Quick Spin: TPCRacing Cayman S Turbo picks up where Porsche left off  

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When Porsche introduced the Cayman in 2006, one thing was abundantly clear: Porsche had muzzled its midship coupe to prevent cannibalizing 911 sales. Despite a more favorable weight distribution and an unflappable chassis, the Cayman lacked the power to exploit its excellent underpinnings, even in "S" guise. So like its Boxster sibling, the Cayman was destined to play second fiddle to Porsche's iconic rear-engine flagship. From a business perspective, Porsche's decision made sense. For enthusiasts, it was yet another bitter pill from Zuffenhausen.

Levitas began producing race cars back in the late Eightes, and over the course of the next decade and a half he managed the turbocharger programs for the Nissan 300ZX, Mazda RX7, Lotus Esprit and Consulier GTPs in the IMSA Supercar Series. Mike's background and advanced aeronautical training eventually led him to build some of the best Porsche race cars around. Porsche Club racing, Motorola Cup action, and a brief dip into Mercedes sedans eventually led him to the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.

The result is the TPCRacing Cayman S Turbo Kit. Producing around 485 horsepower, it's packing more ponies than – until recently – nearly any vehicle in Porsche's lineup, save the GT2. And that's only with 5.5-pounds of boost. With such a low amount of pressure, the turbo kit puts barely any additional stress on the stock internals of the 3.4-liter flat-six.

TPCRacing sells its Cayman Turbo Kit (with intercooler) for a buck less than ten grand. It includes nearly everything needed for installation: a cat-back exhaust, turbocharger, liquid-to-air intercooler, new intake plenum, all brackets/plumbing/fitting/hardware/clamps, upgraded injectors and custom silicone piping. The ECU needs to be shipped to TPC for reprogramming, but anyone with a fair amount of mechanical aptitude can do the installation. The total tab for our tester was about $12,000 according to the owner. Of course, he also went nuts with suspension, brakes, wheels, tires and body mods that more than doubled that figure.

We got a chance to sample the full-on intercooled turbo kit and, needless to say, it's like no Cayman we've met before. It's a mid-engine Jekyll and Hyde. In normal commuter duty the TPC drives exactly like any other Cayman on the road. That's to say it has near perfect handling, with some of the best brakes and most precise steering ever engineered into a road-going vehicle. But dip into that throttle a bit deeper and... whoosh! As if a giant hand dropped down from the sky and gave you a gentle shove, you're hurtled along into extra-legal speeds in seconds.
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