There's no debate about performance potential in the Porsche Cayman's mid-engine layout. The car's enthusiasts argue that the factory has purposely hobbled it, so as not to poach sales from the 911. As with most Porsches, there's a certain amount of conservativism in the design, meaning power left on the table for tuners to exploit. We decided to see what the Cayman S could do with improved breathing and an ECU tune that takes advantage of this potential.
2007 Porsche Cayman S
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Testing octane: 91
Peak wheel-horsepower: 260 @ 6200 rpm
Peak wheel torque: 223 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Temperature: 70 to 75 degrees F
Transmission test gear: fourth
The testing was done at Vision Motorsports in Lake Forest, California, carried out over two days. Conditions remained the same for both. Several runs were done in every state of tune and the level of consistency the Cayman recorded was surprisingly good. The car was driven in between installations to ensure proper adaptation by the ECU.
RSS IPD intake plenum
Peak wheel-hp: 269 @ 6800 rpm
Peak wheel torque: 231 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Maximum power gain: 13 whp @ 5900 rpm
Maximum torque gain: 13 lb-ft @ 5900 rpm
This is one of the surprising areas where Porsche left untapped ability. It seems like a simple enough part, but the IPD plenum has been shown to make power on all Porsche platforms. The factory piece is a T-shaped plastic pipe while the IPD item is a cast aluminum rounded Y-pipe. It's positioned behind the throttle body, between the two separate intake runner plenums. The factory plenum also has a flapper valve that changes the volume of the system to affect intake resonance charging. Surprisingly, the IPD piece removes the stock car's dip in mid-range torque.
Easy install and good bang for the buckNoticeable improvement in performance
Seems to work best with more modifications (not necessarily a bad thing)Aluminum construction will make for a lifetime part, but will heat-soak more than plastic
Cast aluminum intake plenum, molded silicone intake hose, rubber breather hose
Installation time: 30 min.
Large flat-head screwdriver
Revo stage one reflash
Peak wheel-hp: 272 @ 6800 rpm
Peak wheel torque: 233 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Maximum power gain: 6 whp @ 6000 rpm
Maximum torque gain: 6 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm
As regular readers will know, we're big fans of software upgrades. Adding both power and driveability at a reasonable price is a win/win situation. Revo offers software product for a wide variety of German cars through a network of dealers.
Switchable software modes via the OBD-II port with Select device
Better throttle response makes car more lively and allows for easier heel-toe downshifts
Theft protection mode renders car completely inoperable in seconds
Not a big power bump by itself on paper
Optional Select Switch unit
Basic software: $899
Select Switch Plus: $349
Installation time: 20 min.
They can't be represented on a dyno graph, but driveability and smoothness are the big gains with this stage one software. The car feels faster and performs better on a road course or autocross. Users looking for faster zero-to-60 mph or quarter-mile times will not see much difference in a quantitative sense.