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Hi,

wife and I have a 6MT Cayman T on order and after spending too much time reading about complaints of turbo lag, how is it in reality from fellow 2.0 6MT owners?

We currently own a 6MT ND2 and a 6MT M2C and I was thinking of selling the M2C since my wife despises the manual feel and its nice to own a cheap car (Miata). Opinions?

Thanks
I get your concern, I had the same. I drove my BMW 1M Coupe with N54 to the Porsche dealer to test drive a Cayman T and I was also worried about that. Another worry for me was whether the Cayman T with it's sports suspension would clear my driveway. Luckily the manual Cayman T they had was a demo model and I asked if I could take it home to see it cleared the driveway. My house was a good 20 minute drive from the dealership and not only did it clear the driveway, but I fell in love. Yes the 1M and M2 deliver almost full torque by 1800 RPM and pulls hard until about 5500 RPM and it is quite thrilling. I owned my first 1M since august 2011 and while the thrust was fun, it also could be a little fatiguing. With traction control on, you get blinking lights and bogdown if you mash the throttle. If you took traction control off, you had lots of wheel spin which I guess is fun for a bit but wears off. There is no more lag in the Cayman T than there is in the 1M or M2. It is almost identical. Others here have adeptly identified the difference between what the ignorant media is calling lag vs turbo boost threshold. Lag is when you push the throttle down and how quickly boost builds up. In an NA car car in the powerband the throttle pedal feels mechanically linked. In other words you mash the throttle and instantly feel the push. In turbo cars, even the best ones it feels as if there is a small balloon between the pedal and throttle actuator. You push the pedal and the balloon squishes and pushes the throttle actuator and then you get thrust even. That squishing balloon feeling is turbo lag and the 1M and M2 have a little of it as well. You don't really notice it until you jump into an NA Miata or in my case my old 330i ZHP.

What the Cayman T has is a higher boost threshold. In other words the engine is tuned to for a higher RPM boost threshold. The downside is it feels like a 2L motor under about 2500 RPM. When you first start out, you have to give it more gas and do a slightly slower clutch release so you don't bog it down. With a manual, you might forget about it sometimes and not give it enough gas or sidestep the clutch and the car can bog down but after about 1000 miles, I have it down now. This is what everyone talks about and call lag. But for me, this is a minor 1 point deduction on the T but I give the motor +2 points in that 1 you can use all of the power in the motor. It delivers power closer to an NA motor in that torque builds as you go up, not the instant sledgehammer N54/N55 full torque that you have to manage. I LOVE how it torque builds and you can firewall the throttle and not end up sideways. Secondly, this thing revs to over 7000 RPM and again this broad torque curve is rewarding and I enjoy it more. So yes, I did notice that launching the Cayman takes a little more thought and it is not a dragster or drift car but I can tell you as a guy that has never owned a Porsche, does not own a single Porsche shirt, owns two ZHPs and two BMW 1Ms that the driving dynamics, the car as a machine, is freakin' amazing. If being able to light up the rear wheels is a higher priority for you, then none of the Caymans will do it for but if you are ready to go from a P47 Thunderbolt with that massive 18 cylinder radial to the P51 Mustang's puny 12 cylinder in comparison, you will be rewarded with an amazing combination of handling. I bring these two planes up because I just watched a documentary on the P51 and some of the P47 guys that loved the beastly 18 cylinder radial and rugged P47 where a little skeptical about the smaller, lighter, less powerful Mustang..until they got in a dogfight...then they got it.

The Cayman is a different car and I actually enjoy managing the boost threshold. Combined with the manual gearbox, it feels very symbiotic and I feel like part of the machine because it takes my shifting and boost management skill to make the machine go fast. That is why I want a manual in the first place. So yes, the automatic does a better job at managing it for you but it takes away some of the engagement for me. I have also found that since I control the clutch release, I can keep the revs up and release at a rate that keeps everything happy. The car is so good that I don't miss the instant torque that much because I enjoy having torque come up gradually, the ability to mash the throttle and build up to 7000 rpm a whole lot more.

There were times driving turbo BMWs that it almost felt like driving a front wheel drive car...you had to have throttle discipline....with traction control on, not too much or it would kick in and bog you down. Traction control off was dangerous on the street and you had to be disciplined. The Cayman has done an amazing job at making turbo that is closer to an NA car with a broader powerband and more useable power. I hope that helps, but really only you can decide and you really should just do a long test drive. Best wishes.
 

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I guess I'll go against the grain here and say that I certainly felt turbo lag when I drove a Cayman 2.0T version. Admittedly, it has been a while, but it seemed a touch better than an Audi A4 or GTI (two previous cars of mine to compare it to). I ended up purchasing a GTS 2.5T. That engine with the Variable Turbine Geometry was much better, and is nearly unnoticeable, particularly once underway. It's definitely still there though.

