Porsche Boxster/Cayman

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Porsche Boxster
Porsche Cayman
Porsche 718
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Porsche 718 Boxster (982)
Autostadt Porsche 1.jpg
Porsche 718 Cayman (982)
Overview
Manufacturer Porsche
Also called Porsche Boxster
Porsche Cayman
Porsche 718 Boxster
Porsche 718 Cayman
Production 1996–present
Model years 1997–present
Assembly
Body and chassis
Class Sports car (S)
Layout RMR layout
Related
Chronology
Predecessor Porsche 968

The Porsche Boxster and Porsche Cayman are mid-engined two-seater sports cars built by Porsche. There have been four generations; the first generation Boxster, a 2-door, 2-seater roadster was released in 1996. The Cayman, a 2-door, 2-seater fastback coupé based on the second generation Boxster went on sale in late 2005. A third generation was released in 2012, and since the fourth generation of 2016, the two models have been marketed jointly as the Porsche 718 Boxster and Porsche 718 Cayman.

Overview[edit]

Boxster[edit]

The Porsche Boxster is a mid-engined two-seater roadster. It was Porsche's first road vehicle to be originally designed as a roadster since the 550 Spyder. The first-generation Boxster (the 986) was introduced in late 1996; it was powered by a 2.5-litre flat six-cylinder engine. The design was heavily influenced by the 1992 Boxster Concept. In 2000, the base model was upgraded to a 2.7-litre engine and the new Boxster S variant was introduced with a 3.2-litre engine. In 2003, styling and engine output was upgraded on both variants.

Production of the 986 began at the former Porsche 928 facility in Stuttgart, Germany in 1996. Valmet Automotive also manufactured Boxsters under contract to Porsche at a facility in Uusikaupunki, Finland. The Boxster was Porsche's biggest volume seller from its introduction in 1996 until the company introduced the Cayenne sport utility vehicle in 2003. As of September 2012, additional production of the 981 started at the former Karmann-factory in Osnabrück.[2]

In 2005, Porsche unveiled the second generation of Boxster: the type 987. The 987 is more powerful than its predecessor and featured styling inspired by the Carrera GT. Engine output increased in 2007, when both Boxster models received the engines from their corresponding Porsche Cayman variants. In 2009, the Boxster models received several new cosmetic and mechanical upgrades, further increasing engine output and performance. The third generation Boxster (type 981) was launched at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

The Boxster's name is derived from the word "boxer", referring to the vehicle's flat or "boxer" engine, and the word "roadster", referring to the vehicle's two-seater capacity and convertible top.

Cayman[edit]

First launched in the 2006 model year, the Cayman is a coupé derived from Porsche's second and third generation Boxster roadster. The designer of the first generation of Porsche Cayman was Pinky Lai. Like the Boxster, most Caymans were assembled in Finland for Porsche by Valmet Automotive (the rest were assembled in Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart, Germany). Porsche's Deputy Chairman, Holger P. Haerter stated that the contract with Valmet Automotive will end in 2012, and the Cayman's production was to be outsourced to Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.[3] However, as Volkswagen assumed control of Porsche AG, production of Caymans and Boxsters after 2012 began in the former Karmann plant in Osnabrück, Germany, which is now owned by Volkswagen and also used for production of the 2012 Golf (Mk6) convertible.[4]

Cayman is an alternative spelling of caiman, a reptile in the same family as the alligator. The car is not named after the Cayman Islands; rather the islands also derive their name from the caiman. When the first Caymans arrived at dealerships for sale, the automaker adopted four caimans at Stuttgart's Wilhelma Zoo.[5]

Porsche brought an infringement lawsuit in 2009 against Crocs, the maker of the popular rubber shoes. At issue was the footwear company's clog name also called Cayman. An injunction was granted against Crocs Europe, a division of the Longmont, Colorado-based shoe company preventing their use in Germany of the Cayman name.[6]

718[edit]

