follow ft86club on our blog, twitter or facebook.
FT86CLUB
Ft86Club
Speed By Design
Register Garage Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   Toyota 86 / Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ Forum - FT86CLUB > FT86CLUB Shared Forum > FR-S / BRZ vs....

FR-S / BRZ vs.... Area to discuss the FR-S/BRZ against its competitors [NO STREET RACING]


User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-25-2020, 11:12 PM   #1
ZDan
Senior Member
 
ZDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Drives: '17 BRZ PP, '11 Cayman
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 2,350
Thanks: 280
Thanked 1,414 Times in 819 Posts
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
'17 BRZ PP vs. '11 Cayman 2.9

Always had major hankering for the Cayman, so I bought a 6-speed 2.9 987.2 Cayman a little over a year ago to compare vs. my BRZ, to be sure I bought the right car Idea being to drive both on the street and at the track over the course of the year and then keep one/sell one.

I had to fly from RI to AZ as 987s with my two must-have options, sport seats and limited slip, are pretty rare.

Anyway, after a year here are my thoughts:

Cayman pros vs. BRZ:
Much stiffer and more solid-feeling unibody.
Less road and wind noise, better for long road trips.
Better suspension: more low-speed rebound damping = good for handling feel under braking/cornering/accelerating, while less high-speed compression damping is less harsh over sharp impacts.
Sport seats hug me just right, all-leather > leather/alcantara, BRZ seat bottom feels hard and flat in comparison, Porsche sport seats more comfortable while at the same time holding me in at the track as well or slightly better.
More power and more torque, without torque dip.
Flat-6 engine sound (with Borla catback) sweeeter than flat-4
Much faster at most tracks! More so than power/weight would suggest, even. 2-3 seconds most tracks (but only 0.4 seconds at Thompson!).
Puts power down much better out of low-speed corners.
Being able to see tire pressures in real time is very very nice!

Cayman cons vs. BRZ:
Steering is slow but heavy. Too much caster! Feel is no better than BRZ's EPS in my opinion. And there's a surprising amount of kickback over bumps.
Standard steering wheel is also too big in diameter and rim a bit thin. All this combines to make the Cayman steering feel kinda bus-like. Slower, heavier, less responsive, but more intrusive over bumps. Interestingly, at the track it's less of an issue, but still I like the BRZ's steering feel, quickness, and steering wheel a lot better.
Shift feel is more vague and less precise. And the factory shift knob is so chintzy looking and feeling I just had to replace it. I'm fine with the factory BRZ shift knob...
Sport Chrono stopwatch/laptimer feature is hard to use to the point of being utterly useless. BRZ stopwatch/laptimer is super intuitive and easy to use.
Window switches are awkward, and feel is not good. BRZ switches are easy/intuitive and the feel is a lot better.
Ditto for climate temperature and fan speed rocker switches. BRZ rotary knobs are better in terms of look, ergonomics, and feel.
The Cayman feels heavy relative to the BRZ, a bit more so than ~3050 lb vs. ~2800 lb. would suggest. Cayman feels heavier than its weight, while the BRZ feels lighter.
Brake feel is not that great at the track. I bled them repeatedly but the Brembos on the Cayman always felt a little soft compared to those on the BRZ PP.
Fuel mileage is not good, 5 or more mpg less than BRZ and much worse than expected given the tall gearing. Speaking of which...
Cayman is geared kinda tall. This is a minor point for me, really. If it paid off in decent mpg, fine, but it doesn't.

In the end, I found the BRZ to be the more immediately fun and engaging car to drive every day, while being just as much fun to drive at the track (albeit slower). The Cayman is also a lot of fun at the track, very engaging and honestly easier to throw around than I expected. But in the real world at less than, say, 7/10ths it feels kind of aloof and again the steering is slow and heavy and less go-kart-like.

So I kept the BRZ
ZDan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to ZDan For This Useful Post:
bcj (03-26-2020), BlueWhelan (03-26-2020), dhuang (03-26-2020), Dirty Harry (03-28-2020), JesseG (03-27-2020), NLSP (03-27-2020), Pat (03-26-2020), Petah78 (03-26-2020), Spuds (03-26-2020), venturaII (03-27-2020), WolfpackS2k (03-26-2020)
Old 03-25-2020, 11:38 PM   #2
ZDan
Senior Member
 
ZDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Drives: '17 BRZ PP, '11 Cayman
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 2,350
Thanks: 280
Thanked 1,414 Times in 819 Posts
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
cayman in the rain at Mont Tremblant, brz at Palmer (MA)
Attached Images
  
ZDan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to ZDan For This Useful Post:
JesseG (03-27-2020), new2subaru (03-26-2020), tobin (03-26-2020), WolfpackS2k (03-26-2020)
Old 03-25-2020, 11:54 PM   #3
Yoshoobaroo
BuffaloChicken Torque Dip
 
Yoshoobaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Drives: 2013 BRZ
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,527
Thanks: 720
Thanked 1,135 Times in 616 Posts
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Garage
Damn. Iíve been contemplating this upgrade (sidegrade?) for a few months now, I just havenít found one to drive and evaluate against my BRZ.

