By on May 4, 2007

frontblack.jpgGlobal warming. Some consumers consider hybrids the responsible response. Others are busy taking one last toke on the tailpipe of extravagance. Pistonheads, have I got a bong for you! After accelerating Porsche's 2.5 ton brick to 60mph in less than five seconds, I can only conclude that you NEED a Cayenne Turbo– if only to outrun the Earth Day crowd tossing rocks at your windows. The Turbo is pointless and politically incorrect and you better get one now before all the oil and clean air are gone forever.

The previous Cayenne Turbo was styled by the same people who train (inject? genetically engineer?) WWF wrestlers. The '08 model is even less in touch with its feminine side. In fact, the new Turbo's mammoth grill looks set to swallow a Miata whole. In the rear, quad pipes jutting out from my tester's prison wall rear made an interesting contrast to the trailer hitch ($630) located between them. The Porker's 21" wheels ($4145) had me checking my fillings ($375).

satnav.jpgThe Cayenne Turbo ($93,700) comes standard with plenty of modern conveniences: satellite radio, heated seats and steering wheel, dual zone climate control, etc. For slightly less than the price of a Kia Rio, your dealer will gladly upgrade his profit your comfort to the requisite extreme. How about a cool looking cargo management system ($590 or the same price as 118 bungee cords)? The panoramic sunroof ($3,900) is a must-see. But I'm not so sure about the rear camera and park distance control ($1680); I'd rather pay a bystander $5 each time I need help backing up.

The Cayenne Turbo's nav system had me wondering about the price of tour guides. I swear: Werner Von Braun couldn't operate this system. After my driving partner and I became momentarily disoriented (lost), he fiddled with the 39 buttons surrounding the nav screen for a good ten minutes. We eventually gave up and retraced our missteps.

rear-cargo-bay.jpgAs you might expect from a German automaker that came to luxury trucks via purpose built sports cars, the Cayenne Turbo has a few lessons yet to learn. Although the leather makes the grade, the plastic switchgear isn't pleasant at this price and the erstwhile operation of the Cayenne's fold-down rear seats is maddening. Continuing your OCD RTFM education from last week's Bimmer review…

First, squeeze the cleverly concealed latch that allows you remove the rear headrests and throw the neck savers on the floor. Next, pull on the back of the rear seat cushions, starting on the driver's side, until the bench stands upright. Now fold the seat back towards the front– oops, not enough clearance. Open the front door, move the front seats forward. Ignoring the effect on front legroom, fold down the seats [as] flat [as they can go].   

sidefast.jpgOn the flipside, Porsche engineers get Mehta-esque mad props for making the "refreshed" ‘08 Cayenne Turbo even faster than its preposterously pacey predecessor. Using direct injection engine technology (applied across the Cayenne line), Porsche's boffins boosted the Turbo's horsepower to 500 and upped torque to 516 ft.-lbs. I'm afraid it must be said: that's an excremental load of grunt for an SUV.  

Forward thrust is appropriately brutal. The Turbo's weight actually adds to the experience– in the same sense that an F18 Hornet wouldn't be half as much fun blasting off a carrier deck if it weighed half as much. Unlike the outgoing Cayenne Turbo S, blower lag is no longer an issue. Although there's a momentary delay as the afterburners light-up, the twin turbos are wonderfully responsive to both a wide open throttle and cruise control. As you'd hope, the anchors are automotive arresting wires.

side.jpgAcronym-starved rivet counters (and the Pendleton District Camera Club) will delight in the knowledge that The Sultans of Stuttgart have blessed the PASM-equipped Cayenne Turbo with yet another automotive acronym: PDCC or Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. So now upmarket truck drivers get a side order of active stabilizers (on the front and rear axles) with their infinitely adjustable adaptive dampers. With both systems engaged (or at least going steady), you'd swear you were driving a VW GTI with sandbags in the back.  

Again, the Cayenne Turbo's fuel economy sucks: 12 city, 19 highway, and a lot less when driven by the type of person bound to buy one of these astounding luxobarges. But hey, it's better than it was– only the EPA's changed the testing procedure so it doesn't seem that way and anyway how many people really care? About as many people who've taken this thing off-road.    

rearblack.jpgIf you're ready to party like it's 1999, the 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo will gargle gas, accelerate, brake and handle better than any of its competition– you know, if there was any. It's an extremely capable, utterly unique and completely indefensible vehicle. Nice one Porsche.

