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Porsche Cayenne

MkII Cayenne

1 Mar 2007

PORSCHE has moved to quell any dispute over its leadership in the performance SUV stakes with its facelifted Cayenne. Power and performance are the main ingredients with the revised SUV, courtesy of direct fuel-injection, bigger-displacement engines and higher outputs – and, we should add, a reduction of fuel consumption by up to eight per cent.

Joining the V8-powered Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo will be an "entry-level" six-cylinder model – the Cayenne – which, in a first for Porsche in Australia, sends the starting price below $100,000.There is no S version of the Turbo for now, by virtue of the fact that power and torque on the incoming standard Turbo has grown closer to the current Turbo S.

Rather than using an iteration of its acclaimed boxer six, the Cayenne relies on a Volkswagen-sourced 3.6-litre V6 – as seen in the Passat R36 – which in this case develops 213kW of power and 385Nm of torque.

Paired with a six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission as standard, the V6 enables acceleration from 0-100km/h in a claimed 8.5 seconds. Top speed for the Cayenne six is 227km/h.

The most impressive numbers are found in the V8s. The natural-breathing V8 has increased from 4.5 to 4.8 litres and, with the added benefit of direct injection and "VarioCam Plus" valve control, produces 283kW (up 33kW) and 500Nm (up 80Nm).

On the road, the engine modifications shave 0.4 seconds off the 0-100km/h time – now down to 6.8 seconds – and allow the maximum speed to climb 8km/h to 250km/h.

Also now out to 4.8 litres, the twin-turbocharged version of the V8 produces 368kW (up 37Nm) and 700Nm (also up 80Nm), which translates to 0-100km/h acceleration of 5.1 seconds (down from 5.6 seconds) and a 275km/h top speed (up from 266km/h). By comparison, the current $241,000 4.5-litre Turbo S – now in run-out – produces 383kW and 720Nm.

Both the Cayenne and Cayenne S can be ordered with a six-speed manual gearbox, which is claimed to reduce the 0-100km/h time to 8.1 and 6.6 seconds respectively.

Porsche's "dynamic chassis control" system debuts on the SUV, while air suspension and the "active suspension management" system will be fitted standard to the V8s and are available as an option on the V6.

All models will feature Porsche's "traction management" permanent 4WD system, which distributes torque 38:62 front/rear in normal conditions, but via a multi-disc clutch can direct up to 100 per cent to either end. A "stability management" system, which includes brake assist and off-road ABS, will also be standard across the range.

PORSCHE'S most tarmac-focussed Cayenne to date was launched in Australia in April 2008 and is expected to attract a significant new proportion of sales of the hallowed German's brand's first SUV in Australia.

Priced at $153,500 and billed as "the sportscar of the Cayenne family", the GTS fills the gaping hole in the range between the V8-powered Cayenne S ($134,500) on which it is based and the range-topping Cayenne Turbo ($215,200).

As such, it is expected to draw buyers mostly up from the S, which will still be the most popular Cayenne with almost 40 per cent of sales expected.

The GTS is based on the naturally-aspirated V8-powered Cayenne S, but features specific front and rear bumpers, a roof spoiler, two unique colours, a lower ride height, unique 21-inch alloy wheels that give it a wider track, and engine changes that see it deliver the same 500Nm of torque but an extra 15kW (298kW).

Inside, there is a satin aluminium" centre console and sports seats – the latter featuring part Alcantara trim to match the fake suede roof lining, 12-way power adjustment and memory function up front and more substantial side bolstering both front and (for the outboardpositions) rear.

Shorter final-drive gearing results in 0-100km/h acceleration that is three-tenths quicker in auto guise at 6.5 seconds (6.1 for the manual), a claimed top speed that increases by 1km/h to 251km/h (253km/h for the manual), and a rise in combined average fuel consumption, from 13.7 to 13.9L/100km.

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