987.2 2.9 with lsd, you nailed the spec. Thatís the best shot the cayman has. Great to know our twins hold their own!
I always suspected the Porsche would be faster, but also more serious.

Great comparison, very helpful for those of us exploring other options!
Yoshoobaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Yoshoobaroo For This Useful Post:
JesseG (03-27-2020)
Old 03-26-2020, 12:17 AM   #4
BlueWhelan
Senior Member
 
BlueWhelan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Drives: 2013 Blue Subaru BRZ. 6 Spd manual
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
Posts: 114
Thanks: 69
Thanked 66 Times in 48 Posts
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Great comparison/experiment! Thanks for sharing!

My old roommate has a 987.2 boxster and I feel my BRZ is more playful and more enjoyable. I prefer it. However, the sound it makes....ooooooo I want.

That said, I also drove a 981 Cayman on a twisty road, and at the time I swore to myself I would have one at some point. It was (5?) years ago now, so I don't really remember any details about how it felt, but I do remember coming away from the experience with "the fiz" and an insatiable desire to own one.

Maybe you should re-do the experiment with a 981 and report back.
BlueWhelan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 02:06 AM   #5
nikitopo
Senior Member
 
nikitopo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Drives: 2015 Subaru BRZ
Location: York
Posts: 2,842
Thanks: 1,724
Thanked 1,335 Times in 901 Posts
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZDan View Post

In the end, I found the BRZ to be the more immediately fun and engaging car to drive every day, while being just as much fun to drive at the track (albeit slower). The Cayman is also a lot of fun at the track, very engaging and honestly easier to throw around than I expected. But in the real world at less than, say, 7/10ths it feels kind of aloof and again the steering is slow and heavy and less go-kart-like.

So I kept the BRZ
I remember your old review. Nice to keep the BRZ.
nikitopo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 08:02 AM   #6
ZDan
Senior Member
 
ZDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Drives: '17 BRZ PP, '11 Cayman
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 2,350
Thanks: 280
Thanked 1,414 Times in 819 Posts
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWhelan View Post
Maybe you should re-do the experiment with a 981 and report back.
Yeah, about the 981...
I was annoyed with how much the 981 added so much visual bulk over the 987. And with the 1" bigger diameter wheels and tires (same widths), apparently to compensate for the added bulk. The 987 looks sooo much more sculpted and svelte and *smaller*. Which I love. Also, 981 is more $$$ so wasn't on my radar anyway.

But as it turns out, I drove a student's modded 981 Cayman S w/PDK at Watkins Glen and at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last year, and DAMN that car is sweet to drive, and FAST.

Side note: I *never* drive my student's cars, I prefer to take them out in my car during the instructor run groups to ensure they get maximum track time behind the wheel in the student run group. But he insisted despite my protests...

His mods were: headers, GT3 plenum and throttle body, Ohlins coilovers, GT3 control arms for camber, maybe a few other things. Very much still a STREET car, but these mods must have been *extremely* effective at the track!

Back to back vs. my 987.2 base, this car was SICK fast! Like 150mph at WGI vs. 130mph in my 2.9. Jeezis!
The PDK worked amazingly well. You can shift *anywhere*. Midcorner upshifts going up the esses were nothing at all. In my car I'd shortshift before entering to avoid upsetting the car. No heel/toe downshifting allows more consistent threshold braking. Upshifts are super-quick, manual upshifting at the track feels so SLOOOOWWW now...
The 981's electric steering is IMO quite a bit BETTER than the 987's hydraulic steering. It's a little quicker ratio, and honestly I liked the feel better! Partly may be down to the optional smaller-diameter steering wheel.
The 981 *looks* bigger and heavier, but if anything it feels smaller and lighter at the track. Go figure...