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70 Comments on “Porsche Cayenne Turbo Review...”


  • avatar
    craiggbear

    Once again, Porsche – There is no Substitute!

  • avatar
    JJ

    It’s almost as cool as a Lamborghini LM002.

    http://mclellansautomotive.com/photos/B7886.jpgLambo Lm002

    Equiped with the Countach V12…

  • avatar
    shaker

    Kudos to Porsche for mitigating the class divide; rich and poor alike, standing at gas pumps, grumbling about putting a similar percentage of their income into their gas tanks.

  • avatar

    A number of people have suggested that I take a Cayenne for a test drive, but somehow whenever I visit a Porsche dealer I end up asking to sample a different model. So thanks for the wonderfully descriptive review. I had a similar "mass can be fun" feeling in the Audi Q7. No doubt this is a Q7 to the next level or three. Sounds like they're still stuck with 1990s folding seat technology, though. Having to remove the headrests is so passe. No pricing for the 2008 Cayenne in my database just yet–I'll get it in by the end of the month in case two or three people are interested. 2006 prices are in there though. (There was no 2007.) Option prices are insanely high. http://www.truedelta.com/models/Cayenne.php

  • avatar
    Dayveo

    Just my humble opinion, but I’m really hoping that there are more reviews of non-luxury, non-SUV, lower end everyman cars on the Horizon.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    “If you’re ready to party like it’s 1999, the 2008 Porsche Cayenne Turbo will gargle gas, accelerate, brake and handle better than any of its competition– you know, if there was any.”

    Well, there is the Dodge Ram SRT-10, another vehicle that’s totally unnecessary for the times, but loads of fun. I guess that can count for some kind of competition.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    I’ll say it again (in case anyone missed it the first time), this is the most extreme example of a class of vehicles with no reason to exist. Cayenne, Q7, Ranger Rover, it does not matter. The more expensive the SUV, the less sense it makes.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    The poster child for everything that is wrong with the automotive marketplace of today. Oversized, overpowered and overweight. It is not elegant, it is not sporting, it is not pretty. The only message it can possibly send to the neighboors is: “I have a lot more dollars than sense.”

    Must have been designed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enslave Americans.

  • avatar
    craiggbear

    “The more expensive the SUV, the less sense it makes.”

    I guess we should all drive Prius’ or Yari? Why pick on SUV’s, the Mini Cooper JCW is no economy (or cheap) car, or Bentley or Rolls or Lambo or Ferrari…? Get a bike if you want to be green or cheap!

  • avatar
    craiggbear

    “I have a lot more dollars than sense.”

    I believe the response to this is… “Yeah, Baby” – then get on your 60 foot yacht and sail away.

    Yeah, Baby!!”

  • avatar
    AKM

    I have to disagree with one thing here: Again, the Cayenne Turbo’s fuel economy sucks: 12 city, 19 highway, and a lot less when driven by the type of person bound to buy one of these astounding luxobarges.”

    Near Short Hills, NJ, most people driving those are suburban desperate housewives, and they are so busy talking on their cellphones/sidekicks/whatever the latest in useless wireless technology is that they often are under the speed limit.
    Either that or, just like many corvette owners, they are well advanced in geriatrics and would not risk scratching the paint.

  • avatar

    AKM: I agree with your depiction of U.S. Cayenne owners, which applies to most suburban owners of upmarket SUV's (I watched a bleach blond wheel her Escalade ESV into a Starbucks parking lot yesterday while yakking on the cell.) But the Cayenne Turbo driver is a breed apart. The other day I was cruising at the ton in my Boxster S, looked in the rear view and recognized a Cayenne Turbo grill (I couldn't see anything else). I pulled over and they blasted by at a ferocious clip. Must've cost $5 in gas right there. But hey, it's a free country. Burn baby burn! (Gas.)

  • avatar
    kasumi

    I think Jay’s article makes the point that the Cayenne is a great vehicle, but is not for everyone. Agreeing with Robert on AKM’s depiction of the most common Cayenne owners. My neighbor is looking into getting a new SUV and considering all the variations on large with a fuel guzzling problem- Range Rover, Cayenne, Commander (don’t think I’ll see a Hummer in the driveway though). When I was shocked after my wife told me this, she replied, “She only drives 2 miles to the grocery store or a mile to the school.” Maybe a reason people still buy these (outside of those racing in the desert) is because if you drive 10 miles a week, mileage ain’t that bad.

