AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
China is the new land of opportunity as businessmen gain newfound wealth from its booming economy. However, some have learned the hard way that money cannot buy happiness.
Last week, a Porsche owner was upset that his Cayenne SUV, worth a reported 2.7 million yuan, suffered a string of problems during the 2 months he owned it. Claiming that the serious problem nearly caused him to crash on two occasions, the Porsche dealership of Shenzhen agreed to fix the vehicle. Unfortunately, the problem inexplicably continued to resurface.
Although the Porsche dealer offered the owner to swap for another Cayenne, the owner demanded his money back instead. Eventually, the Shenzhen Porsche dealer submitted to the Cayenne owner’s demands under the condition that he sign a confidentiality agreement and to not disclose why he returned his Porsche. However, the agreement fell through and the Porsche dealership chose not to take back the lemon Cayenne after all. Taking matters into his own hands, the Cayenne owner decided to return his Cayenne on a flatbed truck and staged a loud protest right outside the dealer doors.
While the situation is certainly negative publicity, a senior executive from a premium car brand believes that incidents like this one would barely affect sales. As the Chinese economy continues to prosper, the demand for high luxury vehicles will not slow down.
Last year, a similar protest story involved a disgruntled Lamborghini Gallardo owner that hired a bunch of men to publicly destroy his defective Italian sports car on China’s World Consumer Rights Day.
[Source: China Car Times]
It’s been a long while since we’ve come across a new ASMA Design creation, but it looks like it was worth the wait. ASMA has always been common bait for us to make fun of and they didn’t fail to impress with their Porsche Cayenne Turbo project.
As expected, ASMA Design released the photos of the project with very little details, but we don’t even need words to describe what’s going on here. Over the top, super aggressive styling results in an atrocious and terrible project and just does a terrific job ruining Porsche’s classy SUV. The wider fenders and side skirts are just completely out of place, while the front and rear bumpers are downright absurd.
About the only thing respectable about the project are the 22-inch wheels on each corner, and the fact that genuine carbon fiber was used for the body kit – as terrible as it is. But hey, we’re glad ASMA has something to show off, we were getting a little bored around here with nothing to ridicule.
GALLERY: ASMA Design Porsche Cayenne Turbo
[Source: GT Spirit]
Porsche is spicing up their U.S. vehicle lineup starting next year with three new models, including a diesel Cayenne.
It’s hard not to see the writing on the wall when a status symbol like Porsche decides to port the diesel counterpart of their high-end SUV to the U.S. Most people familiar with the European car market know that diesels are a staple across the Atlantic, but until recently the alternative fuel was pretty much an 18-wheel thing. That’s all changing, as mainstream manufacturers are offering efficient diesel versions and companies like Cummins are ramping up their capacity in anticipation of a market shift.
If you still struggle with the smoke-belching image diesel vehicles evoke for so many Americans, figure this: Porsche is counting on the diesel Cayenne to help double their U.S. sales by 2018 without adding any dealerships. The other two sales-boosters are a redesigned 911 and the 430 horsepower Panamera GTS.
If the American diesel is true to its Euro-spec brother, you’re looking at a Cayenne that boasts just under 40 mpg combined. It’s likely that the car will have a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, making 245 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, capable of a 0-60 sprint in 7.6 seconds. You won’t be winning any races in it with a top speed of only 137 mph, but then again you’re looking at a fuel-saving SUV.
If speed is really more important than mileage to you, consider the hybrid version, which makes 380 horses. Just know that you’re probably going to pay about $10,000 more for a vehicle that only gets about 24 mpg.
[Source: Automotive News]
TechArt has finally officially unveiled its new styling package for the third generation Porsche Cayenne, with no real surprises. The front chin spoiler has been designed in true TechArt fashion while the LED lighting enhancements and halogen headlights are almost standard issue with any other TechArt styling package. The rear roof spoiler, rear apron and diffuser adds sportiness to the entire SUV while TechArt’s exhaust system is sure to give the Cayenne a whole new rumble.
For wheel options, TechArt is offering their Formula, Formula II or Formula III wheels with sizing varying from 20- to 23-inch depending on the model. Performance upgrades have already been established from TechArt for the new Cayenne, with the Turbo model getting a boost up to 560-hp through a TA 058/T1 kit.
TechArt is also offering interior upgrades to the Cayenne with complete leather interior packages and in-car-entertainment options of integrated screens in the headrests and an elegant center console with a spacious bar and storage compartment in Alcantara.
It might not be terribly original, but it certainly looks impressive.
GALLERY: TechArt Porsche Cayenne
Porsche is planning to double its sales to 200,000 units by 2018, and the German automaker is expecting the SUV side of sales to take the lead in achieving this goal, especially considering the Cayenne is already the best selling vehicle in its lineup.
The automaker wants to increase production of the Cayenne by 10 percent this year, and 20 percent in 2012 because of the growing demand. Buyers in China have to wait 12 months to get their hands on a Cayenne. Porsche fully understands this issue and wants to cut that wait time down to six months for next year. The Cayenne is also helping the entire Porsche lineup as orders have increased 26 percent in the first half to 65,660 units. Porsche hopes to see 28,000 Panamera sales in 2011.
[Source: Automotive News]
TechArt has revealed their tuning kit for the new-generation Porsche Cayenne Diesel, increasing horsepower output from 240-hp to 280-hp. The power increase comes courtesy from their Techtronic power kit line, (part number TA 058/D1) which is essentially an intelligent engine management system that puts power boost at the push of a button. In addition to the Techtronic power kit, TechArt offers a sport exhuast system for the Cayenne Diesel.
Torque is increased from 405 lb-ft to to 457 lb-ft helping give the Cayenne Diesel’s 0-62 mph time to 7.2 seconds and a new top speed of 145-mph. As with all Techtronic units, this TechArt tuning program is backed by a warranty on engine and transmission.
No pricing was announced for the tuning package.
GALLERY: TechArt Porsche Cayenne Diesel
Russian tuner TopCar has really made a name for themselves with some fantastic Porsche styling packages, and this Cayenne might be the best one we’ve seen yet. Even better is the fact that there are some stunning photos and scenery to go along with the Cayenne, that is featured in a unique shade of Amethyst Metallic, a color Porsche offers on some of their models.
For their Porsche Cayenne Vantage 2, TopCar offers a complete widebody conversion which includes matching front and rear bumpers and side skirts. The aggressive styling of the kit really transforms the Cayenne from bumper to bumper, and the subtle Amethyst Metallic finish gives it a sleek, exotic look. The elegant design of the concave split-five spoke wheels were a perfect match to the Cayenne’s body. Really, we’re having a hard time whether to appreciate the beauty of the car or the location of the photoshoot.
Even more luxurious is the custom interior, featuring a double-diamond stitched pattern on the seats in a milk chocolate brown finish. The unique pairing of colors are contrasting, with the darker brown highlighted by a nice clean beige. Of course the wooden accents are a perfect fit while TopCar adorned the headrests with some custom embroidery. Finishing off the entire car are vantage logos on the exterior and in the interior’s door sills.
GALLERY: TopCar Porsche Cayenne Vantage 2
[Source: Jon Sibal]
April has been a very good month for Porsche: it saw sales increase by 53 percent, or 11,741 vehicles total. But the cars that skyrocketed during this period aren’t the 911, or any variants thereof.
Diehard Porsche fans are going to rage: what’s selling hot isn’t the 911, or even the Boxster/Cayman duo—it’s the Cayenne and Panamera, the two models most accused of pillaging the brand for all it’s worth. And hybrid models, too! What is Stuttgart coming to?
In fact, Cayenne sales doubled in that time and Panamera sales increased 15%, while sales of the Boxster and Cayman actually lowered by 8.7%. “Every Porsche is the sportiest model in its segment,” said Bernhard Maier, a Porsche board member. “Our customers world-wide love the combination of performance and efficiency, such as in the new Panamera S Hybrid or 911 GT3 RS 4.0.” The 911, meanwhile, stayed relatively steady as before.
Within the same period, North American sales increased 77% in the same month, Porsche’s largest market. And their 2nd largest, China, saw increases of 48.8%, and the rest of Asia increased sales 56.5%.
The two keep giving Porsche incentive to blow their money on awesome things—like racing, or the upcoming 918—and maybe holding off a forcible invasion from jealous neighbors/friends-with-benefits Volkswagen.
At any given ALMS race, you’re guaranteed to see a field of Porsches on the track at any given minute. These are mostly 997 variants, but now there’s the possibility of catching a glimpse of Porsche’s Panamera and Cayenne at any ALMS race. Ideally, we hope not to see these on the track, given that they’re support vehicles, but it’s nice to see Porsche’s lineup being properly represented at one of the world’s most prestigious race series.
The Panamera Turbo is the official safety car for ALMS; essentially a stock model that has a dome light and paint scheme on it, similar to the well-known Mercedes AMG safety cars. The larger Cayenne SUV will be pulling duties as the medic’s emergency response vehicle, and we really hope that the Cayenne makes a limited number of appearances for that reason alone.
GALLERY: Porsche Panamera and Cayenne ALMS Support Vehicles
Continental Tire and Grand-Am have teamed up to give away a Porsche GT3 and a Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, raising awareness and funds for the WorldCause Foundation that helps seriously ill children.
The GT3 is no regular car either, being a Hurley Haywood Edition model, named after Grand-Am racing legend, Brumos Racing driver and chief driving instructor for Porsche of America of the same name. Its modifications make it the fastest GT3 to date, and Haywood himself promises to give the winner training on how to get the most out of their new vehicle.
Not much was mentioned about the Cayenne S Hybrid, however, it looks to be a factory variant that has been equipped with Continental Tires. Both vehicles are part of Continental Tires’ Dream Giveaway, a program developed to help charities such as WorldCause Foundation and Camp Boggy Creek, the official charity of Grand-Am. Both charities specialize in enhancing the lifestyle of extremely ill children.
A portion of the proceeds will go to Camp Boggy Creek (founded by Paul Newman and General H. Norman Schwarzkoph), which works to give medical help to children age seven to 16 with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
Tickets are available until October 15th, 2011 and the winner will be announced on October 24th, 2011. To get your tickets and help the kids in need, please head on over to www.wintheporsches.com.
Finally, here’s the Mansory that we all know and love. Aggressive styling, loads of carbon fiber and a statement-making piece of machinery. Porsche’s 2011 redesigned Cayenne is Mansory’s newest subject and we are more than happy to grant it our seal of approval. Every aspect of the 2011 Porsche Cayenne has been overhauled by Mansory, converting the Cayenne Turbo to a real street machine, pumping out 690-hp (compared to 500-hp stock).
The additional horsepower is provided thanks to larger turbos, a reprogrammed ECU, large air intakes and a stainless steel exhaust system. In addition to the performance modifications, Mansory’s Porsche Cayenne has been outfitted with an extremely aggressive styling package sporting new front and rear bumper add-ons, side skirts and widebody fender extensions. The front end is widened about 2.36-inches while the rear sports a 3.15-inch wider stance.
Carbon fiber goods come in the form of a new hood while the exterior also sports new LED daytime running lights. In addition, Mansory offers an air suspension module to lower the vehicle 1.77-inches. Mansory can outfit the Cayenne with 21-, 22- and 23-inch rims. No pricing was announced.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Mansory 2011 Porsche Cayenne
Hamann is well known for their tuning packages for European vehicles, so it’s no surprise that they’ll be following up their tamer body kits on the Cayenne and SLS AMG with more aggressive ones, widening both vehicles’ stance and outfitting them with wider and more aggressive wheels. We can’t wait to see the finished product.
Get AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Geneva Auto Show Preview here.
With Porsche‘s new Cayenne already garnering plenty of attention from the consumer market, the aftermarket has now begun churning out tuning packages for Germany’s popular sport SUV. Hamann did a fantastic job with their packages for the previous generation Porsche Cayenne, so it’s no surprise that its new rendition is one of our favorites.
Starting with the exterior, Hamann gives the Cayenne plenty more to look at with a new front add-on that gives the Cayenne an even bolder appearance. The vented hood comes in a carbon fiber variety. Onto the side and rear, Hamann side skirts are pretty run-of-the-mill, while the rear add-on consists of three-pieces, leaving ample space for a quad-tipped exhaust system.
With plenty of different wheel options available, Hamann opted to outfit their demo Cayenne with a set of 23-inch ‘Design Unique Forged Anodized’ wheels. Matched with 315/25/23 tires, the one-piece wheels are powercoated a nice black finish and they are also available in brushed aluminum.
Helping the big SUV look even lower and handle much better is a suspension kit that drops the truck 1.4-inches. As for performance, a sport exhaust system is available for the Cayenne V6 and V8 while the Cayenne Diesel has an upgraded ECU option bringing horsepower from 240-hp to 275-hp while torque goes from 405 lb-ft to 457 lb-ft.
Lastly, interior options are also available in the variety of traditional aluminum pedals, a foot rest and floor mats.
GALLERY: Hamann Porsche Cayenne 958
Not so long ago we revealed that Merdad was working on a Porsche Cayenne coupe conversion, and now it looks like they’re introducing two renditions of the current-generation Cayenne to the world at the MPH (Prestige & Performance Motor) show.
Merdad will be showing off their new 3-door Porsche Cayenne 902 coupe alongside the Merdad 5-door rendition. No exact details have been disclosed, but they’re telling us to expect anywhere from 550-hp to 750-hp.
“We are very proud that this creation has brought together many British engineers and designers who have contributed to bringing this fantastic beast to the table. We now feel the time is right to unveil the Merdad Cayenne 902 Coupe and the Merdad 5 door to the world at MPH and are excited to see what the visitors to the show think of its unique design and unbelievable power will truly set the show and the rest of the world alight,” stated the founder and creator of Merdad.
We’ll keep an eye out for the debuts in November.
GALLERY: Merdad Porsche Cayenne
Official press release available after the break.
We haven’t heard a lot out of RUF recently, making us wonder where the famed Porsche tuner has gone. But it looks like they’re just taking things nice and slowly, recently releasing a new tuner kit for the Porsche Cayenne Diesel Turbo. With two options available to the public, customers can choose from either 288-hp or 310-hp. The two kits are available for the 3.0L V6 turbo (with eight-speed Tipstronic S transmission).
For $4,875 you can have the Upgrade One package, (essentially an ECU upgrade) bumping horsepower from 240-hp to 288-hp with 428 ft-lbs of torque (22 ft-lbs increase) to play with. The Upgrade Two package is available for an astonishing $9,245 and with that comes a modified turbocharger along with the ECU upgrade. You will however get 310-hp with 465 ft-lbs of torque.
We find the mods to be pretty extensive considering what you’re getting in return, and we’re sort of confused as to why even with a modified turbocharger and ECU reflash why it wouldn’t put out more than 310-hp. But here’s to thinking RUF is taking it conservative to keep the Cayenne Diesel fuel-efficient and reliable. What’s the fun in that?
Official press release available after the break.
And just like that, it’s officially official. Just a few days ago we heard through the grapevine that the Gemballa brand was indeed coming back with a new CEO and investors, and with a few typed words from their PR personnel, it’s official. Interestingly enough, Andreas Schwarz (new CEO of Gemballa) has been in control since August 16th, reserving the rights of the old company that had already been liquidated. Schwarz chose to shut that one down and founded Gemballa GmBH.
Schwarz comes from a background of upgrading and marketing luxury high-class automobiles and is a “sports car expert.” (Whatever that means). We’re hoping he’s more of a “run a successful business expert” so that the Gemballa brand lives on past a couple of years once the initial investment funding has run dry. They seem to be starting out big however, with 22 employees and development on Porsche‘s Panamera and Cayenne.
The showroom is officially open in Leonberg for customers looking to customize their luxury high-class automobile. Gemballa will be switching to a parts manufacturer and stressing research and development on body kits, wheels, brakes and suspension components. We wish them all the best of luck and we really hope to see bigger and better products out of Gemballa without any of the drama. Let’s save that for an episode of Jersey Shore shall we?
GALLERY: Gemballa’s Fresh Start
Official press release available after the break.
Back in May, we thought it was the end of Gemballa when Uwe Gemballa went missing (in February) and his wife filed bankruptcy on the company. Most everyone believed that this would be the end of the beloved Gemballa brand but it looks like it won’t fade into the darkness that easily. What is interesting though is that this resurgence of the Gemballa brand will have nothing to do with its original owners and founders being that Uwe Gemballa is still missing.
Andreas Swartz and Steffen Korbach have stepped in, buying the rights to the Gemballa brand along with whatever was lying around. Swartz will be acting as the CEO of the new Gemballa and both plan on making announcements on Monday that will push Gemballa towards more of a true aftermarket manufacturer. They also have plans on tuning the Porsche Panamera and Cayenne in addition to Ferrari’s Enzo.
