Stories by JOSEPH UNDU
The Porsche Cayenne continues to exude class-leading features in the luxury SUV segment 12 years after it made a debut on the automobile scene
Now in its second generation, the Cayenne offers better handling, comfort, and family-friendly size that made the original a hit in a lighter package with greater power and fuel efficiency.
The new Cayenne delivers a pioneering benchmark whether being driven through the city, in challenging off-road conditions or in the ultimate test on the race track.
Available in three new variants – Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo, and for the first time, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid, the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment, the new Cayenne features redeveloped engines which deliver higher torque than their predecessors.
Porsche has also enhanced the fuel efficiency of the Cayenne to continue its ethos of delivering increased power without compromising efficiency.
When matched with more precise handling capabilities, the new Cayenne represents a sport SUV beyond compare, another chapter to Porsche’s unrivalled legacy of breaking new automotive ground.
The Brand Manager of Porsche Centre Lagos which a subsidiary of Stallion Motors Limited, Mr. Anurag Sha acknowledged Cayenne’s outstanding characteristics at a media launch in Lagos on Tuesday 25 November.
He said: “The new Porsche Cayenne embodies the ultimate Porsche traits; class-leading performance and outstanding driveability. No matter the road conditions the new Cayenne delivers a unique automotive experience and we expect our local customers to share in the excitement around this thrilling evolution.”
He added that Porsche has given the Cayenne an even sharper design with precise lines and purposefully placed light refracting edges with front body, front wings, bonnet and air blades which are also all newly shaped.
In addition to other modifications, the newly developed exhaust tailpipes are now incorporated in the lower rear section, while an automatically activating boot lid is fitted as standard.
Cayenne, of course, doesn’t shout about its performance credentials on the outside even though there is no doubting its sporting intentions inside.
The first-class driver-focused layout wraps around you, giving the cabin a sports car feel, while the quality of materials is peerless.
Like the rest of the Porsche range, the Cayenne benefits from a great interior that is impeccably well put together with beautifully made switches and a raised cockpit-style dashboard that is inspired by the Porsche Panamera saloon. The rear seating system is even more comfortable, with optional seat ventilation now available for the first time.
From the driver’s seat, the Porsche Cayenne feels more like a sports car than an SUV and on the move, the feeling continues with impressive straight-line performance with lots of grips and composure through the bends.
Body control is good especially on the optional air suspension and there is plenty of grips, yet the Porsche is almost relaxing and refined. Opt for the V8 Turbo and you’ll accelerate faster than many of Porsche sports cars.
And should you choose to take your Cayenne off-road, you’ll be astounded at how capable it is. The hill descent control and locking differentials is adept at crossing vey harsh terrain.
Power and torque have been boosted while improving fuel economy in line with Porsche’s commitment to maximum output from minimum input. All new Cayenne models consume significantly less fuel, with the help of new features including a coasting function, a further advanced auto stop-start function plus (except Diesel) and optimised thermal management, withActive cooling air flaps now being used for the first time in the Cayenne. Located behind the middle air inlet, they are opened or closed according to the specific driving situation and cooling needs.
Powering Porsche into the future is the pioneering Cayenne S E-Hybrid which showcases further technical development compared to the previous Cayenne S Hybrid.
The three-litre V6 supercharged engine (333 hp) and the electric motor (95 hp) produce a combined system power of 416 hp at 5,500 rpm and a total system torque of 590 Newton metres from 1,250 to 4,000 rpm. Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h is accomplished in 5.9 seconds to a top speed of 243 km/h. The maximum speed in all-electric mode is 125 km/h. The traction battery can be charged from the electric power grid or while driving.
Matching the Hybrid’s raw performance credentials is the all-new 3.6-litre V6 biturbo engine of the Cayenne S which has been fully developed by Porsche and returns fuel consumption between 9.5 and 9.8 l/100 km, according to the NEDC. This represents one litre less than with the previous V8 engine.
Leading the model field is the compelling Cayenne Turbo, powered by a 4.8-litre bi-turbo V8 engine that produces 520 hp at 6,000 rpm and 750 Newton metres of torque from 2,250 to 4,000 rpm. This lets the Cayenne Turbo accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds (4.4 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package). Its top speed is 279 km/h. NEDC fuel consumption is 11.5 l/100 km.
All models are fitted with six airbags, Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM) and parking sensors and so far, there haven’t been recalls for the Cayenne. It’s a proven product. The Cayenne is also equipped with a good range of safety kit as standard and there are raft options.