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What’s going on with the 987.2 Porsche Cayman market?

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Article by Rob Sass
Photos courtesy Porsche

If you’re reading this, you probably know what makes the 987.2 Cayman (and Boxster) such desirable cars. After the 12-model-year, slow-motion train wreck that was the intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing debacle, the 2009 MY Porsche sports cars were the first to do away with the somewhat fragile sealed ball bearings — by getting rid of the intermediate shaft. The facelifted 987.2 cars also brought with them two important things that remain with us in the form of direct fuel injection (DFI) in the S model, and the brilliant Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All of these things combined with a curb weight of just 2,954 pounds and a solid reputation for reliability perhaps makes the 987.2 Cayman the absolute sweet-spot of modern Porsche coupes. The market seems to agree with this assessment.

Above: 987.2 Cayman (left) and Cayman S.

Bargains in the 987.2 world are few and far between. It’s a simple function of supply and demand. The car was launched during the worst economic slowdown since 1929. Not a good time for Porsche sales, so there are fewer 2009-2012 cars around. And since this is far from the first thing written about how good these cars were, demand is robust. As a result, they seem to have hit the bottom of their depreciation curves in near-record time. While prices might continue to settle a bit purely as a function of mileage going up, for the most part, prices have remained at a remarkably high-level, buoyed at least in part by the perception that the four-cylinder 718 that followed wasn’t as desirable, even though it was a better performer in every metric.

Sub-$30,000 cars are fairly rare. For that money, you’ll be looking at base cars, and mostly PDKs with higher miles. The performance and horsepower difference between base and S isn’t insignificant (a half-a-liter in displacement and 55 more horsepower isn’t anything to sneeze about), and you certainly pay for it, around another $10,000 or so. Interestingly, the price delta between a 987.2 Cayman S and a base 997.2 Carrera is quite small. We’re seeing high-thirties to even low-forties for low-mileage, well-optioned cars in unusual colors. Cayman Rs bring fifties and sixties. PDK was such a massive leap forward in gearbox technology that 987.2 manuals are somewhat difficult to find. Again, be prepared to pay a hefty three-pedal tax if that’s what you want.

Above: Cayman S.

Lightly used Porsches have always been cars that you can buy, drive, and enjoy for a few years, while losing little to no money. The 987.2 Cayman/Boxster might be one of the best illustrations of this truism to date.

Above: Cayman R.

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