Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011 Porsche Cayenne Reviews

Porsche purists may have hated the Porsche Cayenne from the moment of its inception, but the success of the truck has allowed the continued production of cars that enthusiasts yearn for. Even though that bid failed and Porsche has become part of the VW Group, the new bosses certainly recognize the importance of the "Porsche Cayenne" to Porsche’s bottom line. The new Porsche Cayenne is 1.8 inches longer overall and rides on a wheelbase stretched 1.6 inches, making for a ¬roomier rear seat that now slides fore and aft by 6.3 inches. There are 24 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, up from 19; with the rear seats folded, the Cayenne will accept 63 cubic feet of stuff, about the same as before.

The air suspension automatically raises the Cayenne’s body, and the center differential locks. At full throttle, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo jumped to about 50 mph seemingly instantly.

If the 2011 Porsche Cayenne is any indication, Porsche engineers got the message loud and clear. Engineers saved mass everywhere—including 17.4 pounds from the wheels, 72.4 pounds from the all-wheel-drive system and an impressive 86 pounds from the doors.

The biggest news on the option sheet is the new hybrid motor, which bumps the model range to four trim levels—the base Cayenne, Cayenne S, Hybrid and Turbo. With a nickel-metal hydride battery pack and a 47-hp electric motor, the Cayenne Hybrid uses a 3-liter supercharged V6 engine to crank out 333 hp at 5500 rpm and a hefty 428 ft-lbs of torque at 3000 rpm. For the record, that's more torque than the V8-powered Cayenne S, with better fuel economy (official EPA mileage figures have yet to be determined).

As for the Cayenne S, the truck now features an eight-speed automatic transmission and a nudge in power—up to 400 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 369 ft-lbs of torque at 3500 rpm.

The lion's share of changes goes to the range-topping Cayenne Turbo. Thanks to a significantly more composed suspension and enormous 19-inch carbon-ceramic brakes (which are optional), the vehicle finally drives like a Porsche. The turbo engine is good for 500 hp at 6000 rpm and 516 ft-lbs of torque at 2250 rpm.

There's plenty of power throughout the rev-range, thanks to the supercharger and the inherent torque of the electric motor. The Porsche Cayenne S, Hybrid, and Turbo are all noticeably more competent than their ancestors, and the claimed 23 percent improvement in efficiency is staggering. The base Cayenne will start at $46,700—$1200 more than the 2010 model, and the popular Cayenne S checks in at $63,700.

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