Instead of offering full out vehicles or stand-alone sets of wheels, Swartz and Korbach are aiming towards Gemballa-branded products that can be purchased as components so enthusiasts can build the cars themselves. Whether or not this is the best direction for Gemballa to go, it’s certainly the most profitable way. It’s easy to see much of the prestige will be diminished of owning anything Gemballa now that anyone can get their hands on it piece-by-piece, but hey – it’s the smart thing to do. We’re just more curious to see how the design of the products will look under new vision. Guess the drama of Gemballa continues…stay tuned!
[Source: Motor Trend]
The search is on for America’s oldest Porsches to celebrate the company’s 60th Anniversary. Porsche Cars North America has launched the My Classic Porsche Search, focused on finding the oldest Porsches from 12 different model categories. And as icing on the cake, they’re also seeking the very oldest Porsche of all time.
So which 12 models are they searching for? Well, if you’re an owner of a Porsche 356, 911, 912, 914, 924, 928, 944, 968, Boxster, Cayenne, Carrera GT and/or Cayman, and you think you have one of the oldest ones out there head on over to www.porsche60years.com to check out the participation guidelines.
And if you’re selected as one of the official winners, you’ll not only receive special recognition but become eligible for additional awards including an exclusive badge from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. They may also choose one vehicle to be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show amongst all of Porsche’s newest models.
Official press release available after the break.
While we’ve been paying so much attention to Toyota’s Prius and Honda’s upcoming CR-Z in terms of aftermarket modifications, it’s easy to overlook that there are more than just sport compact hybrids running around on the streets. For those that still yearn for the luxury and comfort of an SUV, Porsche’s Cayenne S Hybrid is a great alternative in saving some gas while still riding in comfort and style.
But the gap is being narrowed with aftermarket companies looking to tune hybrids, unleashing even more horsepower without sacrificing mpgs. SpeedART has dubbed their Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid project speedHYBRID 450 for its 450-hp power output, an increase of 70 over the factory spec. Torque is 420 ft-lbs.
They don’t quite explain how the majority of this power is gained, but do specify that it doesn’t alter the electric mode. We’re guessing mpg isn’t drastically changed despite the power gains. In addition, a sport exhaust system is offered with a sound switch for those that want to dial-it down a bit when needed.
On the outside are staggered 22-inch wheels from LSC-Forged. Lowering the car is an electronic module for the air ride system.
SpeedART also noted that they currently have a pair of body kits under development to also change the styling of the Cayenne S Hybrid. We’ll keep our eyes out!
GALLERY: SpeedART Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid
Official press release available after the break.
While Xenatec is dreaming up a Porsche Cayenne pick-up truck, Merdad is doing the opposite offering a true two-door coupe conversion for the Porsche Cayenne. Yes, you can rub those eyes again because they’re not deceiving you, this is no dream concept car.
We don’t know much about Merdad, but the company is owned by someone who worked with Uwe Gemballa for five years. Whether that’s good news or bad news now that Gemballa is defunct may be irrelevant. Merdad is based out of the United Kingdom and this two-door conversion will probably make their name known amongst Porsche enthusiasts.
The conversion will be available for first and second generation Cayennes and is fully complemented with styling accessories. A full body kit with front and rear bumpers, side skirts and wheels finish off the outside while the interior is also redone. Though there are no real concrete details, Merdad also throws in power-adders pushing the Cayenne Turbo output to 750-hp.
We’re really digging this sportier Porsche Cayenne, but the interior photo is a little underwhelming. But for anyone interested in form over function, this conversion is a must-have!
GALLERY: Merdad Porsche Cayenne Two-Door Coupe
[Source: Cars Route]
Sometimes it’s not enough to drive a fine, luxury automobile. You need everyone to know what you drive (or what you wish you did drive) by bringing a piece of it with you wherever you go.
When you’re heading out of town, you can let the world know that your luggage fits perfectly in your Porsche with the new Porsche Design Driver’s Selection line of luggage. Just as sleek and cool as the car itself, this line of luggage was designed to fit in the storage spaces of the Boxster, 911, Cayman, Cayenne and Panamera.