    I also see a black Cayenne turbo that apparently only travels to my neighborhood Starbucks. I don’t think its been above 28 miles/hour yet.

    K.

  • avatar
    JT

    “…in the same sense that an F18 Hornet wouldn’t be half as much fun blasting off a carrier deck if it weighed half as much.”

    Heh! You gotta’ get out more.

    Catapault force is set by computed weight of the aircraft. More load = more shot. F=Ma and all that.

    Perceived forces are roughly the same, although a heavy aircraft will wallow more when it leaves the deck.

    But an unladen -18 is way more fun to fly than a heavy one.

    In this analogy, the Cayenne isn’t an F-18 or anything close–it’s a C-141 with fuel use to match.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Of course a Cayenne Turbo is useless.

    Of course it’s wasteful.

    Of course it’s unecessary.

    It’s called capitalism. If you want one, and you have the beans, hey, go for it. The beauty is that folks can drive what THEY want, and they don’t have to justify it to anyone. Do we all want to be driving Trabants?

    Would I buy one? Ummm, no. Not my style.

    Just remember, the profit margins on the Cayenne are paying for that bad-ass DSG on the new 911 Turbo.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    If I was some kind of wealthy criminal (the only kind to be) I’d fit some run-flats to one and have the best get away vehicle this side of a helicopter.

  • avatar
    dougw

    There are two ways to go for pistonheads: Drive the snot out of a little car with a small motor (MINI), or lope along in a wild high performance vehicle. A big part of driving a vehicle of massive performance potential is the effortless ease with which mundane driving is accomplished. Subtle inputs spark instananeous and exciting responses. It is like riding on a cheetah instead of a donkey…even at a loping pace you get to the village both ways but which is most fun?

    Driven this way, the mileage penalty may not be as savage. I would wager that the average throttle input on most big block vehicles is modest. But it seems that the common assumption is that it is WFO all the time for these owners.

    At any rate, the freedom to have a choice is a wonderful thing.

  • avatar
    AKM

    Robert,

    I was not picking on the, um, “car”, but on most of its owners.
    If anything, it’s shame that a vehicle that seems this exceptional is driven mostly in such mundane situations. Same deal with Corvettes.

    I’m the typical “anti-look-at-me” car owner. If I could have a car with the exterior of a Toyota Tercel but that goes like a Lotus Elise, I’d buy it immediately!
    In the meantime, I drive a ’02 Golf and am looking at an impreza, A3, GTI, and Mazda3 for my next car… As close as it gets to “beauty is more than skin-deep” affordable cars.

    Back to the Cayenne, it is such a rare vehicle that not matter how evil it is environmentally, it really won’t make much difference. If anything, changing life habits (less lawn mowing, turning lights off…) would have difference.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    I put the Cayenne Turbo on par with ridiculous with the Benz R63. Crazy fast SUV meets Crazy ass Mini-van.

    “Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car.
    Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car.
    Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall, torque is how far you take the wall with you.”

  • avatar
    Mook

    Damnit, why did they have to make this new one faster? This means I have to buy a car that’s faster still. I can’t get beat by an SUV, that’s embarrasing!

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Love it.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    I love and despise it.

    Love it for the coolness factor – pushing 5500+ pounds up to near 170mph with the aerodynamics of a barn takes some work. a 500bhp SUV can’t be anything but a riot.

    i despite it because it’s completely, utterly retarded and pointless.

    But the point has been made that doesn’t really matter; i’m not going to buy one, and i’m not going to convince anyone not to by bitching about principles of a sports car.

  • avatar
    alanp

    What one has to remember is that many, if not most, vehicles are not bought for practical transportation of people and their belongings. While that may have once been a major reason, the auto makers and their advertisers have found the only way to keep up production is to create demand for creations that appeal to consumer’s desires for status, power, sex and so forth. Thus we have “performance” pickups that can’t carry any real load, exotic cars that cost more than a nice house with no trunk, SUV’s that were never designed to go off pavement and little racy cars that are traps for under experienced kid drivers. We are a society with too much wealth, too little ethics and pretty much under the control of large corporations.

    Only good thing is it won’t last much longer. Maybe 20 years, then the Ugly American will cede their “culture” to the Asian economies.

  • avatar
    Ed S.

