It was another great day in the eurotuner penthouse when the call came to collect a TechArt Cayman GT Sport from official importer CEC Wheels. A weekend of canyons and clubbing was planned to maximize the potential off rising up the social rankings for two days. However, we thudded back down to earth as we were led around the immaculate Cayman. While drinking in its gleaming white purity, the uncurbed wheels, ding-free doors and the virgin carbon front spoiler were pointed out.
Having owned and daily driven modified cars my entire life, I knew to avoid curbs and park away from minivans, but avoiding steep driveways in LA was mission impossible.
Sure enough, we scraped the front spoiler entering our office garage, then leaving it, then entering the driveway at home, then leaving again, then scraped it on a speed bump, and finally rubbed it pulling into a restaurant parking lot.
The underside of the front spoiler resembled two day's growth on an unshaved chin and it was only Friday evening. We were screwed.
Sincere apologies to CEC for using its front end to smooth the pavement around LA, but fortunately TechArt built its product strong. There were some minor abrasions on the carbon underside but no cracking or affect on the integrity of the front bumper. In fact, the German Porsche specialist uses glass fiber/kevlar composite to build the GT Sport body kit, which both fits and suits the car perfectly.
We've driven some pretty wild Euros around car-crazy LA, but few received the warm response this Cayman elicited. It had the ability to both stop pedestrians in their tracks and attract fellow Porsche owners like a giant magnet. On the freeway it was like driving in a honey pot, as cars swarmed around trying to get a view of this vision in white.
For drama, that incredible GTS front spoiler, complete with its carbon splitter and carbon vent, and the GTS rear wing vied for attention. The latter is supplied in five parts: a central base, two carbon supports and the wing itself with carbon end pieces. The large-weave dry carbon is a delight to inspect and there's an adjustable gurney flap if you want to score extra points.
Next on the OMG list are the sleek 20" Formula II wheels. With their black centers and polished rims, they allow the red Porsche calipers to be clearly seen and the dimensions leave little doubt as to their intentions. At 20x11" on the rear, complete with 325/25 Michelin PS2s, these are designed to intimidate lesser machinery.
The Formula II wheels are actually a one-piece cast design with the appearance of a modular wheel. However, TechArt also offers the same staggered sizes (20x8.5" front with 245/30s) as a true one-piece or a new three-piece modular wheel.
In case diners at the restaurant arrived late and didn't catch your spectacular entrance, they will not miss your departure when the distinctive boxer engine bellows into life. A clever TechArt exhaust box eliminates half the stock mufflers, producing less restriction and much more sound. On the freeway, it has the tendency to drone slightly when cruising, but get on the gas and the hollow roar inside the cabin is spine-tingling.
Despite those huge wheels and low-pro tires, the ride was surprisingly smooth thanks to TechArt's spring kit, which lowers the car 25mm. There is a coilover kit available but apparently most owners forgo this, along with the big brake kit, sway bars, widebody conversion, etc. In fact, TechArt has every option a Cayman owner could desire, even offering cheaper spoilers and wheels, etc to try and cater to different budgets and expectations.
If we could only afford one piece from the TechArt catalog (and that may actually be the case!), we'd go for the TechArt steering wheel. They remanufacture the OE wheel, creating a wonderfully thick rim that's a pleasure to grip, yet allows you to retain the factory airbag so safety isn't compromised.
So the only real hurdle to TechArt GT Sport ownership is the price. Uncompetitive exchange rates with Germany mean the parts fitted here would buy you a new GTI. But we guarantee a GTI will never provide the wow factor this Porsche can deliver. And you can't really think of this TechArt car in the same way you might approach GTI tuning. It's more like buying a Bell & Ross watch; you know you could undoubtedly find one cheaper, but its cool style means money isn't your prime concern. It simply makes a statement about you. And a TechArt Porsche makes a statement only the established German tuning houses are able to do.
TechArt has transformed this mid-level Porsche into the supercar its owner imagined he was buying, in terms of looks, the driving experience and people's reaction to the car. If you have the means, we thoroughly encourage you to enter the wonderful world of the TechArt GT Sport. It's not something the regular Euro owner will ever experience, but it's certainly worth the entry price.
Techart Parts Price ($)Formula II wheels 8.5x20" black front (each) 1,299Formula II wheels 12x20" black rear (each) 1,399Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires, front: 245/30R20 POAMichelin Pilot Sport 2 tires, rear: 325/25R20 POA
|GTS front spoiler||6,199|
|rear spoiler Type II||3,899|
|rear wing Type II||4,699|
|mirror inserts carbon||429|
|Aluminum pedal set||369|
|Ergonomic sport steering wheel||1,950|