EDIT: I'll add a quick story. I took my Cayman GTS [2.5T] to the track several times. Earlier this year, I also took my new Spyder. My instructor this time kept telling me to get on the throttle earlier, and I realized that I had unconsciously trained myself to not get on too soon with the 2.5T because I didn't want the surge in power to come on too soon and upset the balance of the car. When I forced myself to re-learn accelerating out of the corner, the smooth and linear response of the NA motor was much more comfortable for me.
 

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I guess I'll go against the grain here and say that I certainly felt turbo lag when I drove a Cayman 2.0T version.

:rolleyes:

Well, all that writing for nothing.

Yes, the 2.5 and it does recover quicker and pull earlier for sure but it's not turbo lag, it's the motor with a fixed turbo is tuned for a higher rev range. The variable vane can increase velocity air velocity at lower RPMs and it is noticeable and awesome but what everyone is trying to say it that it's not really turbo lag.

Turbo lag is when you are on the in the boost band it it still lags between throttle application and all turbos have it. The normally aspirated civic si and even the early honda s2000s you had to give them some gas from a standstill or you could stall them. You call that turbo lag as well?
 

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:rolleyes:

Well, all that writing for nothing.
If you're rolling your eyes at me because you think I didn't read your comment before posting my reply, it didn't exist when I started writing. We must've been composing our messages in parallel.

I would agree that your technical terminology is correct. I will also say that I bet @nirvana620 was really asking about boost threshold, not the precise definition of turbo lag. Like it or not, I would go further and say that 99% of the people complaining about "turbo lag" are referring to the same thing.
 

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Jim did a very nice write-up on this subject. I own a 6MT 2.0 Boxster. I consider this pretty much a non-issue. If you stay in sport mode you should notice a slightly improved throttle response as well

Jim's explanation of the "lack of low end torque of the engine" reminds me of the YT video by some self proclaimed reviewers. They placed the car in 2nd gear at.1500 RPM, stomped on the gas, then proceeded to loudly proclaim "massive turbo lag". :p What a joke. These dudes thought they were being clever. Any decent car guy recognized this was engine lag.

As I think el jefe said, you know how to drive a manual ..... keep it in the power band and you'll be happy!
 

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Jim did a very nice write-up on this subject. I own a 6MT 2.0 Boxster. I consider this pretty much a non-issue. If you stay in sport mode you should notice a slightly improved throttle response as well

Jim's explanation of the "lack of low end torque of the engine" reminds me of the YT video by some self proclaimed reviewers. They placed the car in 2nd gear at.1500 RPM, stomped on the gas, then proceeded to loudly proclaim "massive turbo lag". :p What a joke. These dudes thought they were being clever. Any decent car guy recognized this was engine lag.

As I think el jefe said, you know how to drive a manual ..... keep it in the power band and you'll be happy!
Do you know who was it ?
Mixing "out of turbo's power band" with lag is really lame :)
 

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If you're rolling your eyes at me because you think I didn't read your comment before posting my reply, it didn't exist when I started writing. We must've been composing our messages in parallel.

I would agree that your technical terminology is correct. I will also say that I bet @nirvana620 was really asking about boost threshold, not the precise definition of turbo lag. Like it or not, I would go further and say that 99% of the people complaining about "turbo lag" are referring to the same thing.
Yes, was trying to find a "cute" non offensive way to show a little frustration not so much with you but the Tsunami of negative press about this as well as the sound. I do get what you are saying as well, there is a lack of torque at low revs. The 2.5 is much better because it is a bigger motor to start with and it has the variable vane technology on top of it. I think what makes this topic frustrating is that the many of the "educated" reviewers are also calling it turbo lag which carries with it a connotation that the throttle response lags all the way around and it does not. Once you are in the power band, about 2800 rpm on it has very little turbo lag. Some reviewers just say it has nothing below 2800 rpm that is a better way to present it, just like many used to say the Honda S2000, a brilliant car felt like a civic at low RPM. So no offense intended. As to the original poster goes you need to drive it and see if the expanded powerband and more progressive torque curve is to your liking. Having come from a torque monster like the 1M, I find the upside of having usable torque and a more NA like torque curve to be worth it. And yes, if the Cayman T had a 2.5 option I would've probably ticked it but after a lot of thought and drving, a 2.5 while has better low end torque and even loaded with options just doesn't feel as special as the T for harder edged fans like me that love the old school cloth seats, notchy GTS short shifter and lighter weight and more a la Miata.
 

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2nd the Miata comments on the color, holy smokes! Re lag, I have the MT 2.0 and do not notice any lag, at least anything that bothers me.

I came over from the Lexus IS 200 turbo, so I know lag, I think. Haha.
 

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... reading about complaints of turbo lag, how is it in reality from fellow 2.0 6MT owners?
Turbo lag as a term is often misused and/or misunderstood. Some folks above have attempted to straighten out the terminology.

