Posted on December 27, 2016
John Gaydos | Performance Specialist
During my first couple months at Fabspeed, I spent countless hours studying and researching the ins and outs of our extensive product lines for the various makes and models we support. I also tried to get as much seat time as possible in our various shop cars, development cars, and with clients kind enough to let me go for spin with them. As time went on, I felt myself gravitating heavily toward Porsches as they came in and out of the shop. Before long, I took over the Planet 9 and Rennlist forums as a Fabspeed Ambassador and quickly fell in love with the Porsche community. I felt privileged and excited to work with members to fine tune their driving experience. Over time, my enthusiasm developed into an obsession.
After diving head first into the development process for our GT4 performance products and putting in a lot more seat time in our 2011 Boxster Spyder shop car, I realized I had to have a Cayman. Knowing I couldn't afford the price tag of a GT4 and loving the driver's connection of the 987.2 generation, I started doing some research and found the perfect P car for me...a 2012 Cayman R.
From day one of ownership I had plans to modify the R. My vision was to enhance all of the performance characteristics I loved about the 987.2 Cayman R without losing the refinement of the vehicle. Since the 987.2 Cayman R is already well appointed in the suspension department, I set my sights on the engine. My end goal was to piece together an all inclusive power suite similar to the GT450 package we offer for the GT4.
Phase 1: Race Headers, COBB Accessport, and Custom Protune
The factory headers on the Boxster/Caymans (regardless of generation) are the most popular exhaust/performance component to upgrade. There is good reason for this—the factory headers are quite restrictive. The primary tube design is small and misshapen, and that couple with the much denser cats of the factory system create a bottleneck versus our catless Race Headers and 200-cell HJS Sport Headers which have zero or very little restriction. I went with the Race Headers as I'm trying to maximize the performance potential of the car with a full package for sustained high RPM use at track events. For those concerned about a CEL from eliminating the catalytic converter, you can use our Catted O2 Spacers to reduce the possibility or a COBB Accessport with a Fabspeed Protune to shut off the CEL permanently while maximizing the power potential. In factory form, even with Sport Mode on and PSE activated, the 987.2 Cayman R felt rather lethargic and sluggish until about 4500 RPM where it finally started to wake up. On top of that, the R's sound didn't evoke much excitement to say the least. This all changed after the completion of Phase 1. Now the car pulls like a freight train from the moment you step on the gas and throughout the entire power band. The throttle response is immediate and crisp, such a pleasure to drive!
Phase 2: Valvetronic Exhaust System
With headers and a Fabspeed Protune, the next step was to free up the rest of the exhaust system. Our
987.2 Valvetronic Exhaust System was the obvious choice because of its amazing versatility between mild and aggressive tones. When running the car with the valves closed, the car sounds just like factory. With the valves open, it's hard to put into words into how amazing it sounds. Decibel level is up significantly without being overbearing in any way. It's beautiful and throaty in the lower RPM end, but as the revs climb to 4,000, you're greeted with a refined, exotic wail that makes your heart skip a beat. On deceleration, burbles and backfires erupt in abundance, and downshifts summon an intoxicating bark! Just listen to this flyby:
We used fully polished T304L stainless steel tubing that's beautifully welded for maximum power and durability while saving you 13lbs from the factory rear muffler system (non PSE). The end result is a work of art —what a shame to have it hidden underneath the car.
I chose to finish off our ultimate catback exhaust system with the ultimate tips. Our authentic matte Carbon Fiber tips fit the R rear bumper like a finely tailored suit and gives the back end a very premium look.
Most pertinent to my 987.2 performance package goal, our Valvetronic Exhaust System extracted 8 whp and 5 ft-lbs of torque peak power gains over the factory Cayman R PSE in conjunction with our Race Headers and Protune from Phase 1. Take a look at my R's dyno sheet from our in-house Dynojet below!
It’s been an amazing learning experience developing the perfect performance exhaust for the 987.2 Boxster / Cayman and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The Fabspeed Porsche 987.2 Boxster / Cayman Valvetronic Exhaust System is the culmination of my passion, exhaustive R&D and Fabspeed’s commitment to excellence. For more info, pictures and videos, visit the product page HERE.
I cannot fully express how much these performance modifications transformed my car—the end result is truly greater then the sum of their parts. This setup is something I think every Porsche enthusiast should experience, so I extend an open invitation for anyone considering modifications to come by for a scheduled ride along...you won't be disappointed!