The Truth About Cars » Cayenne The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 20:36:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Cayenne Avoidable Contact: Cayenne won’t help ya, Cayenne won’t do you no good. Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:30:28 +0000 porsche4

“When,” I asked her, “did you realize that you, were, well, you know, an actual prostitute?”

“Well,” she said, rubbing her cigarette out in the waffle-patterned wrought-iron table, shielding her eyes against the sun as it set in the distance, “I’d been dancing for a while, and there was kind of a grey area there, you’d date a guy and he’d toss you some money to stay home from the club some nights, and then I started being less picky about the guys I’d let cash me out, if a guy was decent-looking he didn’t have to necessarily be my boyfriend. And then I had a friend who did a few parties from time to time, bachelor parties and stuff, and I went with her, and it was good money. And you get used to the idea that you can make five hundred or a thousand bucks really easy. So I stopped dancing because that was getting in the way of my ability to do parties.”


And, I started taking calls to hotels in Beverly Hills. And one night I was on my way back from one of those and a guy in a nice car pulled up and offered me three hundred bucks for a quick date. It was bonus money, so I took it. Well, I went back to that street on a night when I wasn’t going to a hotel.” She frowns and looks down at the table for a moment before continuing. “So I’m out on the street, and I’m talking to a guy, and all of a sudden there’s a cop car there and they’re cuffing me, and I’m asking what’s going on, and they say I was soliciting, and I asked what they meant, and they said streetwalking, and I’m all, like, you have me confused with somebody else, I’m not a whore, I’m not a hooker, you know?”

Her hands flutter and she takes a sip of her soda, then she looks me square in the eye, level, expressionless. “Except, it turns out that I was.”

With the introduction of the Audi Q5-based Macan, the Porsche lineup for most of the world now looks like this:

  • An ugly RWD prestige sedan
  • A big SUV
  • A smaller SUV, still not cheap
  • A mid-engined, low-fuel-consumption supercar without a supercar badge
  • Two sporting cars that are basically the same vehicle once you get past the firewall

If that looks familiar, it’s because it was Toyota’s showroom lineup for 1987, minus the cars that anybody actually bought. Those of you who were alive and interested in automobiles back then might recall that Toyota never bothered to claim that it was primarily a manufacturer of sporting equipment in 1987, despite being actively involved in everything from IMSA to the BTCC, racing heads-up against other manufacturers in a number of highly competitive and tech-intensive series. Nope, Toyota never pretended to be anything other than a full-line automaker that happened to build a couple of sports cars — in this case, the Celica and Celica Supra. (Full disclosure: I’m probably biased because I won a race in a 1987 Supra but have yet to win anything besides a regional autocross behind the wheel of a Porsche.)

Porsche is now a manufacturer with three separate and distinct platforms for sedans and SUVs and just one for mass-market sports cars and GTs. If the Cayenne amounted to turning a few tricks on the side so the rear-engine “kids” didn’t starve, and the Panamera was the equivalent of doing call-girl work for a wealthy clientele, the Macan’s arrival should shatter the rest of the illusions. Stuttgart has its ass out in a thong now, strolling down Hunts Point with the rest of the big-booty SUV whores. It’s a crowded street. Everybody from Chevrolet to Infiniti has a $50,000 RX350 fighter for sale. This is the land of Toyotathons and Red Tag Sales and 580 beacon scores and deferred maintenance and upended Dairy Queen sundaes fermenting slowly under the rear seats while the kids play aimless adult-operated soccer games without official scoring.

On that street, Porsche is like that one blonde white girl with the great figure and the good teeth and the icy demeanor and a slightly less trashy outfit, holding her nose up in the air and pretending not to notice the catcalls from the Monte Carlos. In other words, she’s like my California gal pal. But it’s just an act. You don’t go on the ho stroll because you are honestly choosy about how you make your money. If you’re copping an attitude out there, it’s just because you’re going to charge a little more than the rest of the girls. It ain’t because you won’t be flatbacking by the end of the evening. Honey, it doesn’t matter what you think, and it doesn’t matter what you say; once you step out onto the street, you’re no better than anybody else.

