The Porsche Cayman and Boxster are the mid-engine little brother to the larger and more expensive Porsche 911. The Boxster and Cayman have spent most of their time living in the shadow of the big brother 911, however, these cars have been a critical part of the success and survival of the Porsche brand.

Today we take a quick history lesson courtesy of Cars Evolution, a YouTube channel that, is dedicated to showing the evolution of our favourite cars.

The Porsche Boxster debuted in 1996 and ushered in a new age for the Porsche brand. This water-cooled convertible was built to pay homage to the classic 356 Roadster of the 1960s and offered drivers precise handling balance. Power by a 2.5-litre flat-6 engine, the original Boxster was not a fast car but a great platform for higher performance trims of the future. Over time the Boxster grew in size and capability and in 2006 the fixed roof Cayman was born. The Cayman was the coupe version of the Boxster and allowed Porsche to cater to even more customers with the same platform.

Many Porsche enthusiasts have a tumultuous relationship with the Boxster and Cayman who feel a 911 is the only Porsche the matters. Porsche seemed to feel the same way as the Boxster and Cayman always left a little performance on the table to protect the 911’s performance credibility. That all changed with the the Porsche Cayman GT4, which debuted in 2016. This high horsepower Cayman feature real aerodynamics and parts for the high-performance 911 GT3 to create the ultimate mid-engine Porsche.

Today the Boxster and Cayman continue to grow and evolve into their own unique offering alongside the larger and more powerful 911. Many Porsche enthusiasts have found room in their garages to own both 911s and Boxster or Caymans, while used Boxsters and Caymans are also a great way to enter into the Porsche brand.