    I understand this is an automotive site and it would be off tpoic to discuss other reasons why The Porsche Cayenne is NOT BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. IMO, taking the Cayenne out of the context of the USDM’s coal fired power infrustructure and getting angry about low city MPG is silly. Maybe the vehicle is “utterly retarded” as some have pointed out, but so is the Audi R8 for those who want to carry 2 bags of golf clubs.

    Anyway, lets not get to down on Porsche for gaming the USDM…after all, 500HP SUV’s are how they plan to underwrite their purchase of VW.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I have no use for an SUV. Thank god because this is the only one i’d ever consider owning. I would be so broke….

  • avatar
    jimlongx

    Jay,
    You’ve driven both, which do you prefer, the Porsche or the ML63 AMG?

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    alanp:
    May 4th, 2007 at 11:29 am

    What one has to remember is that many, if not most, vehicles are not bought for practical transportation of people and their belongings. While that may have once been a major reason, the auto makers and their advertisers have found the only way to keep up production is to create demand for creations that appeal to consumer’s desires for status, power, sex and so forth.

    What’s the point of buying a fancy car if it doesn’t make other people feel bad about themselves? :)

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    That’s now 3 Cayenne reviews here at TTAC, is that a record for a single nameplate?

  • avatar
    Antone

    Tongue-in-check, this SUV is my ideal as long as the following is added:
    -Flat black paint
    -Ballistics Glass and Kevlar body inserts (at least level 4).
    -Titanium exterior roll cage
    -Ballistics rated Tires
    -Ruf upgrades in the engine

    They should sell it as the Mad Max package.

  • avatar
    NickR

    This is going to sound awfullly sour but…I can’t think of a more pointless vehicle. If would be owners want to demonstrate their wealth (not their intelligence or social conscience obviously) to the great unwashed, slap a $100,000/unit environmental levy on it. That’ll show’em all how wealthy they are.

  • avatar
    tony-e30

    Let’s all pretend for a moment that we have a net household income of $200k.

    Wouldn’t we all be just a little tempted?

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    “It’s called capitalism.” (-Zarba)

    My take on that: wrong!

    Capitalism does not mean the unlimited rule of money. If it did, then we could be able to purchase spare kidneys and livers from poor people and their parents, and drive, Beavis-like, in army tanks.

    Capitalism is kept in check by society when there are clear moral or environmental reasons. It is easy to forbid people from selling their daughters and nobody fights that, saying “hey, it’s a free country, isn’t it?”. It is reasonable for society to prevent people from driving an M1 Abrams on the highway. And I don’t see why one shouldn’t criticize a vehicle that needlessly produces a disproportionate amount of co2.

    I say society, as a minimum, should not give tax breaks for people who drive Cayennes. Who’d buy them if they were paying out-of-pocket? Probably less than 25% of their present owner’s cohort.

    We rightly criticize people who collect welfare when they could be working. Why not diss people who take tax breaks for monster cars?

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Robert Schwartz:
    May 4th, 2007 at 8:31 am
    The poster child for everything that is wrong with the automotive marketplace of today. Oversized, overpowered and overweight. It is not elegant, it is not sporting, it is not pretty. The only message it can possibly send to the neighboors is: “I have a lot more dollars than sense.”

    Exactly what I say everytime I walk by my neighbor with is Hummer H2 sitting in the driveway. The Cayenne is still one of the ugliest, most pointless vehicles on the road IMO. Increasing the price and power have done nothing to change that.

  • avatar
    tastudios

    Two men:
    One earns $10000 a year and uses a bicycle to go to work everyday but doesn’t give away anything.
    The other earns $10 million a year and drives an F430 to work everyday, but gives away $100k a year away to charity.

    Who’s worse?

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    “tony-e30:
    May 4th, 2007 at 12:34 pm
    Let’s all pretend for a moment that we have a net household income of $200k.

    Wouldn’t we all be just a little tempted?”

    Uh, no. If I had an extra $100k laying around to spend on cars and needed/wanted an SUV, I would spend $65k on a top end Ariel Atom for the track, and get a Jeep Wrangler to use off road. This way, I would have money left over, a true off-road vehicle, and an attention grabbing car that would be an absolute blast on any race track.

  • avatar
    AKM

    Lumberg, true. However, there is something to be said for those ultimate jack-of-all-trades vehicles.
    I long/dream/fantasize for an Audi RS6 Avant…

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    tony-e30:

    No. Recently purchased a car that was 1/10 of last year’s net, and we won’t buy a vehicle we can’t write a check for.