This is the point where Porsche’s loyal fanbase begins sputtering in indignation. “But, but… Porsche builds those horrible trucks so they can keep making the cars that they really, secretly want to build! The cars that we love!” Yup, and the girl giving you a lap dance is just paying her way through engineering school, and the white powder around her left nostril is just makeup. I suppose that it might have been forgivable to buy that line twelve years ago when the Cayenne came out, because it was followed by the Cayman and the 996 GT3 and a couple of other cars that might not have made it to these shores had the company been pinching every penny.

Fast-forward to the present day, and it’s obvious that the Cayenne didn’t preserve sporting Porsches — it infected them. The 991 and 981 are bloated boats with monstrous center consoles and stratospheric pricing. If the trucks are subsidizing the cars, it isn’t obvious from the window stickers. The arrival of the 991 GT3, with its mandatory PDK, is a monstrous middle finger to the Panorama crowd, and Porsche’s avowal that it can’t afford to do a small two-seater below the Boxster even as it rolls out a small five-seater below the Cayenne amounts to a solid stream of disdainful urine into the face of anybody credulous enough to think that Porsche got into the truck game to preserve the purity of its fabled Nine Eleven. I’ve said it before, but we Porschephiles are almost like battered spouses in our eagerness to ascribe the best possible motives to our abuser despite all the evidence to the contrary:

“Honey, are you going to take the money I made for you and fix those engines that keep blowing up?”

“Hell no, bitch, I’m going to build a monstrous factory in Leipzig with that cash.”

“But you’ll use the money you make selling trucks with our cherished badge on it to make better sports cars, right?”

“You must be the dumbest woman alive. I already said I was going to spend the profits on making luxury sedans.”

“But the reason you’re doing the luxury sedans is so you can bring us a successor to the 914?”


“Is it because you want to keep the 911 and Boxster small and manageable and free of unnecessary electronics?”

“I don’t think so. I think I’ll make them just like miniature Panameras.”

“But… but… you said you’d bring out a more affordable Porsche.”

“I must have been drunk when I said that. I meant to say I was going to make more trucks. Now shut up before I knock you down.”

“Can we please at least have a stick-shift in our $180,000 GT3?”

*unzips fly*

If all the product disappointments haven’t made it plain what’s really on the mind of Porsche’s management, surely the stock-and-profit escapades of the past few years should have done so. Billions of dollars were wasted in an attempt to pull off some sort of David-and-Goliath fiscal fairytale. Sums of money that could have engineered and delivered brilliant love-letter-to-the-customer product disappeared down a rabbit hole. In the final analysis, a company that is absurdly profitable building well over 150,000 vehicles a year managed to suffer a fate that it had avoided when it sold a thirtieth of that volume — namely, submission to Volkswagen. The Porsche executives weren’t content to be in the car biz. They wanted to be in the money biz, which brings me to mind of Samuel Johnson’s Life of Congreve:

But he treated the muses with ingratitude; for, having long conversed familiarly with the great, he wished to be considered rather as a man of fashion than of wit; and, when he received a visit from Voltaire, disgusted him by the despicable foppery of desiring to be considered not as an author but a gentleman; to which the Frenchman replied, “that, if he had been only a gentleman, he should not have come to visit him.”

Given stewardship of the second-brightest star in the enthusiast firmament, Herr Wiedeking stabbed the 928 and 968 through the heart so he could play at being a financier. There is almost not enough bile in my liver to properly express how I feel about a betrayal, a catastrophe, a fall of that magnitude. And of course the product suffered.

The worst is yet to come, for both Porsche and its fans. If your glory days were glorious enough, you can trade on them for a long time; to this day, the Reverend Al Green can still command fifty thousand bucks to stand on a stage somewhere and sing “Let’s Stay Together”, no questions asked. But sooner or later the younger generations stop picking up what you’re putting down. The 2002 Cayenne was an unmitigated piece of shit but we all cut it some slack because it shared a badge with the 917K. Now there are kids in high school who don’t remember when Porsche didn’t make trucks. Ten years from now, Porsche will be known to most people as a purveyor of trucks and sedans, the same way that Linda Ronstadt became primarily a singer of the great American songbook and Ice Cube became the guy from the movies with the vacations and stuff. Sure, they’ll still build the 911, but Chevrolet’s been building the Corvette since the dawn of time and its existence makes not a whit of difference to Tahoe or Impala buyers. The shield of Stuttgart, if it is lucky, will shine with about the same luster as the stylized “L” of Lexus.

If, that is, Porsche is lucky. Because another thing that comes along with the territory of being a full-line vehicle manufacturer is that people stop giving you a pass on building junk. Those fabulous JD Power results for Boxsters and Nine Elevens aren’t a result of high quality — they’re a result of low expectation. Everybody knows that when you buy an exotic sportscar that you’ll have some nagging issues. The PCM screen won’t come on, the tires will wear out in five thousand miles, the door handle will fall off, the IMS will explode at the 14,000 mile mark, the IMSA 935 will go backwards into some trees, something like that, bro. Accept it. You signed up for it. But if you think that people will be just as patient because they happened to buy a Porsche Macaw or whatever instead of an RX350, think again. That buyer has expectations for quality and durability, and those expectations are set by the RX350, a vehicle they called the “Toyota Harrier” in Japan because it hovered directly over the competition and didn’t stop shooting until everybody’s mother was dead.

No RX350 in history has ever had a quality flaw. Any potential flaws are immediately handled by Lexus Service, who lets you borrow an LS460 for the weekend and explains to you how the defect was actually your fault, and you agree because you don’t want to be the first person in history to discover a quality flaw in an RX350. When you start thinking about selling your RX350, word gets out and one day you open your front door to find a line of people trying desperately to be the highest bidder for your Lexwagon even though your five-year-old just projectile-vomited a fermented Dairy Queen sundae into the center-console buttons last week and it’s still dripping out. All used RXes continue to be worth 81% of their resale value until they are raptured into heaven from beneath their sixth owners at the 500,000-mile mark, leaving behind a satisfied family of Somali immigrants clutching a certificate good for $21,000 trade-in on a new RX350.

That is the bar over which the Macaw must step. This is considerably more difficult than the market requirements for the 911, which are;

  • Look like a 911
  • Be more reliable than an ’87 Testarossa
  • Or at least as reliable
  • Or, failing that, be cheaper to fix

Those were conditions that Porsche could generally meet. But the cheaper the car, and/or the bigger the market, the higher the expectations. There’s a reason that you can buy a Cayenne Turbo S for $15,000 against an original MSRP of $143,000 just seven or eight years after it leaves Leipzig: it doesn’t meet expectations. The man who spent six figures on the Cayenne Turbo S can afford to take that loss, but his more modestly-accomplished younger brother can’t afford to take the same hit on his Macan. If you want to play in the mass market, you need to bring mass market skills to bear. There’s no evidence that Porsche has those skills. Which means that they will eventually fail, and they will fail on a scale from which there is no recovery.

I could be wrong. The Macan could be a tremendous success and it could be so well-built and reliable that it creates an entirely new generation of loyal buyers who can’t wait to buy the Porsche sports cars as companion pieces. The next Cayenne and Panamera and mini-Panamera and mini-mini-Cayenne and B-segment hatch could all be dynamite products. Thirty years from now, Porsche could be the biggest auto manufacturer in the world, offering a line that spans scooters to semi-trucks. Or I might be right, and the company might be heading for the edge of a very high cliff. If that happens, we’ll remember the Cayenne, and the Panamera, and the Macan, alright. Not as the saviors of Porsche, but as the moths in the closet that ate away at the brand until nothing but threadbare pretense was left to cover the shame of a thousand tricks turned for the sake of the almighty Euro. There’s a penalty for that, you know. Take a look at a television next time you’re away from the embrace of the Western world. There are still places where the word “harlot” is used, and there is a penalty for those to whom the word is applied, and the penalty is, regrettably, death.

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Review: 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:18:55 +0000 IMG_0079
Heresy can be fun. Certainly it is so for an Irishman, what with Behan’s, “wonderful lack of respect for everything and everyone.”

