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Buyers Guide: Cayman S Gen2 (2009-2012)

Uncle Dave

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Porsche Cayman S 987 Gen2 (2009-2012)





  • PDK transmission introduced

  • Bluetooth connectivity introduced

  • Universal Audio Interface introduced

  • Active pop-up rear spoiler

  • New light design with LEDs

  • 18" wheels

  •  Red brake calipers












Flat 6



Engine size (cc)






Max power (hp)






Torque (Nm)



370 @ 4,750






Mid-engine, Rear-wheel drive






No. of gears (Manual/Automatic)



6 speed / 7 speed PDK



Top speed (mph)



172 / 171



Acceleration (0-62 mph)



5.2 / 5.1



Combined (mpg)



29.7 / 30.1



CO2 emissions (g/km)



223 / 221















In 2009 Porsche released the updated second generation of their entry level coupe.  The car received a facelift which included redesigned front with LED driving lights, updated interior with a move away from the rather dated grey plastics to a more modern black and most importantly 2 quite significant drivetrain improvements. 

The introduction of the PDK gearbox on the GenII Cayman saw it replacing the rather old and clunky tiptronic semi-automatic gearbox.  The PDK gearbox has received much praise in comparison to other similar offerings from rival manufacturers.  The PDK gearbox introduced a twin-clutch gearbox (rather than an automatic gearbox) and shifting response was vastly improved as was the brains behind the mechanism.  Paddle shift was an option on the GenII also and gave even more to the PDK experience. 

Porsche introduced a new power plant with the GenII car, the new engine was a Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) unit and produced 320hp from the same 3400cc as the previous generation.  This engine also did away with the intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing of previous cars, not that this was a major cause for concern on earlier cars, but the DFI engine has also shown to have eliminated as near as can be possible the bore-scoring issues that have been well documented on the previous generation cars. 


With the much improved engine the new Cayman S with 320bhp delivered 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and a 172mph top speed for the manual and 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds and a 171mph top speed for the PDK.

OTR price, devoid of any options, for the Cayman S in 2008 was £47,649.


The GenII Porsche Cayman S was produced in much lower numbers than the GenI cars which is proving to those on the hunt for one to be rather frustrating not just for the simple availability of cars for sale, but also because the lesser supply keeps the prices of these cars relatively buoyant, in fact north of £20k is probably your budget. 









Flat 6



Engine size (cc)






Max power (hp)






Torque (Nm)



370 @ 4,750






Mid-engine, Rear-wheel drive



The engine in the GenII Cayman S is still a horizontally opposed flat 6 'boxer' engine. 

The new 9A1 unit had a number of notable changes, a stronger and lighter 2-piece crankcase, the intermediate shaft used to drive the camshafts, which had proven to be a real Achilles heel to many earlier engines, has been replaced with a simpler chain drive system that runs off of each end of the crankshaft.  The 9A1 receives a very sophisticated single oil pump that is electrically controlled to change oil pressure based on engine need, and it contains four scavenge pumps, two connected to each valve cover, improving a weakness in the M97 that could allow oil to pool in the valve covers under very specific G-force conditions.  These engines are lighter, have fewer moving parts, they make more power, less pollution and because they have fewer parts and improved lubrication, they are likely to be more reliable.

The new Cayman S engine doesn't gain any displacement, but thanks to the fewer moving parts and the introduction of Direct Fuel Injection (DFI), this engine produces 25 more bhp than the M97.21.

DFI injects high pressure fuel directly into the combustion chamber, instead of injecting it into the intake tract.  This provides several advantages including more precise fuel delivery and the ability to make use of higher compression without pre-ignition.  More compression means more efficiency and more power.  But don't feel guilty when you're punishing the pavement with the added horsepower because DFI also produces significantly less carbon dioxide and other pollutants. 

What it makes up for in reliability and efficiency some will claim it loses in character, not in a significant way but the angry effervescence of the M97 engine at high revs is less pronounced in the 9A1 DFI unit, not particularly surprising from a more modern engine. 

When buying a GenII car, look for all the usual signs of oil leaks and unusual noises from the engine, it’s a smoother idling engine but still retains the ‘tick-tick-tick’ so don’t be surprised.  All in all though, if the car has been properly maintained and regular services and oil changes then it should continue to prove to be a reliable engine with no major concerns.  


