Porsche Cayman 981: Base Model – S – GTS – GT4

Porsche Cayman 981

The Porsche Cayman 981 c replaced its predecessor model 987c in 2013, and was produced until 2016. In addition to the basic model of the Cayman, the model variants Cayman S, GTS and GT4 were available. Similar to its predecessor, the 981c is based on the same technical platform as the Porsche Boxster of its generation.

Paired with a lighter body than its predecessor, the 981 generation also comes with a bit more power. The naturally aspirated 275hp (202kW) 2.7-liter flat-bodied boxer engine of the base model accelerates the 1310-kilogram Cayman from zero to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds, reaching a top speed of 266 km/h.

Porsche Cayman 981 GTS

The Cayman S, in contrast, with its 325hp 3.4-liter engine, which is also installed in the Porsche 911 Carrera, puts the acceleration to 100km/h in 5.0 seconds. 370 Newton meters are thereby brought from the rear axle onto the road. The top speed is 283km/h.

In the following years, the two more powerful variants Cayman GTS and Cayman GT4 were introduced by Porsche. The GT4 was equipped with the water-cooled 3.8-liter boxer engine from the Porsche 911 Carrera S (991). The chassis, on the other hand, has been largely taken over from the Porsche 911 GT3 (991).

Porsche Cayman 981 987 718 Dursun Karadag Venarca

Due to the mid-engine concept the Cayman has two luggage compartments. It offers 150 liters of storage space in the front, and up to 160 liters in the back. The disadvantage of the rear trunk space is that it is heated up by the heat of the engine. Therefore, heat sensitive things like food should preferably be stowed in the front.

Porsche Cayman 981 987 718

The advantages of the mid-engine layout are evident in the excellent handling and sporty driving dynamics. Many car manufacturers have therefore used the Cayman as a benchmark for their own sports cars. The arrangement of the engine immediately behind the front seats ensures centralization of the mass, whereby drive influences are minimized. The coupe offers a sporty gait and has due to the fixed roof a higher torsional stiffness than the Porsche Boxster.

Porsche Cayman 981 987 718 Cayman GT4

Distinctive to its predecessor 987, the Porsche Cayman 981 has wider side air intakes. In addition, prominent lines were added to the body sides leading to the air intakes.

Electric Power Steering

As with the other models, Porsche has also switched from hydraulic to electromechanical steering on the Cayman 981. This makes the steering easier and more pleasant in everyday life than on its predecessor. The action of the electric steering is felt in a jerky braking on uneven ground. If you take your hands off the steering wheel (we do not recommend it), the active steering interventions help to stabilize the vehicle. Nevertheless, the feedback of the steering behavior is pithy enough to satisfy even purists.

Porsche Cayman 981 987 718 interior Dursun Karadag


The interior of the Cayman looks and feels high-quality and is designed with lots of leather and brushed aluminum. The dashboard has no differences to the remaining Porsche models. Porsche-typical is the positioning of the ignition key. Due to the racing history in Le Mans it’s on the left side of the steering wheel. Most controls and switches are functionally aligned on the right side.

Porsche Cayman S 981 987 718

The flat roofline was rounded off slightly at the rear, while the front was made more aggressive in the comparison to the 987 generation.

The Cayman GT4

On the basis of the Cayman 981c in 2015 the Porsche Cayman GT4 was introduced to the market. With 385 hp and a maximum speed of 295 km/h, the naturally aspirated engine without turbos transmits 420 Newton meters to the crankshaft. This makes him the sportiest and most powerful Cayman to date. The distinctive optical feature to the previous Cayman models is a rigid rear spoiler is installed. This allows a maximum pressure of 100 kilograms, and reminds you every time you look in the rearview mirror that you are sitting in a thoroughbred sports car.

The Porsche Cayman 981 GT4 on the Nürnburgring

Engine of the Cayman GT4

The GT4 is equipped with the water-cooled 3.8-liter boxer engine from the Porsche 911 Carrera S (991). Since the water-cooled six-cylinder is installed as a mid-engine in the GT4, it had to be rotated by 180 degrees to be connected to the transmission. For reasons of space, further modifications to the intake tract and the exhaust system had to be made, whereby the performance compared to the Carrera S was somewhat throttled.

Chassis from the Bigger Brother

The chassis of the Cayman GT4 has been largely taken over from the Porsche 911 GT3 (991). The braking system of the GT3 is expected to provide more than enough braking power for the 90 kilogram lighter Cayman. While Porsche delivered the 911 GT3 only with a dual-clutch PDK, it’s the exact opposite with the Cayman GT4. In favour of the hardcore fans the GT4 is only built with a manual transmission.

Transmission for Enthusiasts

The built-in manual gearbox saves the Cayman GT4 a little weight, but still makes a small smear in the acceleration. Manually changing the six gears takes more time than the PDK would require. So it takes around 4.4 seconds to 100km/h with the GT4, which is far from a bad value in itself. And since purists prefer to sort the gears themselves, this is not a real disadvantage. After all, in the not-too-distant future, self-driving cars will even take away the steering. Until then one may quietly enjoy the time in which you as a driver still have the control over the car.

Interior of the GT4

The interior is designed in the classic Porsche style with sportiness in mind. One small detail stands out when opening or closing the doors. For that you have to pull on a colourful door lash, instead of a normal door handle. According to the manufacturer this is due to weight reasons. The racing steering wheel is free of any buttons and covered with Alcantara. The rest of the interior is held in alternation with leather and Alcantara relatively simple.

Porsche Cayman 981 GT4

The successor of the Cayman 981

In the summer of 2016, Porsche completely revised the Cayman, and introduced the series 718 (Type 982). The successor of the 981 comes with new 4-cylinder turbo engines. This puts an end to the beloved 6-cylinder engines due to the current downsizing measures in the automotive industry. Similar to the two predecessors, the 718 Cayman has the same technical platform as the Porsche 718 Boxster. While the earlier generations (987 and 981) were offered at a higher price than the Boxster, the new series has become Porsches entry level sports car.

Porsche Cayman 981 718

Porsche Cayman 981: