The Cayenne is a huge success for Porsche — this model has singularly cracked open new markets for the company. Last year, this SUV accounted for around 80 per cent of the company’s annual sales in the country.
So, Porsche has put a lot of thought into the new Cayenne. The biggest flaw with the original was its fussy styling. This has been successfully addressed in the new car with a cleaner and sportier design. The twin projector lights with accentuated silver rings and the V-shaped bonnet have traces of the Panamera. The massive air intakes are less aggressive than before and give the Porsche SUV a tidier look.
The Cayenne, with its heavily raked windscreen, is now much better proportioned, especially when viewed from the side. The rear end, too, looks great. The broad shoulders and light clusters that swoop outwards give it a sense of purpose that was missing in the previous model.
The Cayenne now weighs a whopping 185 kg less than its predecessor! Apart from using lots more aluminium, the main kilo-shedding trick was swapping the old six-speed gearbox for an all-new eight-speeder, which alone accounted for savings of more than 60 kg.
The interiors are also a drastic improvement over the previous car. Slide into the high driver’s seat and you are greeted by a cluster of five dials with the tachometer taking centre stage. The overall quality of interiors is much better than those of the previous Cayenne. There’s a visible Panamera influence here, like in the central console that has an array of high-quality switches.
Cruise in comfort
The heavily contoured front seats adjust in every possible direction. But the best news is that the rear seats, which were too upright in the older Cayenne, are very comfortable now.
A 40 mm increase in wheelbase has freed up legroom at the back. Another neat touch is the way the rear seats flip forward in one easy step. You can also fold them down electrically.
The boot is now bigger but still a modest (for an SUV) 670 litres. There’s enough storage space within the cabin. The 100-litre fuel tank is very practical as it allows you to drive long distances on a diet of 97 octane.
When the Cayenne goes on sale in India this July, all five versions — a 300 bhp V6 petrol, a 240 bhp V6 diesel, a 400 bhp V8 petrol, the 380 bhp Hybrid and the monstrous 500 bhp Turbo — will be available. The Cayenne Turbo with its 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8 is the highlight of the range.
This monstrous engine coupled with the brilliant gearbox delivers impressive performance. Zero to 100 kph comes up in 4.7 seconds and, given the road, the Turbo will thunder to 275 kph.
The gearbox is velvet-smooth and provides faster and more seamless shifts than the previous six-speed auto. With huge reserves of power in each gear, you lose track of what gear you are in. Floor the throttle and there’s one strong and relentless linear shove to speeds you cannot imagine an SUV is capable of.
The Cayenne dives into corners in a way that defies the car’s two-tonne weight and 1,694 mm height. Grip from the tyres is massive and there is hardly any body roll. Porsche’s Torque Vectoring system plays a big role in the phenomenal handling of the Cayenne.
Porsche cayenne turbo
Price: Rs 1.27 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi)
On sale: Now
L/W/H: 4795/1928/1694 mm
Fuel tank capacity: 100 litres
Kerb weight: 2,170 kg
Engine layout: V8, 4806 cc, twin-turbo, petrol
Displacement: 4806 cc
Power: 500 bhp at 6000 rpm
Torque: 71.3 kgm at 2250-4500 rpm
Compression ratio: 10.5:1
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
Fuel tank: 100 litres
Wheels/ tyres: 275/45 R20
The new Cayenne is a massive step forward. But it’s significantly more expensive than the outgoing model and in India, the base model starts at an estimated Rs 65 lakh rising to Rs 1.27 crore for the Turbo. But for enthusiasts, it’s money well spent. There’s no other SUV that can give the same thrills as the new Cayenne, which is now simply a class apart.