Jan Cilliers' 2007 Porsche Cayman S
Joey Seely's 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera
Most tuned cars you see in this magazine follow a simple axiom we've come to regard as "OEM Plus." We didn't invent the term, because we've heard it used before. So the advent of OEM Plus as a concept just seemed happen on its own, sort of like intelligent life or universes. It means subtle, balanced performance upgrades and mild cosmetic modifications. Stuff in the vein of what you'd see in a massaged factory car like something out of BMW's M division or Audi's Quattro GmbH.
BBI Autosport seems to follow the OEM Plus mantra in its projects. The company was founded about five years ago by Betim Berisha, who had worked previously at Porsche Motorsport. He was then joined in 2007 by Joey Seely, who had worked previously on a pair of Porsche ALMS race teams. So the guys definitely have the credentials. And these two cars out of BBI's Huntington Beach, Calif., shop embody the OEM Plus philosophy as well as any we've seen-one from the old school, one from the new.
'07 Cayman S
A lot of guys really love their cars. We get it. But to what degree do you really love yours?
Some guys love the way the car shines after a fresh coat of wax and a Q-tip wheel pedicure, love it most as it sits there gleaming in the driveway. Some guys love the way 500+ hp tends to blow the doors off slow-moving Buicks. Some guys like to try and impress girls with inventive car-speak (invariably without great success).
In Jan Cilliers' case, he just loves his car. Loves it. You know the kid at Christmas who just tore the wrapping paper off the shiny red firetruck? That's Jan and his Cayman.
According to BBI's Joey Seely, Cilliers came around through a Cayman club forum. His intention was building a car he could take and drive to and at the track, while learning the vehicle and improving his driving skill.
To that end, the Cayman has been set up as a sharpened track-day tool while retaining its overall street drivability. The chassis is now suspended over remote-reservoir JRZ double-adjustable dampers with Hyperco main springs and Swift helpers. The front wheels are dialed in using Tarett Engineering camber plates. The front and rear control arms have been replaced by 997 GT3 RSR units set up specifically for this project, with GT3 and Tarett antiroll bars connected to Tarett drop links front and rear, respectively. In addition, BBI was able to extend the car's wheelbase by and inch and a half in the process of setting up the rear suspension.
The interior half-cage is an especially nice touch, serving both as racetrack insurance and to stiffen the chassis. BBI fabricated this from scratch, taking notes from various Cayman owners and designing the structure with a bolt-in X-brace that can be removed for quick access to the engine compartment.
The brakes remain factory assemblies that have been sharpened by Pagid yellow pads and braided stainless lines. A Brembo big brake conversion from Race Technologies is in the works.
For street or show, Cilliers rolls on 19-inch HRE P40 forged monoblock wheels with Michelin PS2 rubber. Before hitting the track he bolts up Champion Motorsport 18s with more aggressive Toyo R888s.
The engine has likewise been subject to similar OEM upgrades with a sprinkling of proprietary and BBI-recommended upgrades. First off, the induction system was seriously reworked with a cold-air intake and an IPD plenum mated to an 82mm GT3 RS throttle body, which in turn feeds into an intake manifold taken from a 3.8-liter 997 Carrera S. To allow the manifold to fit, the entire engine had to be lowered three-quarters of an inch, requiring custom mounts and bushings to be fabricated for both power unit and transmission. According to BBI's Seely, this was the most challenging aspect of the build, getting the motor to fit beneath its lid without dropping it onto the subframe or stressing the driveshaft at an awkward angle.