-=TPC TURBO=- Yet another lengthy but thorough review

-=TPC TURBO=- Yet another lengthy but thorough review

First a little background….

In the past 2.5 years, I went through a series of cars after selling my much loved E46 M3(track prepped on Motons). E46M3 => 996Turbo => E60M5 => 997C2S => …

I currently own a 2006 Cayman S (manual), purchased from the dealership as a CPO vehicle early in 2008, 100% stock at the time. The wheels/tires combination were recently replaced with factory (Carrera Classics) 19’s wrapped in Continentals. The car came equipped with every option in the book minus the PCCB option.

Stock to RS350

The car was dyno-ed before the RS350 kit to obtain a baseline, and put down a respectable 277rwhp and 254rwtq. (refer to the RS350 review thread for specifics). With the RS350 kit, the car put down 300rwhp with significant gains in the mid range, completely removing the “dip” early in the RPM range that the car suffered from in stock form, and dyno-ed at 300rwhp and 264rwtq.

summary from the RS350 review – “the car pushes you forward like a 996TT down low, and extremely very eager to rev to redline like the 997C2S up top.”

RS350 to TPC TURBO

The TPC Turbo kit arrived and few weeks later, the installation was underway. The entire installation time took from start to finish, just over 2 weeks. Yesterday, I took delivery of my new car. The reason why I say I took delivery of my NEW car, is because that’s exactly, a completely different beast. An absolute ANIMAL trapped inside a “hard top boxter’s” shell.

Initial Impression

Without looking underneath the car, or have the engine cover off, there’s no sign of change to the car. The car idles like stock, drives like stock, feels like stock and handles like stock. I put the same junky 91 octane gas in the tank, I putt the car around town, and commute in and out of traffic.

That’s of course, only until the car hits operating temperature and you put your lead foot to the floor. Between 3.5k to 4k RPM, the car takes on a whole new persona. The first hint of force induction comes in with the high pitch whine of the turbo creeping up from behind. At 4k, the RPM needle starts to pick up speed and like a volume knob being dialed up, the turbo whine gets louder. While you’re busy admiring the symphony happening behind your right ear, you’re pegging redline. But wait, that wasn’t in 1st gear, that was third. The freakin’ car just revved to redline in third gear like it did in first… clutch in, shift, and the wastegate gives you a reminder that it’s ready to go again.

If that doesn’t paint the picture of awesomeness in your head, I dunno how else to describe it.

In its current 91 octane setup, the car is no slouch. Easily faster than my previous 996Turbo. How fast? Scary fast, like the first time i floored the V10 M5. Surprisingly, the car has plenty of traction, even with the slim 265 width Continentals in the rear, I didn’t have problems easing off the line and immediately stomping on the gas. Instead of chirping tires between shifts, the car snaps your head back with each succession.

Exhaust Sound

When Mike and TPC said there’s no drone in the exhaust, they REALLY mean it! In fact, around town while driving conservatively, it’s quieter than my Milltek, and very similar to the noise pitch of the Porsche Sports Exhaust. It’s extremely pleasant for my commute cruising 65-70mph in 6th gear and have absolutely no drone whatsoever.

Get on it and above 4000rpm, the exhaust note climbs, perfectly matching the sound of the Turbo as it spools up. It gives you the bark you need without drowning out just about the coolest sound you can hear inside a car. At its peak, I would guess that it’s a little bit louder than the Milltek exhaust it replaced, but definitely not enough to piss off any neighbors.

What next?

Once the initial test and check period is over and my underbody panels are reinstalled along with oil change, data logged via Durametric will be sent back to Mike @ TPC to further refine the 91 octane tune. All you California Cayman owners itching the pull the trigger, you now have the perfect excuse. A trustworthy, highly competent installer (check out the installation thread), and perfected 91 octane tune will be readily available.

My butt dyno is reading conservatively under 400rwhp with a bit more after Mike works his magic. I originally planned to dyno the car this weekend, I think I will push it back until after Mike gets a chance to check out the Durametric logs.

I will post in this thread overlay graphs and dyno charts as they are done along with video comparisons when available.

Special Thanks

TPC Racing

I would like to thank Tom/Casey/Josh/Mike (not in any particular order) from TPC for the incredible support they’ve provided over the course of the installation process. We’re not talking about a company that ships you a box and you’re on your own. These are a bunch of guys that loves cars, races cars, and wants to share their enjoyment with everyone else.

EuroAutoSpot, San Diego (www.euroautosport.com)

I honestly can’t thank Shane/Chris/Bobby/Linh over at EuroAutoSpot enough for the amount of care and attention that went into the install. For anyone reading this, you HAVE TO check out the Installation Thread. Shane literally prevented my car from burning to the ground with absolutely no chance in hell anyone would cover the damage. This is the same guy that’s worked on maybe 5 porsches EVER, with his first go at the Cayman being this Turbo install. Since they’re not a sponsor on the board, I don’t want to seem like I’m giving them free advertising, so if anyone is interested in getting this kit installed in California or nearby states, contact me in private and I’ll get you in touch with them.

As always…

I’m not a mechanic, not a race car driver, and don’t do this for a living. But like you all, I’m an enthusiast first, and would be more than happy to take anyone out for a spin in the car, or answer any questions you may have about the TPC kit, the RS350 kit, or just anything in general. I’d like to extend that same invitation to anyone that may be out of state, or not in San Diego, CA but happen to be in town. I’m sure TPC would be happy to sell you the kit, and EuroAutoSpot would be happy to schedule you in for the install, but even if you have no intentions on making the upgrade to your own car and just want to go for a spin, let me know.

Anyone with a stock Cayman, or have some sort of performance modification you’re interested in comparing to the standard TPC kit, please feel free to get in touch with me.

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