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Cayman RS? Really?

2009-04-20 11:49
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Porsche
Model Autofarm RS
Engine 3.7l, flat six
Power 270kW @ 6 440r/min
Torque 400Nm @ 6 230r/min
Transmission Six-speed
Tired of your Cayman suffering from middle-child syndrome? A British Porsche specialist will tweak your Cayman to 911 GT3 (997) pace.

You know the deal regarding Porsche’s Cayman. It had to be good, but not too good. Quick, but not quicker than the venerable 911, the perennial Porsche range underachiever if you will.

The mid-engined layout renders superb handling dynamics, and has had Cayman owners cursing Porsche’s 911 favouritism for years now. Why could they not have more power? Where was their limited-slip differential?

Despite Porsche having spruced up the twin mid-engined cars late last year (Boxster/Cayman got better efficiency and PDK transmissions) hardcore Cayman owners still wanted a performance version capable of thoroughly humbling 911s.

Wheels are a bit Oriental aftermarket to our tastes, colour scheme is ace though, with red and black contrasting strongly. Bespoke Brembo stoppers optional.

Farmer knows best?

Enter Oxfordshire based Autofarm. Granted the name is a bit agricultural, but the company has been around since 1973, tinkering and servicing Porsches.

Autofarm’s take on the Cayman conundrum is called the RS (rather unoriginally) and in authentic Porsche RS fashion, features a carbon-fibre bonnet and rear hatch and polycarbonate (plastic) rear window.

Autofarm customers have option on a Quaife limited-slip differential and H&R coil springs with anti-roll bars too - lowering the RS by 35mm. This improves traction (especially) and handling (negligibly).

Plenty of tasty carbon-fibre bits do their bit to melt away the total mass and add some requisite streetcred.

Big-bore flat six

At the heart of the Autofarm RS kit is a significant engine upgrade. Employing a big-bore kit, Autofarm have raised the 3.4l standard flat-six engine’s capacity to 3.7l.

Schrick cams, a revised induction manifold partnered by free-flow catalytic converters and the Milltek performance exhaust, are all orchestrated by a dexterously reprogrammed ECU unit to deliver 270kW. Considering a factory Cayman S produces 235kW, the power hike is hardly insignificant.

Swept capacity goes from 3.4l to 3.7l. Custom headers and exhaust are part of the engineering solution to improve air-flow. No-turbo lag to worry about either.

Rotational force peaks at 400Nm, and considering the naturally aspirated nature of the conversion, power delivery promises to be as linear as possible. The new flywheel is nearly half the weight of a standard 12kg Cayman S unit, at only 5.6kg, which should ensure very keen engine speed pick-up.

Transferring the power through to the rear-wheels is a Sachs performance clutch (which might inhibit traffic driveability a bit) and a short-shift gear linkage kit for lighting quick ratio engagement.

Not cheap

All things considering Autofarm’s Cayman RS is an exquisitely crafted option for Cayman owners desperately seeking the ultimate Cayman.

Considering the mechanic unfriendly mid-engined layout, and level of engineering required, it’s hardly cheap though. All-in, with the full-house bodywork, wheels and drivetrain conversion, it totals up at £36 000.

Point is though, you cannot source a GT3 engine and fit it to the Cayman anyhow - thanks to convergence issues between the rear-mounted and mid-mounted engine and gearbox configurations.

Autofarm’s RS fills a neat little niche until the vaunted factory Cayman Clubsport arrives towards the end of this year then – sporting a limited-slip diff, plastic rear window and an untouched 3.4l engine.

Our only reservation are the Volk alloy wheels, not for reasons of aesthetics, but heritage. They are of Japanese origin and a favourite of the Skyline and Z-car modifying crowd you know…


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