    Extra dough’s gotta go to the 529’s and ETF’s.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I am so happy that I cannot afford to buy this, and that I have no need for an SUV. I would have a REAL hard time explaining it to mostly everyone i know.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    I await the day when these contraptions are built with an indentation in the steering wheel, allowing the driver to steer with his/her knee, freeing both hands to let us drink Starbucks and text message at the same time. Stay off the sidewalks.

  • avatar
    Luther

    Porsche shows the world what a SUV should be with this proper plant food generator!

    Well Done!

    GM (Pontiac) should sell a Lambda CUV with a twin-turbo V8 and a proper suspension setup…Call it the Pontiac GSPOT or Naga Jolokia or something.

  • avatar
    evohappy9

    “..preposterously pacey predecessor.”

    I’m a slave to alliteration too.

  • avatar

    Someone above accused the Cayenne of not being a real off-roader. Somewhat churlish. Cue obligatory links to two very entertaining Top Gear slots:

    Top Gear: Porsche Cayenne Turbo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b9Fzf6VVxA&mode=related&search=

    Top Gear: Porsche Cayenne Turbo vs Hummer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyFao6wz9O4&mode=related&search=%3Cbr%20/%3E

    Cheers

    Malcolm

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Jay, great article, great review. Often it’s at the end of the popularity of products (not just cars) that the best ones come out, and in many of those cases it’s too late to leave a huge impact.. But they’re still fantastic.

    Consider the “best of” the musclecars from the late 1960s and 1970-72. Oldsmobile was making some of its best cars (Alero, Aurora) even after the decision to euthanize was made. Or who could forget the ultimate Japanese sports coupes of the 1990s – the Supra twin turbo, the Nissan 300ZX, or the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4. All of these were at their pinnacle when the floor fell out on the market.

    I sort of look at the current Escalade the same way as this Cayenne Turbo. The best of the era at the end of the era.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Luther:
    GM (Pontiac) should sell a Lambda CUV with a twin-turbo V8 and a proper suspension setup…
    Unfortunately, I found your mocking suggestion very appealing. And I don’t even like SUVs.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    While I applaud the contribution this vehicle makes toward improvements in the real Porsches, I can’t fathom why anyone would buy it. Need the occasional SUV capabilities and seating capacity but want a Porsche, why not buy a Porsche Cayman S for ~$60k and an SUV for ~$35K. Then your hoontastic adventures in your Porsche are slightly less likely to involve multiple deaths and your SUV will be mighty capable.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    re: “Once again, Porsche – There is no Substitute!”
    craiggbear: May 4th, 2007 at 7:14 am

    “There is no excuse” – fixed it for ya.

    on a more serious note, the tone of this article had me initially a little concerned, even though i can, and do, appreciate the desire of writers to come up with fresh approaches and engaging content. i just thank the gods that there have been plenty of intelligent reader comments in response, to provide a more reasonable point of view, considering the circumstances confronting us.

    it seems to me that if porsche expects to remain in business long-term, and truly wants their product offerings to continue being best-of-class, and perceived as such, why do they not shift the focus of their research, development, manufacturing and marketing efforts towards being ‘fastest-to-market’ with a new or additional line of eco-friendly automobiles.

    just imagine a new carrera-e. and a new cayman-e. and a new boxster-e. even a new panamera-e. imagine an entire array of ‘greener’ porsches that would eventually offer far better mileage and have vastly improved emissions, while still retaining desirable, high-performance driving characteristics.

    now i realize that rome wasn’t built in a day. but i also recognize that the longest journey begins with a single step. and the ideal time to act is now. now that mankind has recently, and somewhat officially, been ‘put on notice’ regarding the very real potential for life-threatening damage and destruction resulting from accelerated climate change phenomena.

    porsche might begin with a dramatic declaration of their intentions to their customers, regarding how they hope to evolve and what they want to achieve – even how they intend to get there. and they should demonstrate the degree of dedication they will devote to this initiative. it would be a brilliant marketing move and certainly help separate them, and their products, even more from those of their competitors, in the minds of their target audiences.