The only weird part was some "hunting around" at the limit under braking. I don't think I had the PSM (Porsche Stability Management?) all the way off and it was doing some brake distribution stuff I didn't like. It also limited braking force going into turn 3 at NHMS once and I had to take the escape route wormhole to the exit of 10...
I *think* that can be turned all the way off, or turned down more than we had it?

Anyway, in ~3 laps I did a 2:09.x at the Glen (vs. 2:14s in my 987), and a 1:13.x at NHMS chicane/chicane (vs. 1:15s in 987).
I would have won his time trial in the T70 class (COMSCC) by more than 2 seconds vs. very well-modded and *very* well-driven E36 M3 that won that competitive class last year.


Long/short: 981 Cayman S PDK is fricking sweet. I talked it up so much a friend and fellow COMSCC time trialist wound up selling his M3 and getting one!

I'd like to think a 987 Cayman S PDK would be a similarly good experience, but I'd worry a little more about older-gen PDK. If/when go Porsche again, it'll be a 981 I think...
ZDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 11:04 AM   #7
ZDan
Senior Member
 
ZDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Drives: '17 BRZ PP, '11 Cayman
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 2,350
Thanks: 280
Thanked 1,414 Times in 819 Posts
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Relevant info:
Early on I had to replace the manual transmission in my Cayman, at GREAT expense
Apparently the manuals are NOT bullet-proof. And I bought a manual specifically because of fear of PDK reliability. Still might have been the right choice as PDK replacement is vastly MORE expensive.

Anyway P-cars are IMO *not* better engineered or better-built vs. Japanese, I'd argue the opposite is true.

But in any case, that didn't factor into me keeping the BRZ over the Cayman. I took my lump and in fact made the car 100% more enjoyable to drive with updated factory cable routing and brand new GT-3 shift console mechanism, along with a decent aftermarket shift knob. Shift action was still not as good as the BRZ but it went from being utterly horrible to pretty damn OK, "good" even.

Also I should mention the minor, very similar mods to both cars, basically giving both of them some ~25%-40% stiffer springs and -3 front camber:
Swift BRZ Sport lowering springs and Raceseng cascam plates on the BRZ, 225 or 245 RE71R tires.
Factory Porsche PASM springs and GT-3 front control arms on the Cayman, 225/255 or 225/245 Yok A052 tires
ZDan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ZDan For This Useful Post:
JesseG (03-27-2020)
Old 03-26-2020, 11:46 AM   #8
WolfpackS2k
Senior Member
 
WolfpackS2k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Drives: '06 Cayman S, '92 DB2 GS-R
Location: NC
Posts: 2,272
Thanks: 2,049
Thanked 1,170 Times in 691 Posts
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Garage
Always appreciate the insights and reviews.

Regarding the transmission, I wonder if its different than the one in my 987.1S? Because I've heard from reputable parties that the manual transmission in the 987 is overbuilt and very strong.
__________________
'17 VW GTI Sport
'06 Porsche Cayman S

'13 SWP BRZ-L - Innovate Supercharged - RIP, claimed by VIR T10

'07 S2000 - DD & track rat - sold
'92 GS-R - 300k club member - sold
WolfpackS2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 12:10 PM   #9
ZDan
Senior Member
 
ZDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Drives: '17 BRZ PP, '11 Cayman
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 2,350
Thanks: 280
Thanked 1,414 Times in 819 Posts
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I think these transmissions are durable enough if shifts are precise. HOwever the piss-poor cable routing and erosion of shift console plastic bushings, combined with possibly poor ham-fisted 1-2 shifts by previous owner(s) I think contributed to damage to 2nd gear synchros. No rebuild parts available from Porsche of course I did have the option to have a knowledgable and experienced Porsche/Audi/VW transmission guy rebuild the trans, but ultimately decided to get a factory reman from Porsche. In the interests of 100% ensuring no latent issues remained and also mindful of vehicle value and making it a selling point as opposed to a "questionable half-assed repair" in the minds of potential buyers...

If yours isn't exhibiting symptoms you're probably fine. Mine occasionally would pop out of 2nd *only* after a 3-2 downshift. I thought it was me getting used to the cable shifter, but alas, no...
If shifting is kinda sloppy, I highly recommend going to the updated cables and routing, and possibly getting a new shift console. I went with the factory GT-3 one which has metal bushings instead of plastic.
The improvement in shifting precision and feel was DRAMATIC! Relative to other 987 manual cars I had tested as well as in my own car.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfpackS2k View Post
Always appreciate the insights and reviews.

