The Porsche Cayman is a mid-engined, rear wheel drive 2-seat sports car produced launched in the 2006 model year. The Cayman is the coupé version of Porsche's second generation Boxster convertible. Like the Boxster, the Cayman is assembled in Finland for Porsche by Valmet Automotive. After two years of development, the first model of the coupé to be released was the Cayman S (type 987.120). Photographs and technical details were released in May of 2005, but the public unveiling did not take place until the September Frankfurt Motor Show. The S suffix (an acronym for Special) indicated that this was a higher performance version of a then unreleased normal model. That model, the Cayman (987.110), went on sale in July of 2006.
The performance of the Cayman S approaches that of Porsche's flagship sports car, the 911 Carrera. Rally legend Walter Röhrl lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife track in a Cayman S equipped with optional 19" wheels, PCCB, and PASM in a time of 8 minutes, 11 seconds. The time for a standard Cayman S, as published by the manufacturer, was 8 minutes, 20 seconds. In contrast, Röhrl recorded 8 minutes, 15 seconds in a 911 Carrera. The similarity in performance between the two cars has led to speculation about whether the Cayman S will cannibalize sales of the Carrera, as the basic Carrera's recommended retail price in the United States is $12,400 higher than that of the Cayman S.
A Cayman prepared and run by privateers Jürgen and Uwe Alzen finished fourth overall (of 220 entrants) in the 2007 Nürburgring 24 Hour race, ahead of two flagship Porsche 997 GT3 RSR's, a 997 GT3 Cup, and a 996 GT3 Cup. Another two privateer Caymans, entered by CSR and MSpeed, finished 22nd and 117th overall, respectively. Porsche disclaims support for the Cayman teams, while supporting some or all of the 997 teams.
A sports car feature which is not offered by Porsche for the Cayman is limited slip differential (LSD). Some commentators have speculated that LSD is not offered, even as an option, because the Cayman S's performance would then be too close to that of the 911 Carrera. Several tuning companies offer Cayman buyers the ability to retrofit a LSD.