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Techart-Porsche Cayman GT long-term test: tuner premiere with convincing result

Rossen Gargolov
Long-term test Techart-Porsche Cayman GT
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E it was a sentimental farewell: Exactly 502 days spent the Porsche Cayman S refined by tuner Techart at the sport auto editorial team. After 63,498 kilometers, the day came when it was time to say goodbye - the Techart had to go back to the care of his technical fathers in Leonberg, not far from Stuttgart. With its somewhat rough but cordial manner (in terms of comfort) and its clear pronunciation (in terms of the exhaust sound), the tuned Cayman S was very dear to many in the editorial team.

A tuned Porsche in a long-distance test

After almost one and a half years, an experiment ended that, at least in German-speaking countries, had not yet dared: A tuned Porsche has never been a guest in a long-distance test. Anyone who dares to do this must have a lot of confidence in the quality of their work. The men around Techart managing director Thomas Behringer showed cutting ability when they accepted the endurance test - and were rewarded. Because to say it right from the start: The reliability, or to put it correctly in linguistic terms: a possible lack of it, was not an issue for the test item, which cost 104,590 euros.

OEM quality is our basic principle

Only once did the Cayman have to make an unscheduled visit to the workshop - because of a triviality. At a mileage of 15,000, an uneven idling caused annoyance. A defective spark plug was revealed to be the cause. The beautiful black boy from Leonberg underlined the Techart company slogan in bold and bold: 'OEM quality is our basic principle.' The Cayman also cut a splendid figure in the parking lot: the Techart Aerokit I for 4,500 euros made the mid-engined sports car look much more serious and masculine. The optical hormonal treatment consists of rather discreetly shaped side skirts, a grimly designed front section with a front lip that sniffs deep above the floor for curbs and a dashing mini-wing at the rear, which replaces the standard, electric motor-driven downforce.

Thanks to shorter springs, the hem of the car slides down 25 millimeters. The generous 20-inch tires ensure a very pleasing rounding of the look. At 5,676 euros, the upgrade to the 235/30 ZR 20 (front) and 305/25 ZR 20 (rear) soles isn't cheap either. You buy the lower ground clearanceby a smaller spring deflection, which in turn results in a tighter characteristic curve of the springs. This is a truism. Sports editor Marcus Schurig described how this works in practice: 'The chassis is clearly pronounced.' He added humorously: 'A bump is a bump, and this message gets through to the driver.' The cast-iron and die-hard faction delighted in the concrete-like coarseness of springs and dampers. More tender tempers reprimanded exactly this. The Techart Cayman is particularly stubborn when it comes to transverse joints.

Hockenheim lap time: 1.14.9 minutes

Compared to its supple, springy cousin from the series, the tuned man is quite a rough leg. But when it comes to visits to the racetrack and the small circuit in Hockenheim, the tough coordination is very beneficial. In the limit area it is no longer so easy to control because of the pointed but higher limit area, but the lap time is right: the 2008 version manages a remarkable 1.14.9 minutes on a 19-inch Michelin.

The tuned Cayman arouses associations with a famous Porsche that made its debut around 20 years ago: The 911 Carrera Clubsport was just as dominant in terms of chassis as the Techart Cayman - and that's why it found many friends. A straight line like being pulled on a string - you shouldn't expect that from either the 911 youngtimer or the Techart. Both are a bit fidgety, especially when the speedometer shows significantly more than 200 km /h. If there are also longitudinal grooves, the brisk driving is a bit reminiscent of crocodile wrestling. So it is a good thing that the thick bulge of the Techart flounce is very conducive to courageous gripping.

Whether the ultra-wide 20 mm tires are a must from a driving dynamics point of view remained a hotly debated topic in the editorial office even after more than 60,000 kilometers. A comparison test with the 19-inch option, which is also available, produced interesting results. With the smaller tires, the Techart Cayman was exactly 1.8 seconds faster. However, this is less due to the format than to the respective make. The 20-inch tires from Conti offer noticeably less grip than the 19-inch tires from Michelin. On the other hand, the limit area of ​​the 20-inch tires from Hanover is significantly wider. On the other hand, the Cayman S turns much more spontaneously on the 19-inch Michelin soles.

The bottom line is a clear recommendation: apart from the bold look, there is not much to be said for the mega tires. But whether it is 19 or 20 inches, 295 millimeters or even 305 millimeters wide on the rear axle: when it rains, a quick ride in the tuning Cayman is not a pure pleasure. Because the extremely wide rear wheels do not run completely in the fords drawn by the 235 millimeter wide front wheels, aquaplaning can start on the rear axleoccur. Even experienced drivers find this extremely unsettling and lead to a defensive driving style on a wet track from now on and also like to get into the tatzelwurm of the many 40-tonne trucks in the right lane.

The Techart-Porsche Cayman polarized

The Techart-Cayman polarized. Those who liked him did not want to get out: he was 'burschikos' and 'thoroughly honest', they said. The self-steering behavior is free from pitfalls - not necessarily a matter of course for a mid-engine sports car. However, this only applies if the ESP anti-skid program mentioned at Porsche PSM is activated. Anyone who switches off this driving aid should know that the rear can easily go into an unstable state. And he should also know what to do if he suddenly has to take off the accelerator in a quickly measured curve. Since the competent execution of such complex maneuvers is only very few steering wheel artists in the cradle, the clear recommendation applies in public road traffic: PSM on!

There was unanimity in assessing the sound quality. They agreed on the formula 'a real ear flatterer'. The Porsche-typical angry boxer barking from the exhaust tailpipes is excellently accompanied by the second voice from the intake: A new airbox and the sports intake system make the first of four work cycles, the intake, very easy to hear. In combination with modified electronics, these measures provide an increase of 25 hp. The 3.4-liter engine in the Cayman S long-term test increased from 295 to 320 hp. Bad luck for Techart: Since the last facelift in summer 2008, the standard Cayman S also offers 320 hp.

At the end of the test car looks like it did on the first day

At the final measurement, the test car was as fresh as on the first day: He caught the mark in 19.5 seconds. The three tenths of a second that he needed longer compared to the initial measurement can confidently be ticked off as weather-related. The petrol consumption is very positive: 12.7 liters on average, which is a favorable value in view of the high performance and the mostly research pace.

Despite its fabulous reliability, low consumption and, at 30,000 kilometers, the very long inspection intervals: The pleasure of driving a Techart Cayman is not exactly a bargain suspect. This is due to the high prices for the extremely wide tires as well as the hefty sums for acquisition (basic price 2008: 60,043 euros plus extras worth 12,060 euros) and finishing at Techart for 32,487 euros. So it's not exactly cheap, the tuned Porsche. But worth the price.


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