Home » The BGB Motorsports 911 Turbo S-Swapped Porsche Cayman Is One Rowdy Way To Tackle Pikes Peak

The BGB Motorsports 911 Turbo S-Swapped Porsche Cayman Is One Rowdy Way To Tackle Pikes Peak

Bgb Motorsports Pikes Peak Turbo Cayman
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John Tecce of BGB Motorsports Group is something of a Porsche racing legend. From running an IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge team for about two decades to getting 3.8-liter-swapped Caymans homologated for the 24 Hours of Daytona right before factory homologation was mandated, he and his team have been pulling extra speed out of Caymans for years. The latest feat? Using a factory force-fed flat-six and a Cayman GT4 Clubsport to build the high-altitude Cayman missile that Porsche wouldn’t dare build.

 

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Last year, a Texan group wanted to pick Tecce’s brain about “the ultimate Cayman swap” for Pikes Peak. His response?

I have invested a lot of water and shampoo every morning over an idea that exists on paper and in my head to put a 911 Turbo S engine and PDK in a Cayman; it’s going to be six figures but it will make 250 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 RPM above what a GT4RS or a GT3RS make which is what you need for going up big hills or what’s known as mountains.  The mid-engine layout is not the best platform for endurance racing and adding turbos will further exacerbate that but I think that if we could make it reliable on a race track in the southeast for an extended amount of time, it should be more than ready for a trip up the mountain.

Because the Pikes Peak course sees an elevation change of 4,720 feet from the bottom to the top, air density is a real concern. Although atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 psi, climbing the course would see a multiple PSI drop in that pressure. Less air in a naturally-aspirated engine means less fuel is required for optimal combustion, which means less power — not ideal for race cars. So, how do you fix this? Sure, you can take atmospheric pressure out of the equation by switching to electric power, but for combustion-powered cars, forced induction is a great way to combat the effects of altitude. After all, if you’re targeting a specific boost pressure, that pressure should remain relatively stable regardless of altitude.

Turbo Cayman 3

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Tecce and his team quickly set to work shoehorning the the 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six from a 991 Porsche 911 Turbo S into a Cayman GT4 Clubsport — no easy task, as it required quite a bit of fabrication to pull off. Turbocharger housings and wastegate actuators were clocked, an intercooler system was made, and wiring was altered to make the mighty turbo motor fit perfectly in the compact chassis.

991.1 Turbo S Cayman Swap Comparison

The result? A Cayman with 527 wheel horsepower, 528 lb.-ft. of wheel torque (per the dyno — see comparison with a stock GT3RS above), and few downsides. As it sits, the car still uses a factory 911 Turbo S tune, which means it’s apparently perfectly drivable. In the areas where many tuner cars may struggle, such as rolling on the throttle from light load, the BGB Motorsports Group Cayman Turbo S should simply drive like Porsche tuned it, because it did. There’s no wild track-spec sequential gearbox that’s unsuitably loud for the street either. Slung behind the engine sits a PDK transmission, a Porsche dual-clutch automatic that’s as street-friendly as you can get. However, 527 wheel horsepower isn’t where the Pikes Peak Cayman is stopping. BGB Motorsports is targeting more than 700 horsepower, an insane figure full-stop, let alone in a Cayman. Needless to say, this is one race car I’m seriously excited to see go up the mountain.

(Photo credits: John Tecce/BGB Motorsports Group)

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Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago

good parsh
good parsh
GOOD PARSH!!!

WaxhawFive
WaxhawFive
9 months ago

Ohhh, now I see, the black part is the hood!!

My brain saw that as a black roof and assumed that they had McMurtry’d the whole car to make is single-seat narrrow, with that huge sucker fan mounted at the front.

Brains can be funny.

Phuzz
Phuzz
9 months ago

He says

The mid-engine layout is not the best platform for endurance racing

How come? Because it’s harder to access the engine perhaps?

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
9 months ago
Reply to  Phuzz

That makes sense to me. When you’re running long distance, there’s a good chance you’re gonna need to do some serious engine work, and taking the time to do it is worth it.

If the engine is difficult to get to or inaccessible, you’re going to have a bad time.

Phuzz
Phuzz
9 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

I was assuming that things like LMP cars were mid-engined, but I suppose they’re designed to just remove the bodywork to get to the engine

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
9 months ago
Reply to  Phuzz

Probably heat management. It’s hard to get really good airflow through the engine bay, and the radiator is far enough away to make things complicated, and a tight engine bay in the middle means running and shielding exhaust is trickier.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
9 months ago

I’ve never understood why Porsche wouldn’t put the best engine in the Cayman. Purposefully neutering it to keep it from outshining the 911 is a tacit admission that the Cayman is the better car, but Porsche deliberately won’t develop it to its full potential.

If you love the 911, with all its quirks, you’re not going to buy a Cayman. But if you want the best Porsche, Stuttgart says “No. We could, but no.”

Goof
Goof
9 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

I think there’s three core reasons.

The first is the risk aversion of damaging the golden goose. The 911 has its dedicated following, and is one of the very best-selling sports cars of all time. Don’t mess with it. In any way, including cannibalizing its sales with a cheaper product.

The second I think fundamentally comes down to the packaging requirements of the mid-engine platform that made them practical as conveyances. A Boxster has 9-10 cubic feet of storage space in the front and rear cargo areas. A Cayman has 14-15 cubic feet. That’s in the range of subcompact and compact 3-box economy sedans. Yes, some “Tetris” may be involved for larger items, but they really work as “everyday cars” for well over 99% of use cases. They also fit big people. I’m 5-foot-8 and a buck-150, so whatever, but a long-time friend who was 6-foot-4 and 330lbs never wanted for legroom and space as a passenger.

A double-wishbone set could be shoehorned into the mid-engine cars as it has been into the 992 GT3s, but it’s not going to be a cheap setup. The 911 rear-multilink though? Oof. It would impinge on rear cargo, which may drive away some buyers. It also drives up cost.

Cost matters. The third reason is the price targets and buyer segment the mid-engine cars were going after, which are substantially lower than the 911. Again, part of this is not making a, “cheaper” car that might cannibalize 911 sales and erode overall margins. It’s part of why the high-end mid-engine cars are basically 911 pricing, and the RS versions are damn near top-shelf 911 pricing. Porsche ensures you pay to play.

I find it funny that in the end run of the mid-engine cars, Porsche got people to pay $150K for the normal GT versions, and probably close to $200K — and possibly as high as $250K (without ADM) for heavily equipped GT4 RSes and Spyder RSes. For a, “dying segment” they damn near got people to fight to give them more money. I think if emissions regulations weren’t what’s ultimately killing the cars off (for the Mission R), they’d probably continue to pursue high-end mid-engine cars that people were willing to pay 911 money for.

– – – – – – – – – –

It’s all tradeoffs, and for a company that damn near died, Porsche is about as risk averse as they come. It’s why they’re still here, and how it lets them still make great sports cars.

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