Introduced in 2016 for the 2017 model year, the Porsche Boxster and Cayman were renamed the Porsche 718 Boxster and Porsche 718 Cayman, reviving the historic 718 moniker while switching engines from naturally-aspirated flat sixes to small-displacement flat-four turbocharged units. The new 718 Cayman was also repositioned with an entry price lower than that of the 718 Boxster, in keeping with Porsche's higher pricing for roadster models.[7]

First generation: Boxster (986) (1996–2004)[edit]

The 1993 Porsche Boxster concept, prior to the production model. Notice the different side air intake.
2002 Porsche Boxster (986)

Grant Larson's design, inspired by the 356 Cabriolet, Speedster, and 550 Spyder, stimulated a commercial turnaround for Porsche. Through consultation with Toyota, Porsche began widely sharing parts among models and slashed costs.[8] Many believe the introduction of the Boxster helped save Porsche from acquisition.

By October 1991 following a visit to the Tokyo Motor Show, Porsche in dire straits, began to devise solutions to succeed the poor selling 928 and incoming 968 (a heavy update of 944). In February 1992, Porsche began development of a successor to the 928 (mildly updated for 1992) and recently released 968. By June 1992, out of 4 proposals based on dual collaboration between 986 and 996 (993 successor) design teams, a proposal by Grant Larson and Pinky Lai was chosen by Harm Lagaay. In August 1992, a decision was made to develop the concept into a show vehicle, in time for the 1993 North American International Auto Show. After garnering widespread acclaim from the press and public upon presentation of the Boxster Concept in January 1993, the final production 986 production exterior design by Larson was frozen in March 1993. However, by the second half of 1993, difficulties arose with fitment of some components, resulting in lengthening of the hood and requiring another design freeze by fourth quarter of that year. Prototypes in 968 bodies were built to test mid-engine power train of the 986 by the end of 1993, with proper prototypes surfacing in 1994. Pilot production began in the second half of 1995, ahead of series production in mid-1996.

The Boxster was released ahead of its big brother, the 996. The 986 Boxster had the same bonnet, front wings, headlights, interior and engine architecture as the 996.

All 986 and 987 Boxsters use the M96, a water-cooled, horizontally opposed ("flat"), six-cylinder engine. It was Porsche's first water-cooled non-front engine. In the Boxster, it is placed mid-engine, while in the 911, rear-engine. The flat, mid-engine layout provides a low center of gravity, near-perfect weight distribution, and neutral handling. The engines had a number of failures, resulting in cracked or slipped cylinder liners, which were resolved by a minor redesign and better control of the casting process in late 1999. A failure for these early engines was a spate of porous engine blocks, as the manufacturer had difficulty in the casting process. In addition to causing problems with coolant and oil systems mingling fluids, it also resulted in Porsche's decision to repair faulty engines by boring out the cast sleeves on the cylinders where defects were noted in production and inserting new sleeves rather than scrapping the engine block. Normally, the cylinder walls are cast at the same time as the rest of the engine, this being the reason for adopting the casting technology.

The model received a minor facelift in 2002. The plastic rear window was replaced by a smaller glass window. The interior received a glove compartment, new electro-mechanical hood and trunk release mechanism (with an electronic emergency release in the fuse box panel) and an updated steering wheel. Porsche installed a reworked exhaust pipe and air intake. In addition, the front headlight's amber indicators were replaced with clear indicators. The rear light cluster was also changed with translucent grey turn signals replacing the amber ones. The side marker lights on the front wings were changed as well from amber to clear, except on American market cars where they remained amber. The bumpers were also changed slightly for a more defined, chiselled appearance, and new wheel designs were made available.

Second generation: Boxster/Cayman (987) (2005–2012)[edit]

Porsche Boxster (987)
Porsche Cayman S coupe
Porsche Design Edition 2

The second generation of the Boxster made its debut at the 2004 Paris Motor Show alongside the new 911 (997) and became available in 2005.

