Autocar gets the full scoop on Porsche's new luxury sports off-roader on an exclusive ride along
15 February 2010

Porsche’s new Cayenne will have much improved off-road ability than the model it replaces, Autocar has learned while on an exclusive development ride along in the new luxury SUV.

Jurgen Zoellter joined Porsche’s head of development Rolf Frech and his team in the UAE to test the Cayenne’s resilience to hot weather, as well as its ability to cope with the extreme conditions of a 300ft sand dune known as Big Red.

Exclusive Porsche Cayenne desert development photos

Off-road ability

Advancements have been made to the Cayenne’s centre and rear locking differentials, its air suspension, traction control and torque vectoring system to improve its off-road ability over the old car.

The Cayenne Turbo model tested was able to go up and down Big Red four times, with the speed rarely dropping below 30mph. “You couldn’t do that in the current Turbo,” said Frech. “It would have got stuck, worn out or both.”

The only problem encountered on Big Red was the fifth climb, where the rear differential overheated and refused to lock. The Cayenne was left to cool for five minutes before beginning another descent and it was a problem Frech was unconcerned about.

“These are extreme conditions and eventually something had to give,” he said. I’m confident few owners will subject their cars to such punishment.

“Overall, I’m very happy. The car is a big improvement from the last one; it’s more finely honed – more of a Porsche than before.”

Design

While in UAE, Zoellter also learned more about the new Cayenne’s design and mechanicals. Like the Volkswagen Touareg it is based on, the Cayenne has been given a complete makeover, while also making use of Panamera architecture and mechanicals.

It has grown by 45mm over the outgoing model, 40mm of this growth occurring in its wheelbase. This is mainly to create more legroom for rear passengers.

The new Cayenne also weighs in almost 200kg lighter than the old model. A Cayenne S will have a kerb weight of 2095kg. These weight reductions have mainly been achieved by the use of more aluminium in its construction. This is most notable in its bonnet, doors, axles and front bumper.

Model range and new features

When the new Cayenne reaches UK showrooms in the summer, three models will be available. These are a 296bhp 3.6-litre Cayenne V6, a 394bhp 4.8-litre Cayenne S and a 493bhp Cayenne Turbo. A V6 diesel and a hybrid are expected to follow later in the year.

The Cayenne Turbo model will be able to crack 0-62mph in 4.6sec.

The old Cayenne’s variable-height, roll-controlled air suspension has been retained, but its low-range transfer gearbox has been dropped. Unlike the Panamera’s dual-clutch ‘box, the Cayenne gets a torque convertor automatic.

“The PDK system couldn’t cope with high-stress, low-speed manoeuvres like rock crawling without overheating,” said Frech.

The Aisin-supplied gearbox in the new Cayenne has shorter first and second gears to boost acceleration and taller seventh and eight gears to boost motorway efficiency.

Cayenne hybrid

Later this year Porsche will add a Cayenne hybrid model to the range. This will be powered by a 328bhp V6 petrol engine and a 34kW electric motor, which should ensure the hybrid is good for 34.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 193g/km.

Frech said the addition of the hybrid Cayenne was necessary as it is Porsche’s biggest seller and contributor to its fleet CO2 average. But he added that the CO2 emissions across the range were down 23 per cent, and three of the five Cayennes capable of achieving almost 30mpg.

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Join the debate

Comments
13

22 January 2010

It's a pity about the low range drive being dropped as, in my experience, the Cayenne was rather good off road.

It has excellent attack and departure angles. I suppose the predictable response would be, "Nobody takes them off road."

I know many that do and found them far more capable than their other German counterparts. They should do a Holland and Holland version!

22 January 2010

Why oh why are they pouring money into developing and building V6s for the Cayenne? Why not just use the flat-sixes from their sports car range? Come to think of it, why did they develop V8s rather than stretching the flat-6 into a flat-8? I can't think of any practical impediment, and it would save money in terms of production costs. Or are the Porsche V6s and V8s derived from Audi engines? And are Audi's V6s the same thing as VW VR6s, or are they completely different?

22 January 2010

[quote Rover P6 3500S]Why oh why are they pouring money into developing and building V6s for the Cayenne? Why not just use the flat-sixes from their sports car range? Come to think of it, why did they develop V8s rather than stretching the flat-6 into a flat-8? I can't think of any practical impediment, and it would save money in terms of production costs. Or are the Porsche V6s and V8s derived from Audi engines? And are Audi's V6s the same thing as VW VR6s, or are they completely different?[/quote]

I dont think the V6's are anything other than ordinary VW Audi engines just being used to fill in the bottom of the range.

But the V8 is a Porsche engine.

I think its a packaging issue in using flat engines instead of V's. Dont forget the body shell was designed with VW and they didnt have access to flat engines when it was being designed. It had to take engines from both makers.

22 January 2010

[quote Autocar] Autocar has learned while on an exclusive development ride along in the new luxury SUV.
[/quote]

was it as 'exclusive' as the ride given to the journalist who wrote the article in the current edition of Autozeitung magazine?:

AUTO ZEITUNG Heft 3/2010 - Letzte Testfahrten mit neuem Porsche Cayenne

22 January 2010

Australia also has a Big Red dune of similar stature - Wheels magazine drove a Porsche 911 up it several years ago, passing several Toyota LandCruisers that couldn't cope with it.

Which just goes to prove that you don't actually need a Cayenne - a 911 is all you need for sund duning.

Also, yes - the V6 petrol and diesel units in the Cayenne are Audi/VW units as used in the Q7 and Touareg. However I think the V8 engine is different to the Audi/VW unit, or at least majorly re-worked.

22 January 2010

It looks better than the first one. And loosing a bit of weight can only hope. I remember riding as a passenger in a Cayenne Turbo and the average mpg on the trip computer was 15.6mpg! Crikey.

22 January 2010

Aisin is a Japanese transmission manufacturer. I know they also supply the 6 speed manual transmission in the 997 model. Porsche used the 5 speed auto transmission from Merc on the pre facelift 997 which is now replaced by PDK. Much to my surprise, Aisin also supply the 8 speed auto transmission in the new Cayenne.

Usually German car makers (especially BM) favour transmission from Getrag or ZF.

Merc used to manufacture their own transmission (up to the 5 speed auto) but I don't know of late.

Don't know about Audi though.

22 January 2010

wasn't the big weight headline leaving out the reduction gearbox? All the rest is good but almost window dressing by comparison. I wonder how much alloy VW can afford? Their weight saving will be less than the Porsche, I'll bet.

22 January 2010

[quote dennisthemenance]Don't know about Audi though.[/quote] Audi use ZF for their torque converter based automatics...

22 January 2010

Apart for a few shallow fashionistas who want a Porsche badge on their keyring, I really don't understand why anyone would buy a Cayenne. There are better looking 4x4s that can out perform the Cayenne both on and off road. really dont get it. Can I nominate this as the most totally pointless car of 2010, and it is just 22nd of January?

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