And so, it has to be said, I’ve developed a certain fondness for Porsche’s big fat trucks and sedans precisely because they get up the nose of the purists – folks who think that Stuttgart’s time would be better spent trying to figure out how to build a durable, engaging sports-car experience rather than some donk-wheeled gin-palace with an expiry date like a lit fuse. I mean, they’re not wrong, it’s just a wee bit amusing to see how mad they get. Look – that one’s just bitten a policeman.

This two-tonne blasphemy is even better than usual, it’s a diesel. A truck-engined Porsche! Well, we’ve been here before: 924 fans eat your heart out.
Of course, you don’t buy a spendy Teutonic crossover just to annoy air-cooled aficionados, so the Cayenne must be judged on its own merits, should it have any. This one does, but almost all of them were optional extras. Nominally speaking, the base diesel-powered version has an MSRP of $56,600, for which you apparently get the equipment level of a front-wheel-drive Nissan Rogue.

Glancing over the hilarious add-ons for my tester vehicle (Canadian MSRP $64,500), highlights such as an adjustable air-suspension ($4550), Bi-Xenon headlights ($2130), satellite radio ($1280) and full leather interior ($4170) are all satisfyingly costly and faintly ridiculous.

However, when it comes to P-car options, I tend to take the view that baseline MSRP is almost irrelevant – almost no other company will let you add as many minor tweaks until you get exactly the machine you want, which they expect you to do. While this nugget of purest umber stickered at a laughable CDN$97,385, expect most mid-level US cars to price out around $65K, and be decently equipped at that level.
The styling – um. Yes. I mean, it’s brown, right? That’s supposed to be in. (Actually, I have to say the new-style Cayenne has a much better schnozz than the old one – overall still a bit bulbous from some angles.)
If the exterior’s a bit iffy, at least the same can’t be said for the gorgeous, leather-lined guts of Porsche’s heretical heffalump. Like the Panamera, this buttony cockpit has the air of a private jet and depending what seats you option, the comfort of same. I particularly enjoyed the ambient lighting and it hardly bothered me at all that the trunk seems not quite big enough for such a large vehicle.
Prodding the Audi-sourced (again, shades of 924) diesel six-cylinder to life, the immediate impression is of how far ye olde oil-burner has come. Were it not for the gauche “diesel” script adorning either flank of the Cayenne, you wouldn’t really know this thing ran on tractor juice. Under throttle, however, there’s a bit of a castanet effect – apparently it’s possible to option added sound-deadening material to assist with the problem. Or, and I know this is a bit of a stretch, turn on the stereo.

There is a bit of understeer. Seems ridiculous to bring it up really – understeer is one of those automotive journalism tropes that’s as well-worn as a Civil War era outhouse seat (i.e. every ass has used it). However, I think I can safely say, with all asterisks clearly marked as to my very average driving skills, that plunking a cast-iron boat anchor in the nose of a sport-crossover-activity-thingumy is going to induce a little front-end push.
Easily cured by a dab of oppo. No wait, don’t do that – you’ll crash. Instead, the slight bit of nose-heaviness is my single dynamic critique of the Cayenne. In all other respects it’s much better than it has any right to be.

Torque! With my home province’s draconian excessive-speed laws – 40km/h (25mph) over and they impound your car – one always has to keep a careful eye on the speedometer in anything with a pulse. Luckily, where the Cayenne is concerned, there’s 406lb/ft of instant-gratification surge that turns into a slightly-weedy 240hp so you’re not tempted into any v-max-related flat-decking. The brown bomber simply blasts out of the corners, heeling over a bit on its air-ride suspension, but thrusting forward with the unstoppable force of a steam-ram.
And yes, you can get the same power out of a Touareg. The Cayenne is much costlier but slightly better. Steering and the suspension provide, as in the Panamera, a sense of fun. Add in the burly nature of the diesel and it’s not just a nerdy way to save fuel but a bit of a freight-train GTi.
There are those who will point out that the fuel-savings over a V6 would take a lifetime to make up, coupled with the annoyance of trying to find a fuel station that actually sells diesel and the added cost of filling the urea tank. It should also be noted that one feels a bit of a dude ranch city slicker in a line behind four jacked-up Ford SuperDuties waiting for the pump to come free. Kid-glove types aren’t going to love how perpetually grubby diesel fillers seem to be – you probably can’t tell from the poor-quality iPhone photo, but this one was coated in a sheen of oil.

