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.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?
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.