    follow up with some beneficial gearing modifications to their existing transmissions and differentials. by reconfiguring and/or recalibrating their electronic performance components. by simply limiting the excessive top speeds of their vehicles. seems to me that by refocusing their priorities and sacrificing a little of their current performance capabilities, porsche could improve the ecological/carbon footprints of their automobiles [rather than unleash an even more inappropriate and offensive cayenne turbo].

    sooner, rather than later, porsche needs to set the proper example and do the right thing. for the benefit of business. for the sake of humanity. and for all the other little critters currently running around this planet, as well.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Lumbergh21:

    At least with the Hummer, I think, well, if I could mount an M2 on top …

  • avatar
    Seth

    Does anyone know how many people out there driving a half million to three quarter million RVs? Ever think about their dismal mileage and diesel pollution? They drive all over north america just for pleasure with perhaps a Range Rover or Cayenne in tow… They know that the scenery they catch is nothing breathtaking and a million bucks for RV is stupid money. But they can and so they will… I’d say a Cayenne turbo is a good value compared to a 400 thousand large motorhome and a million dollar mansion..

  • avatar
    blautens

    JT –

    Reference lighter always being more fun than excess mass – I would have agreed with you in principle a year or two ago, until I bought a 4800 pound SUV that can click off consistent 13.5 second quarters.

    Maybe it’s not the mass itself that makes you giggle – it’s knowing that that much weight (in a rather unaerodynamic form) *shouldn’t* be able to propel itself that fast so easy. It’s preposterous…and unexpected. In a ‘Vette – you EXPECT the acceleration…no surprise.

    That said, this review is making me feel a few ponies short – maybe it’s time to start putting an STS turbo kit on my Christmas list. Even if there “is no substitute” – it’ll have to do – until I hit the lottery.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    You could have titled this article In Praise of Gluttony, or ____ You, I’ve Got Mine. People buy ever more outrageous stuff because they think it will make them feel good, but the feeling rarely lasts. The feeling of elation and personal superiority is quickly replaced with that terrifying notion that someone somewhere owns something even more outrageous, and that I just have got to have that next thing. Meanwhile everyone pays. Gluttons like the Cayenne don’t just cost their owners a fortune, but cost everyone a fortune as the price of fuel rises for everyone and the loss of environmental resources effects everyone. Just because a person thinks it is only about them doesn’t make it so.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I can’t quite decide if the Cayenne is trying to be an obese sports car or a tarmac-only off-roader – in either case it doesn’t appeal. At least this one has an engine – the V6 version is also slower than a V6 Camry.

  • avatar
    boredlawstudent

    The V6 Cayenne does have 290HP; more power than a base X5 or M350. Should be plenty of thrust.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    “Just remember, the profit margins on the Cayenne are paying for that bad-ass DSG on the new 911 Turbo.”
    Solly being living behind times, so what so bad about these DSg on 911? Does it costs as much as Rolls Royce sank in to develop the RB 211 Jet engine for the lockheed Tristar then?

    Is very irony usually all these SUVs had never been off roaded at all. reason are you effing insane to go off road that will costs you a new paint job after the fun is over?
    Most off road vehicles will have more squiggly jiggly lines on their side than a Pablo Picasso’s abstract painting.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    OK, I can appreciate what this machine can do – and can’t, such as assist in a fishing expedition, like real SUVs once did. But I find myself asking the rhetorical question of “Why did they do it?” and supplying the answer, “because they can.”

    Yes, I understand that Porsche needed to do this to keep the marque alive, a marque which was – and still is for most people – synonymous with two words: sports car.

    But forgive me if I find this rig mondo silly and expect it to be driven mainly by people who would give one a blank stare if you asked them if they knew what the numbers “356” referred to. I realize however, that I am far from the target demographic for this machine.

    But for those of us who are interested in sports cars, there are a few decent alternatives to Porsche, and they are the Corvette Z06, Lotus Exige and Nissan 350Z – both on the track and on the road.

    I am sure I speak for all of us so inclined when I saw “show us a sport sedan” but spare us anymore sport-utes.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying to craiggbear:
    I guess we should all drive Prius’ or Yari? Why pick on SUV’s, the Mini Cooper JCW is no economy (or cheap) car, or Bentley or Rolls or Lambo or Ferrari…? Get a bike if you want to be green or cheap!

    The real problem with expensive SUVs is not that they are SUVs or they are expensive. But because they are never driven off pavement.

    Even if we totally disregard any “green” sense and choose to be “wasteful”, a Cayenne Turbo still makes very little sense. It lacks the handling of a Ferrari, or the comfort of a Rolls, or the off-road ability of a Wrangler.