In appearance the car remains very similar to the previous generation. The most obvious styling changes are the headlights, larger side intake vents and enlarged wheel arches to allow wheels up to 19 inches in diameter. The most significant updates from the 986 series are in the interior, with a more prominent circular theme evident in the instrument cluster and cooling vents. The base engine is a 2.7L 176 kW (239 PS; 236 bhp) flat-six boxer engine, with the Boxster S getting a 3.2L 206 kW (280 PS; 276 bhp) engine. For 2007 the base Boxster received a revised engine featuring VarioCam Plus, the Boxster S engine was upgraded from 3.2L to 3.4L. These upgrades made the Boxster series and the Cayman series equivalent in terms of power.

The Cayman S fastback coupé (987c) was first unveiled and went on sale in late 2005. The base Cayman followed in July 2006.

Both the Cayman and second generation Boxster roadster share the same mid-engined platform and many components, including the front fenders and trunk lid, doors, headlights, taillights, and forward portion of the interior. The design of the Cayman's body incorporates styling cues from classic Porsches; 356/1, the 550 Coupé and the 904 Coupé.[9][10] Unlike the Boxster, the Cayman has a hatchback for access to luggage areas on top of and in the back of the engine cover. The suspension design is fundamentally the same as that of the Boxster with revised settings due to the stiffer chassis with the car's fixed roof.

The Cayman S was powered by a 3.4-litre flat-six mated to a 6-speed manual transaxle, a 2.7-litre engine with 5-speed transmission was standard for the base model. An electronically controlled 5-speed automatic (Tiptronic) was also available on the S and non-S versions.

The Boxster and Boxster S models received a facelift in 2008. Changes included an increase in engine displacement to 2.9L for the Boxster, incorporation of Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) for the Boxster S. Both models now came standard with a new 6-speed manual gearbox and were available with a 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual clutch gearbox. Cosmetic changes included new head and tail lights, larger front air intakes with incorporated day time running lights, and an altered lower rear end flanked by twin diffusers.

A facelift of the Porsche Cayman followed in February 2009. As with the Boxster the base Cayman's engine displacement was increased from 2.9L while the Cayman S gained direct injection. Both the Cayman and Cayman S maintained a 7 kW (10 PS; 9 bhp) power advantage over their roadster sibling, the Boxster. A limited slip differential is now a factory option. [11][12]

Third generation: Boxster/Cayman (981) (2012-2016)[edit]

2015 Porsche Cayman GTS (981)
Porsche Boxster (981) rear

The third-generation Boxster was announced on 13 March 2012 at the Geneva Auto Show with sales starting early summer 2012. The new Boxster reflects the new design language from the 911 (991) and 918, and features new and revised engine and transmission specifications. Together with a new body, the type 981 Boxster features a new chassis; 40 per cent more torsionally rigid, the front track is 40mm wider, the rear 18mm wider and the wheelbase extended by 60mm, but with a small weight reduction of up to 35 kilograms (77 lb) compared to the previous type 987 Boxster.[13]

The standard Boxster is fitted with a new 2.7-litre flat-6 engine, and the Boxster S is fitted with the existing 3.4-litre engine but with revised performance. Both engines are equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox and an optional 7-speed reworked PDK. Both manual and automatic models are available with several technical options including Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and a Sport Chrono Package that includes active transmission mounts, and makes the PDK-equipped model even faster. Porsche claims that the new generation Boxster provides fuel savings of 15% over the outgoing model.

The range was expanded in March 2014 with the addition of the GTS derivative, with slightly altered front and rear bumpers and an additional 11 kW (15 PS; 15 bhp) from the 3.4-litre engine.[14] 206 kW (280 PS; 276 bhp) The second generation Cayman was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The production 981 was released as a 2014 model in the spring of 2013. The new car was available in both the standard trim with a 2.7 L engine, and in the S trim with a 3.4 L engine. Both versions are available with either a 6-speed manual or a dual-clutch 7-speed PDK transmission.

The 981 features upgrades including a new body, a longer wheelbase, a wider front track, and a redesigned interior that matches the firm's contemporary 911 models.