There are three different types in this collection, they all come in a variety of sizes and come in a choice of the original Porsche vehicle exterior colors: the “Ultralight,” which sport a classic design and is made of light polycarbonate; the Porsche Carfit series that is made with “AluFrame”-trolleys; and the Panamera leather series.
If you really want to OP (Over Porsche) it, consider accessorizing with the company’s new collection of line of jackets, wallets, handbags, and sunglasses.
Looking to put a little extra bling in your outfit? Consider picking up a metallic purse embellished with a Cadillac hood ornament. You’ll get plenty of interior room (just like a Caddy) and you’ll definitely make a fashion statement (again, just like a Caddy). These gems were spotted in Santee Alley in LA’s garment district, but you could probably do this yourself with an ordinary bag, a needle and thread or a glue gun, and a hood ornament from a car of your choice. Bam – instant fashion statement!
Popular SUV and impressive sedan will run out current life-cycles, but won't live on
Porsche’s new owners at Volkswagen are aiming to make some big changes at the German sport car maker, including eliminating any models that aren’t sports cars. That’s right, both the Cayenne SUV and Panamera sedan are reportedly on the chopping block, according to a recent report in the U.K.’s CAR magazine.
In an article an unnamed source says that Volkswagen’s board has voted to kill off both models after their current life-cycles, which should stretch until around 2016.
“VW Group has plenty of SUVs and saloons [sedans], it doesn’t need Porsche to build them,” said an inside source to CAR.
VW and Porsche CEO Ferdinand Piech is leading the charge to return Porsche to a pure sports car company and leave sedans and SUVs to other areas of the 10-brand conglomerate. For our part, we hope the Panamera can live on in a second generation vehicle as some sort of stylish Audi.
This move is bolstering rumors that Porsche will bring to market a car something along the lines of VW’s BlueSport Roadster Concept, that fits in below the Boxster. Ideally this new model would keep the Porsche brand pure, while enabling high volume sales.
[Source: CAR via LeftLaneNews]
Mosport International Raceway Plays Host to Traveling Porsche Experience
Photos: Stew Lawson
For the first time ever the traveling sportscar (and SUV) experience that is the Porsche World Roadshow has made its way to Canada. Held at Mosport International Raceway, just outside Toronto, the former Formula 1 facility played host to the vast majority of Porsche’s fleet of cars, with activities both on and off the track.
The Porsche event will be in Canada for several weeks, offering current and prospective Porsche owners a chance to truly appreciate the capabilities of these amazing machines. But before the event was officially opened, Porsche Canada invited us to bang gears, hit apexes and even go off-roading, to experience just what a Porsche can do.
In total, we had the chance to get behind the wheel and experience a Boxster S, Cayman S, 911 Carrera S, 911 Targa 4S, Cayenne, Cayenne GTS, oh… and a 911 Turbo. Other vehicles on-hand included several Cayenne S models, a Cayenne Turbo and a GT2 (which was strictly reserved for instructors to give hot laps in).
OFF-ROADING IN CAYENNES
First up during the busy day of activities was an off-road course, which was a genuine eye-opener. In just a standard Cayenne I drove through ditches, clawed my way up steep hills and climbed treacherous inclines – even dropping off small cliffs and getting the luxury SUV’s wheels up in the air at times.
Possibly even more amazing is how relaxed such an off-roading adventure can be in a luxurious Porsche cabin that doesn’t creak or squeak. Even the engine seemed relaxed, thanks in part to the low-range gearing that can be selected, a setting that also tells the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) to give maximum range to the active front anti-roll bar, allowing the wheels a greater range of movement.
The only real sounds detectable from inside the cabin are the differentials locking and the traction control ticking and clicking away, giving you maximum grip to get up a dirt slope you never dreamed a Porsche could.
The Cayenne, our instructor informed us (and we experienced), is capable of tremendous off-road feats, even though very few drivers will ever need or want such back-country credentials. Greater off-road capability is possible, however the Cayenne, being a Porsche, needs to sit somewhere in the middle to ensure the best possible on-road performance as well.
Normally a Cayenne has 215mm (8.46-inches) of ground clearance, while selecting the High Level I will give 241mm (9.49-inches) of clearance for speeds below 50 mph. A special High Level II, which we used, stretches the maximum ground clearance to 271mm (10.67-inches) and stays that way for speeds below 19 mph.
