Charting a New Course with the new Porsche Cayenne

Porsche Cayenne test drive_4 Motorsportchannel.com/Allcarschannel.com recently joined Porsche Malaysia on a test drive journey to Johor Bahru for the unveiling of the Cayman GT4. The test variant provided for the 4-hour run to JB’x Premium Outlets was none other than the impeccable Porsche Cayenne range, which debut domestically back in July 2014.

Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) had allocated three versions of the Cayenne; Turbo, Diesel and top-flight E-Hybrid, just for the 4-hour drive down south. As probably been much written about; the new Cayenne line-up boasts improved performance and torque, coupled with lower fuel consumption. The familiar engines have been upgraded and optimized for Porsche’s mid-sized luxury SUV.

The excitement and fun of being inside three different versions of the Cayenne within a period of four hours, ranged from pumped to a state of extreme adrenaline rush for most of the invited motoring journos. Due to somewhat heavy traffic on the day, our Cayenne was delayed during the course of the twisty and inner country roads at the State of Negri Sembilan and well, if it was just PLUS highway all the way to JPO, then it would have been a more monotonous driving experience.

But, the awesome feeling of experiencing the power and acceleration of the Cayenne became instant once the traffic cleared, whether it was overtaking manoeuvres or fast straights. Honestly, the one on the steering would feel the adrenaline rush much more than the passengers but all of us relished the comfortable level of being inside each of the Cayennes, despite the frequent punch of the SUV’s acceleration.

There were two units of each Cayenne version utilized for the test drive to go with eighteen of the invited motoring journos. Every one took turns with the Cayenne for a 45-minute interval, prior to the mandatory driver switch. However, the first person at the wheel from flag off probably had the least exhilaration due to the traffic-cluttered route, on the way to the check point. The next two designated drivers were the lucky ones to feel the full might of the Cayenne, regardless of versions. The second check point route pointed to plenty of twisty roads, which started from the KLIA vicinity, passed Sepang circuit, and headed for remote Sepang town, Lukut. From Lukut, our group hurriedly drove the Port Dickson-Seremban highway route to conjure at the Avalon for a second photo shoot.

From the Avalon, Port Dickson, our group resumed the drive headed for Linggi via Route N8, which wasn’t as challenging but was virtually traffic free. This route presented an opportunity to push the Cayenne to the limits as the designated driver promptly pushed and braked on point at the S curves and straights. The adrenaline rush was cool to begin with, as none of the shots captured during this segment was clear nor in focus, thanks to the camera shakes encountered as the Cayenne negotiated those S-curves rather magnificently.

One of the versions available for the drive was the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment. As one of the top-of-the-line offerings in the range, the S E-Hybrid offers outstanding fuel consumption and emission values. The new plug-in hybrid version has a lithium-ion traction battery with an energy capacity of 10.9 kWh, enabling an all-electric driving range of 18 to 36 km. Power from the electric motor can generate anywhere from 47 hp (34 kW) to 95 hp (70 kW) of output. Fuel consumption gets down to as low as 3.4 l/100 km, with emissions at a decent 79 g/km CO2. When paired to the three-liter V6 supercharged engine, the Cayenne S E-Hyrid ignites for 416 hp (306 kW) at 5,500 rpm and a total system torque of 590 Nm from 1,250 to 4,000 rpm. This enables driving performance on the level of a sports car, with a 0 – 100km/h sprint in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 243 km/h (125 km/h in all-electric mode).

Next up was the Cayenne S, fitted with a new 3.6-liter V6 biturbo engine and paired to an 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission. Despite an engine downsizing in terms of displacement and fewer cylinders, the Cayenne S still provides a maximum power of 420 hp (309 kW) at 6,000 rpm, a gain of 20 hp/15 kW from the previous V8 version. Torque ratings are equally impressive at 550 Nm from 1,350 to 4,500 rpm, a gain of 50 Nm from its predecessor. For fuel consumption, the Cayenne S averages between 9.5 and 9.8 l/100 km, and 223 and 229 g/km in emissions; about a liter less than the previous V8 engine. Zero to hundred and top speed are rendered at 5.5 seconds, 0.4 secs faster than previous edition, and 250 km/h. With the available optional Sport Chrono package, the 0 – 100 km/h figure drops by 0.1 secs.

Moving on up the ladder was the Cayenne Turbo, which brought a lot of smiles to the faces of the designated drivers. Our group could hear the grunt that came from the exhaust pipes at the rear each time the car accelerated hard. However, the cost of experiencing the Turbo was a little higher than the other Cayennes. It was the final Cayenne for our group during the drive, and by the time we reached our final destination, the Cayenne Turbo had a little less than a quarter of fuel left on the gauge. But, the ‘Adrenaline Rush’ was indeed worth every drop!

The Cayenne Turbo needs no further introduction as the range’s top flight version, with a 520 hp 4.8-liter V8 engine and staggering 750 Nm torque figure. The Cayenne Turbo does 0 – 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds (4.4 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package) and tops out at 279 km/h.

SDAP has a complete range of the new Cayenne, with a starting price of RM640,000 for the base and Diesel versions. The
Cayenne S and Cayenne S Diesel go from RM 760,000 and RM 780,000, while the Cayenne S E-Hybrid runs from RM 770,000. The two top-of-the-line versions, the Cayenne GTS and Turbo are listed from RM 900,000 and RM 1,150,000, respectively. All Porsche Cayennes include a facory 4-year warranty, provided by SDAP (Porsche Malaysia).

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