LIVEOUTLOUD Motoring – Porsche’s new Cayenne is a lot more than a soft off-roader to appease the SUV brigade who wants to be seen in a Porsche. As Chris Buchanan discovered, no matter what the specification, this car is pure Porsche pedigree
Porsche’s third dedicated centre has been unveiled in Century City in Cape Town and was the start of our experience with the new cayenne. The R85 million facility covers close to 10 000m² and incorporates a design boutique, coffee shop, full service and tyre facility, as well as a body shop, leaving any kind of maintenance or repair in the hands of the people who sold you your car. The overall look and feel of the facility is a “jewellery box” ambience achieved through lighting, the presentation of the vehicles and the full Porsche international brand corporate identity.
The new Cayenne was redesigned from the chassis up incorporating typical Porsche elements – the wings above the bonnet, a wedge shape which gives it a coupe look and feel, and the typical shark snout. It is 48mm longer, 6mm higher and 11mm wider but it just looks a lot more streamlined than its predecessor.
We got to drive all five variants of the Cayenne in a round trip through the winelands, taking in 450 kilometres through some of the most breathtaking scenery and some of the best roads this fine country has to offer.
Porsche Centre to Stellenbosch – Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid
Parallel full hybrid 3.0-litre supercharged V6 and synchronous electric motor, 380 hp (279 kW) overall system output; eight-speed Tiptronic S; PTM (Porsche Traction Management) with permanent all-wheel drive; acceleration 0 – 100km/h in 6.5 sec; top speed 242km/h (150mph); fuel consumption 8.2 ltr/100km. The strangest thing about driving this car is watching the rev counter cut completely while you’re still coasting at 120km/h. It’s pricey at R830 000 but it’s making significant inroads toward a cleaner motoring experience.
Stellenbosch to Villiersdorp – Porsche Cayenne
3.6-litre V6, 300 hp (220 kW); six-speed manual gearbox, optional eight-speed Tiptronic S; Porsche Traction Management (PTM) with active all-wheel drive; acceleration 0 – 100km/h in 7.5 seconds. This is the baby in the range which both myself and my fellow journalist, Steve Slotow of FHM enjoyed immensely. The guttural note of the V6 gives that sports car feel and its lighter body weight makes it an absolute joy over mountain passes. At R645 000 it’s pure Porsche for really good value.
Villiersdorp to La Vierge, Hemel & Aarde Valley – Porsche Cayenne S
4.8-litre V8, 400 hp (294 kW); eight-speed Tiptronic S; PTM with active all-wheel drive; acceleration 0 – 100km/h in 5.9 sec; top speed 258km/h (160mph); fuel consumption 10.5 ltr/100km. It’s quiet, it’s fast and, although close to the flagship of the range, I found it the least exciting of the all the cars. You feel a little detached from the road and the driving experience without the serious grunt of the Turbo. At R775 000, you might be tempted to look at the Hybrid or the next car on our list.
La Vierge to Franschhoek – Porsche Cayenne Diesel
3.0-litre V6, 240 hp (176 kW); eight-speed Tiptronic S; PTM with permanent all-wheel drive ; acceleration 0 – 100km/h in 7.8 sec; top speed 218km/h (135mph); fuel consumption 7.4 ltr/100km. It’s the most popular seller and one can see why. It has superior performance to the petrol V6 and keeps the drive nicely in touch with the driving experience. The popularity of diesel SUVs in South Africa will ensure plenty of orders for this variant.
Franschhoek to Porsche Centre – Porsche Cayenne Turbo
4.8-litre biturbo-V8, 500 hp (368 kW); eight-speed Tiptronic S; PTM with active all-wheel drive; acceleration 0 – 100km/h in 4.7 sec; top speed 278km/h (172mph); fuel consumption 11.5 ltr/100km. The acceleration and top speed figures for this car are dead giveaways when it comes to the sublime performance. This is a true supercar in every sense of the word offering exhilarating driving, absolute comfort and the pedigree of Porsche. The price tag won’t be an issue for the true enthusiast – R 1 430 000 – and the experience will make it worth every cent. This car is not for the faint of heart and the smiles on the faces of every participating journalist after stepping out of the Turbo, were a sight to behold.