But taking the strong resale of diesel luxury SUVs into account, and listing the on-road behaviour of the Cayenne Diesel very much in the Pro column, it’s probably the most compelling offering in the Cayenne range. And, for the record, the fuel economy is excellent – equal or better to its mid-20s EPA rating.
Of course, you do run the risk of looking like a cheapskate: status-seekers will probably run their fingers down the selector and pick something that says “Turbo” or possibly “Hybrid”. Never mind that – spec the diesel and chisel the badges off. The Porsche crest? That’ll depend where you stand on screams of outrage.

Porsche Canada provided the vehicle tested and insurance.

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Review: 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Fri, 21 Oct 2011 19:19:17 +0000

Strongly feel that Porsche should stick to sports cars? Personally, I’m willing to cut Zuffenhausen a little slack. Sports car sales, with their boom-and-bust cycles, don’t provide a sound foundation for corporate financial health. A more reasonable test: does Porsche’s entry look and drive unlike any other, in a manner consistent with the marque? Though not pretty, the Panamera passed this test. And the Cayenne SUV?

The initial outlook isn’t good. While the Cayenne’s front end strongly resembles those of other Porsche models, the rest of the exterior can easily be mistaken for an Audi or even a Volkswagen. In fact, the first time I saw the redesigned-for-2011 second-generation Cayenne I thought it was an Audi Q5. One reason: while the Panamera is closely related to no other car, the Cayenne retains close ties with the Volkswagen Touareg, which it also resembles. This isn’t entirely a bad thing. Like the second-generation VW, the 2011 Cayenne is sleeker, better-proportioned, and altogether more attractive than its predecessor.

The Cayenne’s interior is more distinctive than its exterior. Whether by actual dimensional differences or by visual trickery, the instrument panel seems significantly lower and more compact in the Cayenne than in the Touareg. As in the Panamera, the IP rests directly atop an upward-sloping center console (its many buttons closer at hand than they would be in a vertical center stack) to form a subtly tapered “T.” The center console’s upward-angled grab handles (why would the driver need one?) are now mirrored by the door pulls (though the latter are mounted farther forward). Put it all together, and the Cayenne seems sportier from the driver seat than any other SUV. Yet, unlike in the Panamera, there’s no sense that you’re actually in a sports car. The seats (and entire vehicle) would have to be much closer to the ground for that.

Porsche’s interiors have come a long way over the past decade, but the new Cayenne’s still includes too much hard plastic that cannot be mistaken for anything else—even when fitted with the tested car’s upholstered instrument panel and center console. One surprising oversight that provides a poor early impression: the artful door pulls flex and creak when put to their intended use. Form clearly took precedence over function.

The Cayenne’s base front buckets are cushier than the German norm. Though they provide some lateral support, anyone planning to drive this Porsche like a Porsche should pony up another $1,815 for the 18-way power-adjustable sport seats. As in the Touareg, the comfortably high rear seat slides and reclines. In its rearmost position there’s plenty of legroom for all but the tallest adults—but the same can be said of many smaller, lighter compact crossovers. Cargo volume is similarly beyond sufficient but well short of outstanding.

As in the Panamera, engine choices include a 300-horsepower V6, 333-horsepower supercharged hybrid V6, 400-horsepower V8 “S”, and 500-horsepower turbocharged V8 “Turbo.” In the Panamera, the V8 takes the car to an entirely different level. With the Cayenne I sampled only the V8, but drove a Touareg with the V6 in 280-horsepoweer tune immediately beforehand. While the V8 is quicker and more sonorous than the V6, it doesn’t transform the Cayenne like it does the Panamera. Blame two factors. First, while the 4,553-pound 2011 Cayenne S is, commendably, 400 pounds lighter than the 2010 and 740 pounds lighter than the similarly-dimensioned BMW X5 xDrive50i, it remains ten percent heavier than the Panamera. About 70 pounds went with the no-longer-offered two-speed transfer case—Porsche figured out that few owners ventured far off the tarmac. Second, while the V8 is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual in the big hatchback, it’s hooked up to a conventional eight-speed automatic in the SUV. Though the Aisin box is perhaps the best of its kind, with quick, nearly imperceptible shifts, the PDK shifts even more quickly and provides a manual-like direct, mechanical connection. Bottom line: in the SUV, the turbo is needed to kick the tail out at will and quicken one’s pulse. The reduced curb weight and additional transmission ratios do significantly improve fuel economy, bumping the V8’s EPA ratings from a dismal 13/19 to a respectable 16/22.

