When you hear the name Porsche the first thought
that crosses your mind would probably be a cute looking red coloured roadster
with an exhaust note that terrifies other motorists. Well you are not too far
from the truth. Porsche undeniably makes some of the best looking and even
better handling sports and super cars in the world but they also make SUVs! And
while the world knows all too well the capabilities of their sports cars,
little can be assumed about their SUVs. Well I had the opportunity to clear the
air in this regard. I was going to get some off-road action in a Porsche
Cayenne which on road in India would be somewhere north of Rs. 1 crore.
To begin with let me throw some figures
your way. The Porsche Cayenne that I was driving gets a 3.0 litre, V6 diesel
mill which belts out a neat 245bhp from 3800-4400rpm and turns a beefy 550Nm of
torque from 1750-2750rpm. The engine comes with an AWD (All Wheel Drive) and
has been mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. On road this mammoth SUV can
attain a top speed of around 220kmph and goes from 0-100kmph in approximately
7.3 seconds. Well now that you have been informed of its capabilities on paper
let's talk a little more about how it fared.
We halted right before the adventure trail
and were asked to put the SUV in lift mode. For those of you who don't know the
Cayenne comes with two levels of lift. I selected level two just be extra careful.
The second task was to switch to off road mode. This is also where all the
various electronic driver assistance programmes would automatically kick in at
the right time. Surly enough the driver aides came to my rescue without me
having to do much at the first obstacle itself. I was rolling over a steep
curved climb when the SUV infront of me stopped in the middle of the climb. The
vehicles hill hold function kicked in and I had to just wait for the driver
infront to clear the track. With the hill hold in place I gently accelerated
and the 550Nm of torque ensured a smooth climb up.
Going further on the adventure trail we
covered multiple steep climbs and drops, axle twisters and articulation angles.
Surprisingly I was not even breaking a sweat sitting comfy in the plush
interiors of the Cayenne. As we rolled along, it hit me that I am doing all of
this in an SUV which costs more than a crore! Well to be honest it was not the
trail then but that very fact that made me sweat a wee bit. Through loose sand
and mud, over rocks and pebbles the Porsche Cayenne rolled gracefully. A must
mention is that all of this was being done with road tyres which is mighty
We further moved on to a man made off road
test track. The track gave us a chance to check out the Cayenne's capability
over various obstacles like chicken holes, rumble strips, an acceleration and
braking zone, articulation pits and climbs, steep gradients and slush pits.
This was where I could quite accurately gauge just how capable the Porsche
Cayenne was. All of it seemed so graceful and effortless as this SUV just
breezed through the course in a matter of minutes. Well some credit also goes
to your truly for driving decently well. At the end of the day I was quite
happy as I concluded this not to be an overpriced and incapable SUV but truly
competent of taking on some moderate trails. To be accurate about its
competence I shall end by saying this "all you need worry about is the
throttle inputs and the direction you are pointing it in."
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