward to future adventures!
i am not a traitor liked this
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By worf
#107622
My advice FWIW, based upon owing a 981S PDK for 6 years:

- use sport mode all the time: keeps oil and water temps below 200°F whereas normal mode runs ~220.
- just put the selector in M and use the paddles, even in Sport mode, automatic shifts might be lazy

Trick:
“clicking” (pull and quickly release) both paddles simultaneously will select neutral at any speed.
clicking either paddle will reengage the clutch
when stopped in “paddle neutral” you have to press the brake pedal enough to close the pedal switch before clicking a paddle will reengage the clutch
User avatar
By fpena944
#107627
worf wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:32 am My advice FWIW, based upon owing a 981S PDK for 6 years:

- use sport mode all the time: keeps oil and water temps below 200°F whereas normal mode runs ~220.
- just put the selector in M and use the paddles, even in Sport mode, automatic shifts might be lazy

Trick:
“clicking” (pull and quickly release) both paddles simultaneously will select neutral at any speed.
clicking either paddle will reengage the clutch
when stopped in “paddle neutral” you have to press the brake pedal enough to close the pedal switch before clicking a paddle will reengage the clutch
Thanks for the tricks, didn't know this as I also didn't understand how to shift the car (didn't bother to read the manual of course) when I first tried manual mode.

I thought one side was for upshifting and another side for downshifting. Yeah I know, dumb! But I figured out the front is up and back is down.

Notice however I have the optional multi-functional wheel, not the one with the paddles so not sure if that changes functionality somewhat. I know for driving the one with the paddles is more desirable but I also like the little buttons on the wheel so don't know if it's worth changing out if I lose those:
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By worf
#107686
fpena944 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:46 am Notice however I have the optional multi-functional wheel, not the one with the paddles so not sure if that changes functionality somewhat. I know for driving the one with the paddles is more desirable but I also like the little buttons on the wheel so don't know if it's worth changing out if I lose those:
Oh, I forgotten about the dumb-ass .1 MF wheel. I can’t imagine a .1 PDK with that wheel :barf:

It is possible to fit a .2 MF wheel with both controls and paddles. You need a little gizmo to do some CAN Bus magic. Details in the 991 forum on The Site That Shall Not Be Named.
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By Cuda911
#107690
Nice review! I also have a '14 Cayman. Fantastic car! Plenty of storage in the rear cargo area.
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By fpena944
#107715
worf wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:00 pm
fpena944 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:46 am Notice however I have the optional multi-functional wheel, not the one with the paddles so not sure if that changes functionality somewhat. I know for driving the one with the paddles is more desirable but I also like the little buttons on the wheel so don't know if it's worth changing out if I lose those:
Oh, I forgotten about the dumb-ass .1 MF wheel. I can’t imagine a .1 PDK with that wheel :barf:

It is possible to fit a .2 MF wheel with both controls and paddles. You need a little gizmo to do some CAN Bus magic. Details in the 991 forum on The Site That Shall Not Be Named.
I see Suncoast selling them as an upgrade. Thought it was plug and play but I guess there is a little more to it.

I'll see how much of a hinderance it is to my ability to use the gears. I played with it today and didn't find an issue with it but was just doing some street driving.
Cuda911 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:17 pm Nice review! I also have a '14 Cayman. Fantastic car! Plenty of storage in the rear cargo area.
Thanks, beautiful car!

Yes even though small they are very practical with the amount of storage in them.
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By fast_freddy
#107795
My only gripe(s) about the Cayman is my decidedly larger than average legs don't slide under the steering wheel easily whilst getting in. Once in, it's perfectly fine. Also, the door sills are quite wide and my pants get sullied when I get out if I'm not paying attention.

Other than that it's been terrific.
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By fpena944
#107798
fast_freddy wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:55 pm My only gripe(s) about the Cayman is my decidedly larger than average legs don't slide under the steering wheel easily whilst getting in. Once in, it's perfectly fine. Also, the door sills are quite wide and my pants get sullied when I get out if I'm not paying attention.

Other than that it's been terrific.
I should have mentioned these two in my review as well.

Even though I'm not tall I have the same issues. The problem is I have my seating position a little higher so I can get a better view of the road. So slipping in and out is difficult unless I wait for the steering wheel to make it's way to the "up" position before exiting. Problem is sometimes I have the car running while needing to get out and do something.

Regarding the door sills, very true they are quite wide and awkward to get over. Not quite as bad as a Saleen S7 but between the steering wheel, wide sills, and sport seats it can be quite fun getting in and out. My wife created a choreographed move for getting in and out of the car - something like "squat, drop, duck, and swing!" :roflmao:
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By fast_freddy
#107810
fpena944 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:20 pm
fast_freddy wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:55 pm My only gripe(s) about the Cayman is my decidedly larger than average legs don't slide under the steering wheel easily whilst getting in. Once in, it's perfectly fine. Also, the door sills are quite wide and my pants get sullied when I get out if I'm not paying attention.

Other than that it's been terrific.
I should have mentioned these two in my review as well.

Even though I'm not tall I have the same issues. The problem is I have my seating position a little higher so I can get a better view of the road. So slipping in and out is difficult unless I wait for the steering wheel to make it's way to the "up" position before exiting. Problem is sometimes I have the car running while needing to get out and do something.

Regarding the door sills, very true they are quite wide and awkward to get over. Not quite as bad as a Saleen S7 but between the steering wheel, wide sills, and sport seats it can be quite fun getting in and out. My wife created a choreographed move for getting in and out of the car - something like "squat, drop, duck, and swing!" :roflmao:
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It's not nearly as bad as a Lotus Exige (which I considered). I'd have to lube up with axle grease to slide into that thing.
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By worf
#107834
fpena944 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 4:11 pm I see Suncoast selling them as an upgrade. Thought it was plug and play but I guess there is a little more to it.
You can swap a .1 MF wheel for a .1 "Sport" wheel with the paddles, no wheel controls, and a stalk for the MFD rather than rollers on the spokes. That's the kit SC sells AFAIK.

You can't *just* swap a .2 MF wheel (controls and paddles) for a .1 wheel without a CAN bus hack. It *may* be that SC also, now, sells a kit for that.
User avatar
By worf
#107835
fpena944 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:20 pm Problem is sometimes I have the car running while needing to get out and do something.
Same here. Easy solution:

You can have two different "memories" for seat/wheel.

Store your entry/exit seat/wheel position to the "key" button and your driving position to the "1" (or "2") button.

Unlocking with the key will move seats/wheel to the "key" position. Once you are ready to drive off, press and hold the "1" key. If you need to egress with the engine running, press and hold the "key" position.

For this to work you have to turn off "auto memory" in the MFD. Thus new settings will only be stored when you do so manually.
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By FlatSix
#107912
fpena944 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:17 am
If you leave the car in automatic mode and not make any adjustments then it is a bit lazy in its response and shifting. It shifts FAST because that's just what the PDK does but it also is in 6th gear by 30 MPH all in the name of saving fuel so throttle response is a bit disappointing for a sports car. I mean for driving around town it's fine but it feels held back for performance.
I had the same feeling driving a base 997.2 PDK - kind of dull in base automatic mode because it's trying to save gas so hard. I've also driven a 981S with the PDK and the paddles (not the steering wheel buttons) and that thing screamed like a banshee!

I think you'd really enjoy the upgraded wheel with the paddles.
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