PORSCHE’S CAYENNE ISN’T FOR CHOWDERHEADS
Porsche’s Cayenne, though it may be an “SUV,” hardly evokes the stereotypes Sports Utility Vehicles are largely known and harshly judged for. I’ve never seen a Cayenne with a “GO USA!” sticker on its bumper, for example, nor have I ever seen anyone emerge from one wearing a hunting hat and a plaid wool vest. When you’re behind the wheel of this ferocious vehicle with its snorty, blorty exhaust, you feel you’re in a sports car, albeit a king-size one. You forget to keep an eye on mileage because the blast-offs and accelerations are two of the two finer points of the ride.
That and the well-designed, aromatic interior bursting with leather and titanium and mod-mod whangdoodles on its center console, its color back-up camera, its kick-ass-to-the-moon-and-back sound system, its surgical handling, tight braking and overall upscale design. This is a sport ute in theory, a race car in reality.
Yes, race car. My first experience with the Cayenne was during a press junket at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2003, where I cranked one up to 117 MPH on the straightaway. Though it wasn’t anywhere near a GT2 experience, naturally, it was pretty damned quick, and you ain’t gettin’ no 117 in your Escape or Outlander.
Porsche’s only improved on their ride since then, and they’ve flooded their audience with choices, choices, choices. No less than 6 trims for the Cayenne – the Cayenne V-6, the Cayenne S, the Cayenne S hybrid, the Cayenne diesel, the Cayenne GTS, and the Cayenne Turbo are available. Someone, a pro ball player, classic rocker or mogul of some sort, is going to buy one of each in each color. I settled for just one, only I didn’t settle.
You’re smacked in the heart, mind and guts via a 4.8L V-8, 420 hp and 381 lb-ft engine, your tranny’s got 8 speeds, it’s 4-wheel drive all the time so snow isn’t a big problem, it goes from o-60 in 5.4 seconds and its top recorded speed is 162. Like I said, it ain’t no Outlander – nor is it a Murano or even an X-5. The Cayenne stands by itself, way out in front of all the other SUV crossovers you can buy.
– Josh Max