    Be wasteful, with a style at least.

  • avatar
    HawaiiJim

    wsn:

    So do cars have to make sense? Do spoilers make sense? Does it make sense to build cars fitted with cell phone technology given the driving distractions involved? Does it make sense to design everyday cars that can go 140? Where do we draw the line as to what makes sense?

  • avatar
    Kman

    Hm… with the multiple comments on the pointless-ness of this vehicle; with the recent talk about the next TWAT nominations; and with the potentially new TBAG competition (“Ten Best Automobiles Going”)

    … Allow me to propose TPOT: the Ten POinteless cars Today:

    – Hummer H2
    – Hummer H3
    – Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG
    – Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG
    – Jeep Compass
    – Cadillac Escalade EXT (the trucklet)
    – Chrysler Crossfire
    – Range Rover Sport (the “fake” small one not based on the Range Rover)
    – Maybach 62S
    – Saturn Vue Hybrid (it fails at everything it is supposed to be)

    And the full-brand entry: Lincoln.

    Thoughts?

  • avatar
    Paul Milenkovic

    Driving and sharing the roads is a social activity, after all, and I am in favor of regulations on vehicles — crash safety, bumper compatibility, air bags, stability control — as the next mean-spirited automotive Claybrook.

    But there is something to letting people make decisions about how much they want to spend on gas. Getting stuck in Green Bay Packer game traffic, I noticed that Highway 41 South was bumper-to-bumper high-end SUV’s (a lot of Lexus, GMC’s, the odd Ford Escape) with a lot of Packer fans returning to Milwaukee.

    I mean what is more or less socially responsible? Me, driving back from seeing my Poppa in the nursing home in my fuel-economical 4-cylinder Camry? Or four guys, sharing the ride in a Lexus SUV, having fun hanging out together after taking in the game? Are the four guys more virtuous because with four guys to an SUV, they are getting twice the passenger-miles-per-gallon as me in my Camry? Am I more virtuous because I am driving to visit my dad in a nursing home while these guys are only going to see football? Am I less virtuous because I haven’t moved my dad closer to where I live?

    A lot of this fuming about SUV’s misses a point. Maybe driving that SUV all by yourself to work wastes gas. But maybe going on a road trip in that SUV with three other buds uses less energy per passenger mile than Amtrak. Who gets to decide that you and your three buds can’t what you consider to be comfy ride to get to the Packer game — suppose you park the SUV and drive a Toyota Echo to work every day?

    It all comes down to trusting people to be adults and make sensible decisions, even making decisions as individuals about matters that have social consequences. The blanket condemnation of SUV’s or even dismissal of owning a Cayenne suggests that a person doesn’t have the wherewithal to know about high gas prices and make an informed, reasoned decision of what they want to drive.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Thank you, Maestro. Another great TTAC review !

  • avatar
    adrift

    It is amazing how many people speak from ignorance as if they were authorities. The Cayenne is a devastatingly effective off-road vehicle (see previously posted Top Gear links). No one uses it there much, but that didn’t stop Porsche from engineering the cr@p out of it so you COULD do serious off-roading should you so choose.

    The problem is not with the Cayenne…it is with gasoline being artificially cheap so that we use it in such excess that people think a few uber-SUVs are the villains.

    Wanna see something really cool? I present the Cayenne Transsyberia S.

    http://www.porsche.com/all/Transsyberia2007/international.aspx

    I love it! GT3RS color scheme and all.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying to HawaiiJim:
    So do cars have to make sense? Do spoilers make sense? Does it make sense to build cars fitted with cell phone technology given the driving distractions involved? Does it make sense to design everyday cars that can go 140? Where do we draw the line as to what makes sense?

    Cars don’t have to make sense. But debating on how much sense each car(or car company, car technology) makes is what we do here at TTAC.

    I criticize Cayenne Turbo, just as the editors here criticize GM vans.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying to adrift:
    It is amazing how many people speak from ignorance as if they were authorities. The Cayenne is a devastatingly effective off-road vehicle (see previously posted Top Gear links). No one uses it there much, but that didn’t stop Porsche from engineering the cr@p out of it so you COULD do serious off-roading should you so choose.

    The problem is not with the Cayenne…it is with gasoline being artificially cheap so that we use it in such excess that people think a few uber-SUVs are the villains.