Porsche state the following servicing schedule for the GenII Cayman.  Although there is certainly no harm in performing mid schedule oil changes, especially for cars used regularly for short trips and/or regular track use. 



2 years / 20k miles - MINOR



8 years / 80k miles - MAJOR



4 years / 40k miles – MAJOR



10 years / 100k miles – MINOR



6 years / 60k miles - MINOR



12 years / 120k miles - MAJOR



In terms of costs of servicing prices quoted are as follows[1]






Minor Service - £450



Major Service (including plugs) - £925



Brake Fluid Change - £180








Minor Service - £396



Major Service (excluding plugs) - £528



Brake Fluid Change - £111




The same is true of the GenII Cayman in that some elements of servicing and repairs are no more challenging than most other cars and can be undertaken by competent home mechanics, for instance brake pads and discs are a relatively easy job provided you have some basic knowledge, follow the guide and possess some basic tools.  Sourcing the parts and undertaking these kinds of jobs yourself can save significant sums over dealer prices. 


The chassis on the GenII car didn’t receive much in the way of changes, not that it really needed it.  The steel monocoque chassis retains the inherent stiffness yet coupled with a compliant suspension set-up delivering one of the sweetest rides in a sports car of it’s class. 

Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) was available as an option on the GenII Cayman and whilst seems to be a generally reliable system is not always praised by owners.  The choice of wheel size also comes into play when deciding on whether to source a car with or without PASM.  Ultimately it will come down to personal opinion and we very much recommend if you can, sampling a selection of cars with or without and with 18”/19” wheels. 

For higher mileage cars the main issue to watch out for when sourcing a used car, particularly on cars over the 50k mile mark is deteriorating suspension parts.  Steering should feel sharp and connected to the road, any vagueness or ‘floaty’ feeling to the car could be down to a number of things, including tyre wear, geometry misalignment and suspension component wear.  A higher mileage but well maintained car should have paperwork to support replacement suspension parts, otherwise factor in £1,500+ for undertaking a bit of an overhaul yourself; you want your Cayman to display the handling characteristics it is legendary for. 


Again, the GenII Cayman S bodywork is a fully galvanised steel affair and shouldn’t suffer from corrosion, if you see a car with any signs then walk away.  It is not uncommon on these cars, indeed most Porsches, for the front bumper and bonnet to have been re-sprayed to rectify the numerous stone chips that the cars pick up over their life.   This in itself is not a problem unless the work has been undertaken to a poor standard, check the leading door shuts, around the black plastic trim under the bonnet and wheel arches for overspray and poor fitting plastics. 

Whilst inspecting any front end paintwork, also ensure the front radiators and condensers are free of debris, are not visibly damaged or leaking. 


The GenII Cayman S interior upgrades whilst subtle actually produced a more modern feeling cabin than the Gen1 cars look today.  Most of the changes were the removal of the nasty grey coloured plastics and replaced with a plain black scheme, mainly on the centre console.  Updated steering wheels, gear shifters and a few other interior tweeks culminate in a cabin that still feels relatively modern and a nice place to be.

Obviously wear and tear is the same, generally it will take mileage quite well but as always the seat bolsters are the normal area where you would expect to see wear and they are the not toughest of leather so don’t be surprised to see signs of wear on a car with 50k miles or even less. 

Check equipment levels in the cabin, importantly understanding the difference between the lesser spec air conditioning and more desirable climate control.  



The GenII Cayman Satnav (PCM) is a much improved system, and with the introduction of the PCM3 provided far more integration with modern tech such as smart phones, USB hard drives etc.  It still holds it’s own today and feels perfectly usable.


Many owners will consider an upgraded exhaust to improve the rather benign sound of the stock Cayman, retrospectively upgrading to the Porsche Sports Exhaust is rather costly so many owners have gone the route of a Carnewal upgrade. Gert Carnewal is based in Belgium and is very well known in Porsche circles with very good feedback from his service and the work he does. The Carnewal GT exhaust gives a much more sporting note at high revs and deeper tone at idle, and importantly not introducing any notable boom during normal driving.







[1] As of November 2015




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