My first few moments with the brand new Cayenne are spent scratching my head. Normally, photographs don’t do a automobile justice, and when your eyes are allowed to soak up all three dimensions from each potential route, nuances that you simply maybe missed earlier than emerge. Not this time. The Cayenne appears to be like precisely as I noticed it within the photos – virtually equivalent to its predecessor, aside from the rear, the place an LED mild band connects the brand new, slimmer LED tail-lamps. I do one other walk-around and provides it a twice-over, and maybe, from the rear, it appears to be like a bit stockier and never fairly as curvaceous (the glasshouse seems to have been widened and lowered). Additionally contributing to the blockier look are the large, rectangular air intakes on this Turbo model (which open and shut relying on cooling wants, by the way). I do need to admit, I’m a fan of the ‘four-talon’ mild signature on these top-spec PDLS Plus Matrix LED headlamps. Ordinarily, I’d keep away from a lot design criticism (Lord is aware of Porsche likes to cling tightly to outdated designs), however bear in mind, that is the high-end SUV market in India – picture issues. The very last thing you need is in your friends on the golf membership to suppose you’ve purchased the outdated model.
However if, rightly so, you’re not bothered about what different folks suppose, it’s the mechanicals that are actually the substance of the brand new Cayenne. As earlier than, it shares its platform – this time, the VW Group’s new ‘MLB Evo’ – with the newest Audi Q7 and VW Touareg. Nonetheless, additionally sharing the identical nuts and bolts now are the Audi Q8, Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus. Porsche, nevertheless, has at all times gone out of its technique to re-engineer the hell out of its automobiles to make them really feel distinct, and that’s true this time as nicely. I’ve been lucky sufficient to drive most of those platform-shared SUVs (save for the Q8 and Touareg), and the Cayenne feels just a bit bit totally different. As with all Porsches, you’re feeling a larger sense of robustness by the suspension, steering, the door shut, and even simply the stalks behind the steering wheel. The whole lot clicks firmer, feels weightier and thumps more durable – and sure, this implies the suspension too.
What’s it wish to drive?
The experience, even within the air suspension’s softest setting, feels a bit on the agency aspect, and what doesn’t assist are the 21-inch wheels. It’s flat and absorbent sufficient on a easy highway, however you’ll really feel these monstrous tyres (315-section, 35-profile on the rear!) jiggle over lumps and slam by bumps.
So the impression you get at first is of a giant, hulking piece of metallic that kilos the bottom into submission. And, in case you present it an off-road course, that’s precisely what it’ll do. For a maker of automobiles designed expressly for going shortly round corners (we’ll get to that shortly), they positive have dedicated lots to making their SUV a correct off-roader. It might have lengthy forgone the locking differentials and switch circumstances of the first-gen automobile, however with off-road-specific driving modes, intelligent electronics and air suspension that may yield 245mm of floor clearance and 500mm of water-fording depth, this one isn’t any softie. Regardless of these massive wheels and skinny tyres, it merely crushed the muddy, gravelly quarry we drove it by, full with a number of harrowing ascents and slippery descents.
However right here’s the great thing about the brand new Cayenne, and certainly each Cayenne earlier than it. Take it out onto the highway and it’s even higher. In Sport and Sport+ mode it hunkers down to only 162mm off the tarmac, the electromechanical 48v anti-roll bars are working at full energy, and you may really feel the rear-wheel steering in motion as the large Porsche virtually pirouettes round corners, with the form of physics-defying composure that’s barely plausible from a automobile this massive and heavy, not to mention one with air suspension. Additionally baffling is simply how pinpoint correct the steering is. Most luxurious SUVs dial in somewhat little bit of slack within the curiosity of consolation (once more, the remainder of the MLB Evo fraternity involves thoughts) however not right here. The Cayenne’s helm is unabashedly fast and sharp, though maybe missing a few of that great suggestions we bear in mind from the earlier automobile. There’s additionally loads of heft within the wheel that offers you a similar feeling of authority in the midst of a nook like a 911 would. Speak about DNA! What this explicit specification of Cayenne Turbo is lacking is the optionally available torque vectoring system, which might have made for even stronger efficiency by the corners, however even with out it, it’ll present most sportscars a clear pair of heels down a twisty highway.
What additionally helps in placing critical distance between you and each different automobile on the highway is the engine. As earlier than, the Cayenne Turbo makes use of a turbocharged V8, but it surely’s smaller and extra highly effective, and also you’ll additionally discover it within the Panamera, the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus. It’s an incredible motor, this Three,996cc biturbo V8. Compact, direct-injection, with its turbos nestled between the cylinder banks for faster responses and even the flexibility to run on simply 4 of these cylinders below mild load, for higher gas consumption. It’s additionally good for 550hp and 770Nm of torque, which suggests this 2.2-tonne SUV isn’t any slouch. We examined a Zero-100kph time of four.2sec and it cracked 200 in simply 15.2!