Keep the RPM above 2k and you will always have boost available.

Once on boost turbo lag is pretty minimal. Noticeable... just a bit. The S and the 2.5 GTS have more lag. Much more noticeable.

In Sport+ mode (perhaps Sport also), based upon my observations, the ECU keeps the throttle plate open on overrun (for a bit) thus using the engine as an air pump to keep the turbo spinning. As a result instant boost (subject, of course, to the minimal lag) is available when you get back on the throttle.

Torque builds very quickly as the engine comes on boost. The perception is then that the motor is sluggish until boost hits.
 

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I agree with most of the other posts. 2.0 PDK here, and my impression is not "turbo lag" but that the PDK upshifts so quickly that if I get on it before revs are up there's almost a very subtle lugging like it wants a downshift. Sometimes I'll tap it down a gear to get the revs to run a bit if I'm not already shifting manually but It's not really an issue, especially if Sport is active.
 

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Oh and PS. I don't notice any turbo lag with the MT but I do notice the power delivery is not linear - nothing major though, kinda fun actually.
That has been the revelation for me. It has proper race car feel, where you have to work with the car to make it optimal and that is cool and feels more mechanical and interactive than some appliance. I remember back in the the IMSA GTP days watching one our Nissan GTP cars begin to smoke just before the green flag drops. My heart sank thinking the engine blew before the flag even dropped. Then suddenly the green flag drops and the P car shoots forward like an F-14 on catapult takeoff. Later we realized that our driver was riding the brakes while on the throttle to keep the engine in the boost threshold. He was doing real race car stuff and it worked. There is a little of that in the 2.0L Cayman, if you get lazy and are dozing off, you can get caught below the boost threshold, but I rarely do. It's a machine and I work with it and it's an unexpected thing that makes the car even more fun and enthralling. You have to prepare for low speed corner and even downshift to first. My 1M was like whatever, you want to turn the corner in 3, 4th gear, it didn't care would pull out but the Cayman makes you pay attention and do race car lite stuff. I LOVE IT.
 

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As others have noted there isn't much lag, but the boost threshold is reasonably high. Porsche put a big one turbo on this so it would build power all the way to redline, as opposed to many turbos that pere off above 5k. The tradeoff is very little boost at low RPM and since it's a 2L the torque down there is inherently low.

It's not a problem when driving because you can keep it on the boil, but starting out in first and especially long geared second can be a little slow. The S VVT helps with this but I didn't feel like it was worth the price premium. Basically while there, the low end power drop isn't a deal breaker for me
 

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Fellow ND2 owner here.

I think the turbo 4cyl Porsche motors have noticeable lag. People are going to have different opinions and different references wrt other motors to which they are comparing this one.

I would test drive one or rent one or whatever you need to do to see for yourself. People who buy the car are the people who are happy with the feel, almost by definition. (Otherwise they would have chosen something else, obviously.) So the question is will you like the feel of it, and that has everything to do with your own driving style, your own senses and expectation, and the places where you drive your cars.

Turo is your friend. :)

BTW, I like the T. But I think i like other things about, other than the motor. No car is perfect, at least none that I’ve driven.
 

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You can call it what you like.... turbo lag, boost threshold. I think most people are talking about boost threshold, but they are closely related. In older cars the target boost level was set with the wastegate actuator mechanically and was typically the same target level for all engine operating conditions. If you opened the throttle at 1000RPM, it could only get to maybe 1psi. If opened the throttle at 6000RPM it could quicklly get to the target boost level (say 10psi). The boost threshold was the RPM at which it could get to the target boost level and might have been around 4000RPM. Any lower than that and it would slowly build boost but never get to the target. Any higher and it would reach the threshold. But this is where lag comes in.... this is the time it takes to get to the maximum boost it can do at that RPM, and it changes with RPM. It is the time it takes for the turbine speed to get up to a speed it can support the boost. If you are at boost theshold RPM (4000RPm in above example) it could take several seconds to get to target boost. Below 4000, it takes many seconds and never gets there. The further above 4000RPM you go the quicker it gets to target and the less lag.

The 2.0L 718 like any turbo has both lag and threshold. The lag will be minimal at high RPM, and noticable below or near the threshold. The 2.0L will have a higher RPM threshold than the 2.5L. THis is because larger engines typically have more exhaust flow off boost to spool up a turbo, so can get a turbo working at lower RPM. IN the case of the 2.5L 718, it also has VVT, which makes it even better at low RPM.

The 2.0L will require more RPM to reach good torque than the 2.5L. You can drive around it (especially in a manual) and it will be fine.... but if you want to lazily accelerate quick from 1500RPM like you can in a larger engine, it won't do that.... and the BMW 3.0L turbo in the M2 will be much better in this regard.
 
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