Porsche’s rich world consists
of some iconic models like the 911, Boxter, Cayman, 918 Spyder, Macan, Panamera
and the Cayenne. It’s a common perception that these cars are best taken on a
race track and made to scream their hearts out. Their engines waste no time in
generating enough power to set the tracks ablaze! But some of the Porsche
models like the Macan and Cayenne SUVs are also known for their off-road
Keeping this in mind, the
Porsche India Delhi office invited a few journalists to test drive and
experience their Big Boys on a specially made off-road track on the outskirts
of Delhi. Sitting behind the wheels of an SUV that costs upwards of Rs 1 crore,
I reminded myself that I needed to be very careful with this rich brute lest I
carelessly damaged it as I went over the several hurdles. The short course consisted of the usual
rumble strips to test out the NVH levels, uphill and downhill hurdles to test
out the hill-hold and hill descend functions respectively, the deep pits full
of water to test out its wading capabilities and different types of steep angle
courses to test out the traction control and suspension of the vehicle. There
was also a short strip for acceleration and sudden braking in order to test the
ABS feature of the car.
On a personal front, I found
the experience a cake walk. Having attempted similar challenges in both an
artificial environment and in the real world (like the desert challenge in
Rajasthan etc) in vehicles that cost a
fraction of a Porsche car and fitted with below par mechanisms in terms of
dependability, driving the Porsche Cayenne was like a walk in the park.
The 3 litre diesel engine
Porsche Cayenne had some splendid features to boast of that made off-road
driving a pleasure. It is no doubt a sports car with some well endowed off-road
capabilities. As we moved on from the regular tarmac to the off-road track, all
it needed was a tug of a button and air
suspension ensured that the ride height increased accordingly. As for taking on
the rough terrain, there is this Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM)
along with all-wheel drive that comes into play almost immediately.
The Porsche Cayenne is offered
in India in several variants that include the Cayenne Diesel, Cayenne S Diesel,
Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo, Cayenne Turbo S and the Cayenne GTS. Porsche claims
that the new Cayenne models have increased performance and torque coupled with
a lower fuel consumption compared to its predecessors. Though we were not on a
track to test the Cayenne’s speeding capabilities, it was the suspension that
showed that was tested to the hilt. The outcome was obvious, the car’s
performance was truly remarkable.
The Cayenne Diesel variant we
drove was powered by a V6 TDI Common Rail Direct Fuel Injection engine that
churned out 240bhp and a peak torque of 550 Nm. The Cayenne has a monocoque
lightweight body in a combination of steel, aluminium and magnesium. The car
sits on 255/55 R 18 tyres.
The Porsche Cayenne can handle
uneven terrain with great ease. Even in extreme conditions when the vehicle has
just one or two wheels on the ground and is tilted precariously, its
intelligent suspensions management system provides the right amount of traction
to the right wheels to pull the massive vehicle back on the ground. The car was
also tested on tracks that had a side inclination of more than 30 degree angle.
The heavily tilted car remained well planted on the ground as it drove along
with considerable ease. So much for the Cayenne’s great off-road capabilities!
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