The Cayenne has been so successful in proving the sceptics wrong. How can a Porsche be an SUV? How can an off-road-capable SUV be a Porsche? At the time it was amazing, because Porsche was previously famous for sports cars and known for success on the circuits. But the Cayenne is absolutely awesome off-road, in addition to being one of the best sedans/saloons you’ll ever ride in – sporting the latest digital tech and luxury – as well as being the most dynamic, driving like a real sports car.
You may not notice at first glance, but the new third generation is a massive update on older models. The front and rear lights are a major upgrade, the beautiful exterior lines have received subtle tweaks, and the rest of the car has been completely re-engineered.
Still, the customary identifying Porsche features are there to be seen, including the strongly emphasised front wings, the long, downward sloping bonnet with its power dome, and the characteristic three-piece air intakes, which are now even larger and more dominant.
Underneath the skin changes are profound, with this Cayenne based on a lighter and more contemporary platform, an aluminium body structure, 48V electrical system and redesigned interior with added smoother and better connectivity options.
The new Cayenne S (and the standard Cayenne) run newly developed V6 engines with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive that has five driving modes to suit any terrain: On-Road, Mud, Gravel, Sand and Rocks. The new technologies make the new Cayenne S so satisfying to drive: quiet and buttery-smooth when you want, a luxurious sound-proof studio to enjoy your own audio library, and then – wow! – an utter, thrilling joy to drive.
The third-generation Porsche Cayenne does look quite similar to the second-generation car – which in turn was not far removed from the original. However, with almost one million Cayennes sold since 2002, Porsche doesn’t mess with success. It improves it. Look at the 911 and it’s still distinctive, a still utterly desirable, shape.
There are many SUVs. But only one where you can breathe in the motorsports atmosphere just by entering it. Sitting in the new Cayenne S, it seems wider and with a better view compared to the previous generation. Admire the smooth, ascending centre console with touch-sensitive controls; the high-tech sports steering wheel; compact gear selector; 12-inch high-res touchscreen taking pride of place on the flat and wide dashboard; analogue rev counter in the middle of the instrument cluster between two high-res screens displaying maps and instruments; highest quality materials and finishing; exquisite luxury, and – lots of space!
So, re-engineered, restyled and updated, but still typically Porsche; there is such a wealth of technical information to talk about, but the best way to continue this voyage of discovery is to talk to the informative staff at the Porsche Centre at The Pearl-Qatar. There, after a test drive, you will not only know it, but you will feel it. And there’s a very good chance you’ll be converted.
Engine New 2.9 litre twin-turbo V6 (also available new 3.0 litre turbo V6 in the standard model)
Max Power 440 hp (324 kW), 340 hp in the standard model
Max Torque 550 Nm (406 lb-ft) @ 1,800 – 5,500 rpm (450 Nm in the standard model)
Max Speed 265 kph. 165 mph
Acceleration 0 – 100 kph in 5.2 secs
Transmission New eight-speed twin-clutch tiptronic automatic (RWD and AWD)
Exterior Changes to the front grille and rear lights distinguish the new Cayenne which certainly looks as strong and tough as any potential SUV rival, and with its unique roofline and dynamic stance it gives the huge added bonus of actually looking – and performing – like a sports car
Interior The new Cayenne is stunning inside, crafted from sumptuous materials, seamlessly integrated technology and with considerable style; what can you want more from a car in this price range and giving so much value; it’s impeccably appointed, intuitive and with the smooth 12-inch touchscreen you are as smartly connected – to smartphone, navigation, radio, music – as anyone will need; the Cayenne’s cabin is simply a triumph
Safety/Security Every system – suspension, chassis, cabin and power delivery – has been re-engineered to enhance performance and driver satisfaction, and at the same time to strengthen the active and passive safety capabilities of an awesome driving machine: a sports car for five!
WHERE CAN I SEE IT
To continue your pursuit of dynamic pioneering, visit the Porsche Centre (Al Boraq Auto) on The Pearl-Qatar who will be pleased to arrange a test drive of the latest Cayenne S or any of its sports cars and sports SUVs for interested Marhaba readers and followers. Call 4459 9666 or visit Porsche Centre Doha website.
Author: Terry Sutcliffe
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