On the lighter side in terms of power, extent of modifications, and pocketbook pain is SharkWerks’ RS350 Cayman S. The RS350 kit adds an EVO intake, an ipd intake plenum, a GT3 throttle body, a Cargraphic exhaust, an RSS underdrive pulley, and an EVOMSit remap. The company claims 319 bhp and 267 lb-ft at the rear wheels, or 24 more bhp and 16 more lb-ft than a stock Cayman S’s flywheel rating — suggesting more than 100 hp per liter, a heady claim. As for the kit’s price? $4,900, plus seven hours’ labor for installation.
Its power may be puny in this company, but don’t count the Cayman out. First, it weighs 2,852 pounds, or 634 less than the Turbo. Next, its mid-engined balance will be aided by Bilstein PSS-9 coil-overs, H&R anti-roll bars, and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires (the Turbo wears standard-issue Bridgestones). Champion’s 18-inch RG5 wheels, the Cargraphic exhaust, a $2,700 Brembo F50 front brake kit with two-piece rotors, and two $1,300 Euro GT3 buckets are said to trim 103 pounds from the curb weight. A lighter flywheel shaves 14 more, but a harness bar and harnesses add that back. Figure $5,000 for the wheels and tires plus another $4,200 for the suspension and flywheel, installed. Finally, TechArt’s front spoiler lip and side skirts, along with some artfully-placed satin black paint, lend the car a little attitude.
So it’s mid-engined, rear-drive light vs. rear-engined, AWD might. Between them is Jared’s 997S, weighing in at 3,323 pounds and packing a claimed 471 bhp and 370 lb-ft, or 116 bhp and 75 lb-ft more than stock. The kick comes courtesy of a VF Engineering supercharger kit, which exhales through GMG’s center-exit exhaust with high-flow catalysts. Synergy Racing’s light flywheel and racing clutch pack deal with the extra power and torque, while a Quaife limited-slip diff purchased from Vivid Racing distributes it more effectively to the rear tires. All told, Jared spent just over $20,000 on the engine mods, and another $7,000 on the driveline.
When Jared says every suspension piece has been replaced, he’s not far off. From GMG came Moton Clubsport coil-overs with remote reservoirs, GT3 Cup control arms, GMG adjustable anti-roll bars, GMG rear dogbones, and GMG anti-roll bar endlinks. Monoball coil-over mounts and an engine-lowering kit from Synergy Racing were also added, as was DasSport’s rear jackplate. All that added up to $13,826, while the 18×9 and 18×11.5 HRE C93 three-piece wheels with 245- and 315-mm tires added another $8,110.
Six-piston Brembo GTR front brakes with 15-inch rotors account for the lion’s share of the $4,474 spent on brake upgrades. Outside, the car wears a factory GT3 front bumper and GMG’s lightweight Kevlar GT3 rear bumper. Synergy removed the rear bumper crash system and fabricated a chromoly bar to replace it. The fiberglass RS-style rear decklid also came from GMG, as did the carbon-fiber wingtop, front-bumpertop vent, and side mirrors. Cargraphic’s front-bumper grills finish off the exterior mods, while a $4,134 pair of Cobra Suzuka carbon-fiber seats, a GMG half cage, and OMP harnesses are the most notable changes inside.
Our day starts early, but not in those Suzuka seats. Jared’s 997S has a flat. Told he couldn’t run slicks in California (“Really? Y’all can’t get away with that?”), Jared installed a set of Pilot Sport Cups before shipping his car. No Michelins are available locally today, but S Car Go says it can mount four Toyo R888s this morning.
As three flat sixes fire up in cold, early morning darkness, we formulate Plan C. Yes, Plan C, because there’s more drama to deal with. The Cayman’s harness bar is pinching the seatbelts’ retractors, rendering them unsafe — and a seatbelt bolt is stripped. So, as Jared heads south, Bob Chapman and I head north to pick up our fourth driver, Steve de Jung, at his shop. Besides knowing our Loop intimately, Steve is an able wrench, which comes in handy at times like these. As he solves the Cayman’s safety snafu, a flurry of phone calls reveal that Jared is stuck in nasty Monday morning traffic on the way to S Car Go. So are the Toyos, somewhere…