In contrast to the Panamera, which makes use of a brand new Eight-speed PDK double-clutch auto, this one makes use of the tried and examined ZF-sourced eight-speed torque converter. And that’s simply as nicely, as a result of it permits for easy shifts at ambling speeds, whereas swapping cogs as shortly and seamlessly as any PDK. What I like is that Porsche has made the shifts fast and environment friendly – not like Lamborghini that dials in some ferocity for the sake of drama. The Cayenne’s gearbox simply goes about its enterprise behind the scenes; whether or not you’re in Consolation or Sport+, it’s prefer it’s barely there.
And its enterprise is the enterprise of hurling you ahead at breakneck speeds. Flatten your foot from a standstill or on the transfer and every thing hooks up so shortly, you barely have sufficient time to course of it. The quantity of thrust must be felt to be believed.
What’s it like inside?
‘Sportscar Collectively’ – that’s the slogan of the brand new Cayenne, and to date, this Turbo has lived as much as the primary half of that catchphrase simply high quality; however what concerning the second half? Sure, the Cayenne is somewhat bit longer and wider now, however its wheelbase has stayed the identical. The result’s, whereas there’s a bit extra room within the again seat, it’s not an enormous enchancment, however then it wasn’t unhealthy to start with. The larger concern, although, is that the 2 ‘outer’ seats of the rear bench are so closely contoured, a center passenger could be relatively uncomfortable with the small squab she or he’s left to sit down on. Plus there’s an enormous central tunnel and AC unit to cope with. Issues are a lot better on the entrance, the place the Cayenne Turbo will get generously cushioned, 18-way adjustable entrance seats as commonplace. Simply the number of adjustment on supply is spectacular, and you may actually put the reminiscence settings to good use, tailoring your seating place all the way down to the final diploma.
The dashboard structure is acquainted in case you’ve been within the newest Panamera, however mercifully, they’ve toned it down somewhat bit. The place the Panamera was digitised proper all the way down to its touchscreen-actuated air-con vents, this one is a little more analogue. That mentioned, the interface continues to be made up of largely contact surfaces – an enormous 12.Three-inch touchscreen that appears crisp and responds even crisper, and a collection of shiny black touch-sensitive surfaces replaces many of the buttons. These are liable to fingerprint smudging and, although they provide haptic suggestions, will take loads of getting used to earlier than you’re utterly fluent with their features. The dials, after all, mimic the 911’s traditional five-dial structure, however as with the Panamera, solely the centre dial – the tachometer – is analogue, whereas the remainder of the instrumentation is digital. Whereas I discover that fairly cool, I’m much less a fan of the way in which this automobile is trimmed; the wooden ‘inserts’ look a bit like afterthoughts and among the plastics aren’t fairly as good as you’d anticipate in a two-crore-plus SUV.
It’s good to see that Porsche now not sells its automobiles in a barebones spec, forcing you to cough up massive cash for what most luxurious consumers would think about important. Certain, the automobiles are dearer now (the times of the Rs 75-lakh Cayenne are lengthy gone) however they’re no less than endowed with the tools you’d anticipate, and for the reason that Turbo sits increased up the pecking order, it will get extra commonplace tools too. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless many costly bins left to examine when you place your order, a few of which we expect ought to have been commonplace. Matrix LED headlamps, as an example, Park Help and the Sport Chrono package deal come to thoughts; certainly on the Turbo no less than, proper?
Ought to I purchase one?
The Cayenne has at all times been the SUV that does every thing, and that hasn’t modified with the brand new one. In truth, the most important criticism one may give it’s that it hasn’t modified sufficient from the earlier automobile, however hardly ever is there a stronger case for the outdated ‘if it ain’t broke’ adage. It’s an absolute engineering marvel – a automobile that’s capable of speed up and deal with like a sportscar, however but be comfy and splendid out on the freeway, and – in case you’re loopy sufficient to oblige it – dominate a rally stage as nicely.
Some would possibly say a Rs 1.92 crore beginning worth is a bit steep and that solely grows as you pile on the choices, however take into consideration what number of different SUVs can do what this Cayenne Turbo does. A Vary Rover SVR or AMG G63 are nice off-road and pack a strong punch, however may by no means deal with like this. A BMW X5M or X6M may do the on-road stuff however aren’t nice at roughing it. A Bentley Bentayga is extra luxurious however isn’t a driver’s automobile and a Lamborghini Urus would possibly match it for thrills, however each these are far dearer. If you need all of it, this merely is the super-SUV it’s essential to have.