First drive reviews of the brand new Porsche Cayenne have been popping up across the credible motoring sites and the reception is generally excellent. Porsche flew lots of reviewers to Crete for the European launch, which won’t have done their feedback any harm, but what the journos are saying makes sense.
The new Cayenne shares its platform with the Bentley Bentayga, Audi Q7 and forthcoming Lamborghini Urus. The Cayenne S has abandoned the beautiful big Porsche-built V8 that my old bus uses and gone to a group-derived 434bhp, twin-turbo V6 with eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.9-litre engine has an exceptional torque curve, with 405lb ft on tap from 1800 to 5500 revs! That is really something else and a chunk more than a standard V8 S, which had 310lb ft from 2500-5500. Mine has been ECU flashed, so maybe makes a bit more, but would love to try this twin-turbo with a car trailer on the back.
Matt Bird at Autocar gave the new truck just shy of a five-star rating, calling it “fairly tremendous at a great many things. The Cayenne’s cabin is a triumph, comprised of sumptuous materials, seamlessly integrated technology and considerable style.” The Autocar review goes on to rate the chassis pretty highly:
“Our test Cayenne S featured carbon ceramic brakes, adaptive air suspension, rear axle steering and 21in wheels. When you bear in mind that a standard car would use steel springs, half the amount of steered wheels, smaller rims and iron brakes, you can see how it is hard to make a definitive judgement on the standard Cayenne S. As you might expect, however, the test car delivered a stellar dynamic performance.”
I can’t say that ceramic brakes or rear wheel steering would be essential additions on what I use my Cayenne for, but if you want to hoon it while the kids are in the back trying to Snapchat each other then good luck to you – don’t forget to tick the wipe clean upholstery box.
For the 500 miles a year that a family man might get to really thrash a Cayenne hard with no one else in it, and given how well mine goes on steel springs and steel brakes, not to mention the lack of complexity, I think I would just spec it as standard, but that is not the press fleet way. If you’re going to fly hundreds of road test heroes to Crete at great cost, you must give them air suspension and 21-inch wheels to caress.
Meanwhile, regular people with cash will buy the S with nice paint, simple leather, smaller wheels and reasonable spec. The huge central screen is a must. Pano roof also nice but big glass roofs have a name for playing up in the long term. I don’t miss a leaky, creaky sunroof on mine.
New Cayenne: I like it too. No surprise there.