With Porsche's extensive but overlapping model lineup, it can be tough to choose a chariot of choice. Obviously, some purists won't drive anything other than the 911 but we believe a true enthusiast is somebody who'll drive whatever they believe provides the best experience - the car that makes you giggle when its limits are explored.
We're certainly not saying the 911 isn't one of these cars, but we'd also suggest you explore the Cayman S, which many regard as a special car with a more capable and rewarding chassis.
Somebody who pursued this line of thought was Donny Mak, who purchased his '07 Cayman S new. Like many of us, he didn't want to modify it but simply couldn't help himself.
Taking small steps, Donny tackled the key areas on the car, starting in the handling department. Here, he opted for KW Variant 3 coilovers allied to adjustable toe-links sourced from the Porsche Motorsport parts bin.
Sure, it isn't a lot of suspension work but the Cayman is one of the best handling cars we've ever driven so it doesn't need much to take it to the next level.
Weighing just 2976 lb from the factory, the Cayman S is a fun car to drive, but with only 295hp from the mid-mounted, 3.4L Boxer six, 0-60mph in 5.1sec is nothing to brag about. What the car needed was a 400hp option to effortlessly pull sales away from the 911, and that's where TPC Racing from Jessup, MD comes in.
TPC owner, Mike Levitas, drove in the IMSA Supercar Series in the late '80s and early '90s, owning several teams and was responsible for turbo programs on racing beasts like the Mazda RX7, Lotus Esprit and Mosler Consulier GTP. So it will come as no surprise that he also developed a turbocharger kit for the Cayman, a car that had intrigued him for a while...
For about $10,000, TPC can offer its stage 2 turbo kit that includes the turbocharger, liquid-to-air intercooler, cat-back exhaust system, cast intake plenum, bigger fuel injectors and an ECU flash tune. It's a bolt-on system and is claimed to boost the Cayman S to 460hp at the rear wheels from a mere 4.5psi.
"The car is completely transformed," Donny told us. "It just picks up and goes now!" And with boost coming on as early as 3500rpm, holding strong to redline, the Cayman now spins its tires all the way through second gear, even with its insane wheel and tire setup.
"I know the guys at Avant Garde Wheels," Donny explained. "They told me if I drew a wheel design they'd make a custom set for me." So with Donny's deep-rooted love for the BBS RS wheel, he designed something similar and Avant Garde delivered a totally one-off set of 20x8.5" front and 20x11" rear wheels wrapped in Nitto Invo tires, sized 235/30 and 285/20, respectively.
Donny knew his Cayman was already unique, but he didn't stop there. He completed a Porsche 911 front-end conversion, using the 997's front fenders, headlights and headlight brackets, plus a Ruf front bumper.
He then added Motor Lux dry-carbon mirrors, side vents, side skirts, roof spoiler and rear diffuser. However, everything is slightly overwhelmed by the 997 Cup Car rear wing mounted on custom CNC aluminum uprights. So not only does Donny's Cayman probably outperform a 911 Turbo, we've also got to say it looks more like a supercar as well.
The mod bug didn't allow Donny to leave the interior untouched. Inside, you'll find a bolt-in rollcage to stiffen the chassis and add safety for track stints, along with an SPA fire suppression system. There are also Rennline mats and a B&M short shifter. The interior trim was then painted Porsche Birch Green, matching the brake calipers and adding a splash of color to the white-out Cayman.
Once completed, Donny had hit every area and realized his vision of the ultimate Cayman, creating a car unlike any we've seen. We're 911 fans here, but at the root of it, we're enthusiasts too, and a 460hp Cayman turbo sounds pretty good right now!
2007 Porsche Cayman S
Engine 3.4-liter six-cylinder Boxer with TPC Racing stage 2 turbo kit, liquid-to-air intercooler, cat-back exhaust, cast intake plenum, larger fuel injectors, ECU software
Drivetrain six-speed manual with B&M short shifter
Brakes stock, calipers painted Porsche Birch Green
Suspension KW V3 coilovers, Porsche Motorsport adjustable toe-links
Wheels & Tires 20x8.5" f, 20x11" r Avant Garde wheels, 235/30 R20 f, 285/20 R20 r Nitto Invo tires
Exterior 997 front-end conversion using fenders and headlights, Ruf front bumper with modified vents, custom front splitter, Motor Lux carbon fiber side vents, mirrors, roof spoiler, side skirts and diffuser, 997 Cup rear wing on custom uprights, Rennline tow hook, tinted Lamin-X driving lights
Interior bolt-in rollcage, SPA fire suppression system, Rennline mats, painted trim pieces, Porsche RS60 instrument surround delete, suede shift knob
Thanks TPC Racing (tpcracing.com), Avant Garde Wheels, BASF, KW Suspension