The new model gained acclaim in the motoring press as one of the best handling sports cars at any price, due to its-mid engine layout and driving dynamics. The Cayman S benefits from the same engine and running gear as Porsche's latest 3.4 L version of the 911. [15][16][17][18]

Fourth generation : 718 Boxster/Cayman (982) (2016-present)[edit]

Porsche 718 Boxster S

With the new 982-generation, the marketing designation of the Boxster and Cayman was changed to Porsche 718, a nod to Porsche's racing heritage that won the Targa Florio race in 1959 and 1960. Because the 718 Cayman / Boxster has lost two cylinders, going from a naturally aspirated flat-6 engine to a turbocharged flat-4 engine, the name is meant to evoke a racing series that was won by a light car that outmaneuvered the cars with more powerful engines.[19][20]

The timeline of the 718 release started in 2016, with first model availability scheduled for June . The 718 base featured two new horizontally-opposed flat-4 turbocharged engines at 2.0L and 2.5L displacement with increased torque and horsepower with lower fuel consumption. The S model turbocharger utilizes Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) technology.[21][22] Later, In October 2017 the GTS models were announced with their 2.5l engines upgraded to produce 361 bhp. The Boxster could reach 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, and the Cayman in 3.9 seconds.[23]

The exterior of the 718 Boxster and Cayman is very similar to the third generation, in fact more of an evolution than a redesign. The most notable changes are to the rear of the car, which now has a long black-trim bar across the rear connecting the two taillights. The headlights and bumper are also heavily reworked. On the sides, the mirrors have been redesigned, taking hue from the SportDesign mirrors on the GT3.

The interior remains very similar to the 981 Cayman / Boxster and the 991.2 generation of the Porsche 911. The main change is the new PCM 4.0 infotainment system, which replaces the PCM 3.1.[24] The steering wheel comes with a mode selector switch that includes a selection of Sports and Sports Plus driving modes, resulting in snappier throttle response at the cost of fuel efficiency. Overall, the most prominent design features of the 981 Cayman / Boxster remain, including large air induction ports on the side, and the prominent horizontal aluminum piece used for adding oil and coolant in the trunk.[25]

Despite the loss of two cylinders, the 718 Cayman / Boxster are mechanically superior to the 981 model. Acceleration is faster, and steering is improved.[26] The 718 Cayman was declared Motor Trend's 2nd best Drivers car in 2017, which praised the car's handling and throttle response. Giving the award, Miguel Cortina noted, "The suspension is just what you want to feel in a car like this—stiff, sporty, rigid. You get a very good sense of what is happening on the road."[27]

Motorsport[edit]

Boxster[edit]

A full race-spec Porsche Boxster 986
UK Race Boxster

Cayman[edit]

Porsche Cayman 981 SP GT4
Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport

Awards[edit]

The Boxster and Cayman received a number of international and regional awards:

Mechanical issues and lawsuit[edit]

The 986 Boxster as well as 987 Boxster and Cayman have been plagued by catastrophic engine failures.[54] Porsche settled a class-action lawsuit regarding the failures in 2013.[55]

Some Boxster models manufactured between 4 May 2001 and 21 February 2005 have suffered catastrophic engine failure due to a fault with the intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing, which has resulted in a class action lawsuit against Porsche Cars North America (referred to as Eisen v. Porsche Cars North America). A settlement was agreed in March 2013, subject to court approval. Other types of engine failure experienced in the Boxster are not addressed by this suit. Additionally, the issues are not limited to the model years covered in the suit, or to the Boxster; the Cayman and 911 share the same type of engine and are also affected. In fact, all model years of Boxster, Cayman and 911 manufactured between 1997 and 2008 (with the exception of the 996 and 997 turbo models) are subject to the now-notorious IMS bearing failure.

References[edit]

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  • "Cover featuring the 2010 Porsche Boxster. November 2007 issue of Road & Track

External links[edit]