Regarding the transmission, I wonder if its different than the one in my 987.1S? Because I've heard from reputable parties that the manual transmission in the 987 is overbuilt and very strong.
ZDan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ZDan For This Useful Post:
bcj (03-26-2020), WolfpackS2k (03-26-2020)
Old 03-26-2020, 12:43 PM   #10
DarkSunrise
Senior Member
 
DarkSunrise's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Drives: 13 FR-S
Location: USA
Posts: 5,081
Thanks: 1,336
Thanked 3,397 Times in 1,808 Posts
Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZDan View Post
The Cayman feels heavy relative to the BRZ, a bit more so than ~3050 lb vs. ~2800 lb. would suggest. Cayman feels heavier than its weight, while the BRZ feels lighter.
This is the part that surprised me most when comparing my 987.2 S vs my FRS. On paper the weight difference is only a few hundred pounds, but it felt more than that. I think the slower steering rack and low speed damping had a lot to do it, but the FR-S (even stock) has this playfulness about it. Anyway nice write-up. Miss mine from time to time...
__________________
Build Page
"I love this car. I think we wimped out when we didn't name it Best Driver's Car." -Randy Pobst on the BRZ
DarkSunrise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 01:21 PM   #11
nikitopo
Senior Member
 
nikitopo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Drives: 2015 Subaru BRZ
Location: York
Posts: 2,842
Thanks: 1,724
Thanked 1,335 Times in 901 Posts
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Don't forget guys that Porsche is focused somewhat more on straight-line stability at high speeds. Hence the slower steering feel and caster settings. What strikes more is not so much that BRZ compares relatively well with a 987, but the evolvement of recent 981 and 982 types. In such comparison BRZ is left much behind (base 982 compares similar to a 981S minus the sound) and shows its age.
nikitopo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 02:07 PM   #12
ZDan
Senior Member
 
ZDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Drives: '17 BRZ PP, '11 Cayman
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 2,350
Thanks: 280
Thanked 1,414 Times in 819 Posts
Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitopo View Post
Don't forget guys that Porsche is focused somewhat more on straight-line stability at high speeds. Hence the slower steering feel and caster settings.
I usually mention that Porsches are designed with continuous operation at 120mph+ on the autobahn. For sure the BRZ feels more twitchy on the highway at 80mph and you have to stay on top of it a bit more. For me I prefer to keep the quick steering though!
Caster, for me I've never liked a lot, always end up liking minimizing caster vs. maximizing. To me it doesn't make the car any more stable or communicative, my impression is I get more real feedback *feel* with less.

Quote:
What strikes more is not so much that BRZ compares relatively well with a 987, but the evolvement of recent 981 and 982 types. In such comparison BRZ is left much behind (base 982 compares similar to a 981S minus the sound) and shows its age.
I dunno, even vs. the well setup 981 I drove, I'd still prefer it if Porsche would build a mid-engine sports car more like the FT86 and less like the 911!

I don't think "age" has anything to do with it really. Lighter-weight is more fun
ZDan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to ZDan For This Useful Post:
Spuds (03-26-2020), WolfpackS2k (03-26-2020)
Old 03-26-2020, 02:21 PM   #13
Spuds
The Devil Incarnate
 
Spuds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Drives: '13 Red Scion FRS
Location: MD-ish, USA
Posts: 3,950
Thanks: 9,452
Thanked 3,609 Times in 2,077 Posts
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZDan View Post

I dunno, even vs. the well setup 981 I drove, I'd still prefer it if Porsche would build a mid-engine sports car more like the FT86 and less like the 911!
So original Boxster then? But, like, better?
Spuds is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2020, 02:34 PM   #14
TommyW
Senior Member
 
TommyW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Drives: '13 Whiteout
Location: San Clemente
Posts: 522
Thanks: 121
Thanked 378 Times in 208 Posts
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
A lot will come down to cost between the 86 and Cayman. Consumables, repair and maintenance. I love Caymans but I like the cost factor of the 86. The lightness and cost are IMO the selling points.
TommyW is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
twins vs last gen cayman? perryair FR-S / BRZ vs.... 244 03-31-2018 11:44 AM
FS or trade: 981 Cayman S KRC 9 Cars for Sale/Trade 19 12-03-2017 01:01 PM
BRZ vs Cayman/Corvette Norcalkid FR-S / BRZ vs.... 128 01-31-2017 12:36 PM
Porsche Cayman S misooscar Other Vehicles & General Automotive Discussions 46 09-12-2014 05:15 AM
FR-S vs Cayman colganc FR-S / BRZ vs.... 102 09-13-2012 04:17 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Garage vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.