Big, brash, powerful, white and expensive, sounds like my kind of mode of transportation. How about you? No? You prefer something compact, polite, economical, green and affordable? My review of the Porsche Cayenne S may not be for you... Well, maybe you should give it a chance.
|Launched and landed in 2003 in North America, the Cayenne has crushed many along its path to luxury performance all-terrain domination. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)
Yes, the Porsche Cayenne. The evil sibling of the Boxster, Cayman, 911
. The one that could and can be credited with reviving, catapulting and sustaining the storied brand to financial freedom, or something like that.
Launched and landed in 2003 in North America, the Cayenne has crushed many along its path to luxury performance all-terrain domination. In response to this go-anywhere-at-any-speed-do-anything vehicle, Land Rover had to revamp and supercharge its family, Cadillac had to wedge 400 hp in the Escalade
and Mercedes and BMW had to come up with 500-plus-hp monster versions of their ML and X5
. All of this thanks to Wendelin Wiedeking, looking to make Porsche more stable and profitable. And we thank him.
I'm not feeling too eco-friendly today as evidenced by my praising big-ass SUVs sporting ginormous V8s with and without forced induction. Thankfully, Porsche is less fickle on that point. The small German supercar and truck maker has made huge strides in order to reduce the Cayenne's impact on the environment.
Yes, the Cayenne is what it is and that is a no-compromise high-performance, high-style and high-capability way to get around. What Porsche has done is not change any of the preceding; rather, it changed how it is all done.
The Cayenne, the S in my case, can still tear up pavement, rip to 100 km/h in less than 6 seconds and fling snow or mud 50 feet in the air. For 2011, however, it does all that while consuming an estimated 23% less fuel. Its 4.8L V8 is even up on power, now good for 400 hp (up from 385) and torque is at 369 lb-ft. How is that possible? Hang on.
|Its 4.8L V8 is even up on power, now good for 400 hp (up from 385) and torque is at 369 lb-ft. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)