• May 15th 2006 at 8:57AM
  • 13
According to regulars at the Nurburgring in Germany, a lightened Porsche Cayman with a rollbar and race-style seats with harnesses has been seen doing laps on the famous 14-mile course. This has led some to speculate about a new ultralight model of the Cayman that could be badged as an "RS" or "Clubsport."

The Cayman has proved its mettle with critics, but its inevitable problem is that it's too good for its own good. If any more power is pumped into the Cayman, it would likely become as fast as its more expensive big brother, the 911. As it stands, the Cayman is only a tick or two behind the venerable rear-engined offering. This is why a diet for the Cayman makes sense. If Porsche keeps the power par for the course and reduces weight by extracting amenities, the resulting Cayman could carve a niche for itself that wouldn't cannibalize the more luxurious 911's sales.

There's also the caveat that a German tuner could simply be testing new mods on the 'Ring, and we're all just full of crap.

[Source: PistonHeads via autoblog.it]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      For an old outdated car, it sure does win a lot of races.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I think the Cayman is the best looking car Porsche has made in the last 20 years.

      Then again, I love the 928, so I'm hardly typical.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I looked at the two in person and have to say I like the Cayman better. The 911 seems too big compared now with the size of the Cayman.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The 911 is Porsche. You know how many people would be pissed if Porsche killed the 911? Yea the whole rear engine idea is "old" but from what pretty much anyone says, 911's are some of the best handling sports cars out there. This car has a formula that obviously works. It basically negates the laws of physics (remember how bad Corvairs were?).

      GBH, I usually agree with you but the 911 is an icon, just like a Mustang or a Charger.

      If people dont want a 911, they can buy a Boxter or a Cayman. But for those out there that want a car that is unique, seems wrong, is "outdated", one of the best handling cars on the planet, etc., they have the 911.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I wonder if the Cayman is a taste-test to see if a mid-engined 911 is palatable.

      Oh, and did anyone else notice this car's a Kid-magnet? Toddlers were crawling all over it at the NY Auto Show.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Well given the fact that the Boxter line consists of ony two variants, the 911 consists of thousands, and Porsche seems determined to make the Cayman split the Boxter and 911 straight down the middle, I'd predict we'll eventually see a few Cayman variants. A clubsport or RS version would fit the bill nicely. I say it's not just testing new mods.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "Someday, safety regs will finally kill off the 911, giving Porsche the excuse it has needed for 30 years. "

      What are you even talking about?
      • 9 Years Ago
      If you offered me one or the other, I'd pick the Cayman.

      Of course, I'm not in the demographic to ever own a Porsche (unless I have some sort of male crisis in my 50's) so it doesn't matter what I think.
      • 9 Years Ago
      gbh, FWIW, The 928 did out perform the 911 in HP, top speed, and price, and I also believe the 944 Turbo also outperformed the 911 of the day. (I'm talking the normal 911 not the Turbo). I believe it's well documented that the reason the 911 continued through the 80's was simple demand rather than Porsche's internal politics. I think Porsche feels that the only rear engine Porsche that there should ever be at this point is the 911. Don't mess with an icon and cash cow. If you're going to build another car, make it something else. I still don't see why crash tests may be more difficult to pass with a rear engine layout.


      • 9 Years Ago
      The 911 is doomed unless they move the engine forward. If they do that they just have a Cayman..
      • 9 Years Ago

      What I talking about? Like how safety regs will eventually kill it, or the fact that it needs to die?

      Safety regs - Bottom line, it's gonna get a whole lot tougher to get the 911 to pass crash tests with the engine placed where it is. Not my opinion, just a fact that Porsche engineers will tell you.

      Rear engine - One might have been able to rationalize somewhat rear-engine on a VW. That time passed in the 50s. Porsche engineers spend huge amounts of time, effort, and money working *around* the inherent issues of that layout. Mass centralization is the key to optimal handling. Not my opinion, just physics.

      Engineers who have to keep making that scenario work just want to push the engine forward where it belongs, and fix the problem - once again, not my opinion, that of juiced-to-the-point-of-honesty P engineers.

      The 911 is a dated idea as it stands, not matter how much they redesign it.

      It was supposed to go away in the 80s at latest. Unfortunatly for the 944/928/etc Porsche internal politics kept the 911 as the top performer in the range - even though a 951 or 928 could have, even then, left a 911 in the dust. But it was not allowed to happen.

      Ask yourself this simple question - if a rear-engine layout has *any* useful purpose, why is it that EVERY car that Porsche designs "clean-sheet" has the powerplant closer to the center of the car?

      The 911 was never a clean-sheet car. Always saddled with the 'heritage' baggage.

      FWIW- I do own Porsches, but no 911s.
      • 9 Years Ago
      There is always that camp of 911 devotees in and out of the company that keep that stone-ager around. Don't get me wrong, a new Twin drives pretty well, but it is still a compromised car.

      Rear-engine sucks - they've been working around that stupid layout way too long. Once again, don't get me wrong, current iterations work pretty well. But, it would be SO much better front, front-mid, or rear-midengine. (see:914-6, 951, 928, Boxster)

      Porsche has always ratcheted back output on it's modern design cars, so as not to embarass the 911's ancient layout (also see: 914-6,951,928, Boxster)

      One could certainly argue that the 911 has been the cash cow for the last 10 years, and you wouldn't be wrong. I just wonder how much more cash they could have made selling higher performance Boxster/Caymans all this time. More importantly, how many more races won?

      Someday, safety regs will finally kill off the 911, giving Porsche the excuse it has needed for 30 years.
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