In the High Level II setting the Cayenne has an approach angle on gradients of 31.8 degrees and a departure angle of 25.4 degrees, with a ramp breakover angle of 24.7 degrees – all of which we used to their full extent.
OUT ON THE GRAND PRIX RACE TRACK
And so with mud covered SUVs we headed back to the main tent and exchanged our Cayenne keys for a set of sportscar starters. In groups of two we followed instructors out onto the Mosport Grand Prix track (officially the third fastest race track in the world), where we had the chance to toss around a Cayman S, Cayenne GTS and two 911s (a Carrera S and Targa 4S).
I felt the most at home in the Carrera S with the Targa 4S a close second. Both cars kept me pushing the instructor harder in his Boxster S, with the roadster’s smaller and less powerful 310hp 3.4-liter engine no match for the 385hp 3.8-liter engine in the 911s – especially on the back straight.
Having never had the opportunity to track drive a Cayman, I wasn’t as blown-away as I expected to be. There was nothing wrong with the car, as it delivered a well-balanced and neutral experience. I think I can chalk up my experiential discrepancy to the fact that unlike a lot of folks I’ve always felt at home in a 911, despite its rear-engine layout.
The final vehicle was a 405hp Cayenne GTS, which was certainly a surprise. It handled fabulously for a big SUV and I had no problem hanging with the Cayman driver in front of me. Body lean was incredibly minimal and the brakes were equally as good.
BOXSTER AUTOCROSS, 911 TURBO BRAKE TEST
The final two events of the day involved the Boxster S on a large autocross track and a 911 Turbo, which we used for a braking exercise.
The Boxster really is a fabulous vehicle for autocross and when combined with Porsche’s PDK double-clutch transmission (which automatically upshifts, taking one element of difficulty out of the equation) is incredibly easy to drive hard. Even when the body does pitch and roll (as evidenced by the photography) it never felt that way inside the cabin.
As for the braking exercise, it’s arguably a waste of the 911 Turbo’s acceleration talents, however, it proved an excellent way to get a feel for the Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCBs).
We did also get a chance to try out the Turbo’s torque converter that allows the car to build boost while sitting still for better off-the-line performance. Just place your left foot on the brake, with your right foot on the gas and watch (and hear) the boost build on the dash gauge. Once you’re at a suitable level (0.8 bar or 11.6 psi in our instance) just release the brake and hold on.
HOT LAPS… AKA REVENGE
As the day drew to an end, there was one final event left. Referred to as “Hot Laps” a more accurate name would be “Revenge,” as the instructors took willing journalists out for a full-speed romp on the Mosport track.
Unfortunately, with the huge number of journalists in attendance it wasn’t possible to get a ride in every vehicle. We all drew straws for our “hot laps” and unfortunately I didn’t draw the GT2. Instead I got the Carrera 4S and Cayenne Turbo.
First up was a Carrera 4S, which rocketed around the track with precision and poise. Next was the Cayenne.
As both the Cayenne off-roading experience the Cayenne GTS track drive proved to be the most surprising events of the day, I decided it wouldn’t be wise to pass up a tour around the track in a Cayenne Turbo. Boy was I right… this was no Sunday drive.
Along with two other writers I went for the ride of my life as our 26-year-old instructor manhandled the Porsche SUV with frightening vigor. Throwing the big truck around with the fearlessness of youth on his side, it wasn’t until we reached turn 8 at the end of the back straight that things got really hairy. After shaving off some speed, he flicked the steering wheel and sent us into a completely sideways drift, all four tires screaming for their lives as we defied gravity and never even came close to rolling over. Knowing full well that we were moving at a good clip, I chanced a glimpse at the German-spec speedometer and sure enough it read 160 km/h (100 mph)!
Porsche needs to work this into its marketing materials for the event. “The Porsche World Roadshow: 100 MPH… Sideways!”
AN EASY SELL
As I mentioned earlier, this was the first time the Porsche World Roadshow was held in Canada, and it’s not likely to be the last time either. Every aspect of the experience leaves participants with a specific impression of just how capable a Porsche is.
It’s hard not to think how successful this sort of event must be for securing vehicle sales. Who wouldn’t want to take this experience home with them?
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