    If the engineers indeed build the Cayenne as an off road car, they don’t need to put the turbo there and they should have used non-painted plastic fenders.

    In my dictionary, an SUV with such a nice paint job is not capable of off road driving.

  • avatar
    Gottleib

    I detect some hypocrisy here. To say the Porsche Cayenne is a pointless car because it is a SUV that will not see much use off road is irrelevant. How many Porsche sports cars are used on the track?
    Porsche builds cars that are not necessary but useful for the few that can afford to indulge their dreams, whether it is driving a sports car or driving a SUV that can be driven fast with handling that is closer to a sports sedan than a truck.
    The other point needed to be made here is that in the responses to why car manufacturers are having financial difficulty the comment is repeatedly made that they fail to produce product that is desired or wanted by the consumers. It seems Porsche is producing product that is desired and wanted by someone and therefore should not be criticized for being successful.
    Lets face it Porsche doesn’t make or sell anything that is needed by anyone, but sells something that is desired by many. Two seater cars are as ridiculous as are four wheel drive off road vehicles that are engineered to drive like a sports car.

  • avatar
    tincanman99

    As one of the other NJ’ites mentioned above these things are as common as dirt here in NJ. Have never ever been a fan of them. They are for the Starbucks drinking, bluetool (its not a typo) kind of yuppie driver. The closest to off road these things will ever get is MAYBE a gravel driveway or going on someone’s lawn.

    As Porsche’s Cayenne sales were in the tank last year because of ever increasing gas prices we shall see if they go up or there is a momentary blip of increased sales in the beginning because its a new model and than go back in the toilet.

    I am thankful that the Cayenne helped Porsche stay alive and independent however every time I have ever been to the Porsche dealer I have never given these things a passing glance.

    Gas prices hit a new high yesterday nationally. We are all going to be screwed.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Not really my style either. Not many porches turn my head because they look good, they just look funny to me. :)

  • avatar
    noley

    It’s all about ego and image.

    A business friend traded his C-5 Vette on an H3. The woman at the Hummer store told him the Corvette was the number one trade for a Hummer. “They are the same kind of people, they want to be noticed,” she told him. And he admits to me she is right.

    People who buy a Cayenne are no different, just richer. It’s not about the performance of the machine, it’s the “look at me, I’m better than you” factor. People who buy these things are buying them because they can and want to be see as superior to (or at least different than) the poor little people who are forced to drive about in mere $45,000 SUVs.

    I’ve always thought of the Cayenne as a waste of perfectly good sheetmetal and engineering talent. Regardless of the model, they remain medium ugly and still look like the earlier generation of Hyundai SUVs. If you gave me one as a gift I’d hawk it in about 5 minutes.

  • avatar
    rcolayco

    The new Cayenne Turbo is a car that one has to drive to understand what it’s all about. I’ve owned and currently own cars ranging from Toyotas (Corolla AND Land Cruiser) to Mercedes (E200 Kompressor AND E55) to Porsche (996 Turbo, 997 GT3 and Ruf Rt12). None of them quite prepared me for the pleasure of this incredibly versatile truck that combines a plush, quiet ride with quickness that reminds of hot hatches. Oh yes, I forgot for awhile that I did once own a Mitsubishi Evo 7. The Cayenne Turbo isn’t quite that agile, but can certainly stay with a less than expertly driven one. But WITHOUT jarring you like the Evo does. In these times, yes global warming concerns do validly cause much guilt when using such a vehicle. What I’m saying is that a car like the Cayenne Turbo is not merely about saying that you’ve got the money to spend on it. It does provide a motoring experience that one does not get from other, less expensive SUVs or, for that matter, other cars.

  • avatar
    theMASS

    Mine is scratched to hell… so what? Everything that gets damaged on a Porsche is gonna cost more to fix than a Chevy. My guess is that a cheap paint job would scratch easier. …and come on I didn’t buy the Cayenne for its looks –ugly… but knowing how it drives makes it look better :)

    Driving 120MPH+ in the open desert with the choice of gears provided by the torque those Turbos put out is an Off Road reason they are apprieciated. Also remember it’s NOT only an Off Road vehicle… It’ll smoke almost any car you pull up next to on the road.

    — I’m hoping that as more Cayenne’s leases expire second generation owners will use them as Off Road vehicles and the Tuners begin offering Off Road upgrades.


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