The Cayenne is too large (though not too heavy) to feel as chuckable as compact SUVs like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 (the upcoming Cajun will target these), but too small to have the road presence of a Cadillac Escalade or Infiniti Q56. The boxes not checked affect its braking and handling. Options include ceramic brakes ($8,150), adaptive dampers ($1,990), air springs (another $1,990), active stabilizer bars ($3,510), torque vectoring ($1,490), and ultra-low-profile ultra-high-performance tires ($1,560-$4,875). The tested Cayenne S had none of these. So perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that it didn’t steer or handle dramatically better than the Touareg. Yes, the steering was quicker and more communicative, there was less lean in hard turns, and body motions were more tightly controlled, but the difference was a matter of degree, not of kind. As in the VW, you don’t forget you’re driving a tall, heavy vehicle. And so nothing like the difference between the Panamera and its competitors. By the same token, though, the standard suspension Cayenne S only rides a little more firmly than the Touareg, so it’s more day-to-day livable than the hatchback.

You’re not getting an entirely bespoke vehicle with the Cayenne, and its price does reflect this. Outfit a 2011 Cayenne S with Convenience Package (nav, xenons, Bose audio, heated seats, auto-dimming mirrors), obstacle detection, and full-leather interior, and it lists for $71,780. A similarly-equipped Panamera S lists for nearly $95,000. But even relatively inexpensive Porsches are far from cheap. A BMW xDrive50i with the same bits lists for $65,125, and adjusting for remaining feature differences using TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool adds another grand to the heftier, truckier BMW’s price advantage, for a total over $7,500.

In the end, the tested 2011 Porsche Cayenne S doesn’t quite pass my test. From most angles it’s too easily mistaken for an Audi or even a VW. It handles better than competing SUVs, but not dramatically so. The turbocharged V8 and chassis options might well make a big difference. But if one or more of these are needed to render the Cayenne worthy of the Porsche crest, then why offer the SUV without them?

Scott Vollink of Suburban Porsche in Farmington Hills, MI, provided the car. He can be reached at 248-741-7980.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data

Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail Cayenne view forward Cayenne side Cayenne rear seat Cayenne rear quarter 2 Cayenne rear quarter Cayenne rear Cayenne interior 2 Cayenne interior Cayenne instrument panel Cayenne front quarter Cayenne front Cayenne engine Cayenne cargo ]]> 46
The Next Cayenne Will Be An Audi Thu, 09 Dec 2010 17:32:27 +0000

Audi will be developing all future larger SUVs offered by the many Volkswagen brands: The Porsche Cayenne, the Volkswagen Touareg, the Audi Q7 and whatever other larger 4x4s the other brands might offer (fat chance.) Audi was just handed the “Entwicklungshoheit” (design supremacy) for the brutes. Heretofore, they were designed by Porsche.  Don’t cry Porsche, they received another job as a trade.

The catfight over who will be having the Entwicklungshoheit for all future sportscars in the Volkswagen realm has been decided also. And the winner is: Porsche. Audi had tried to get that job, but weren’t given high odds. The boys in Zuffenhause will also design the kit from which all luxury sedans such as the Panamera, and probably the Bentley et all will be built. All in all, not a bad decision.

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Winterkorn: No 13th Brand For VW Sat, 19 Dec 2009 18:05:08 +0000 Winterkorn, sending the wrong signals. Picture courtesy

VW CEO  Martin Winterkorn is a superstitious man. He doesn’t want to add a 13th brand to his (or rather Piech’s) large collection. (Coincidentally, 12 is the number of Piech’s children. More or less. Nobody is quite sure,) “There are some who knock on our door. Some really want to come under our roof as they see we’re on a good path strategically. But we are satisfied with the current line-up,” Winterkorn said to Wirtschaftswoche.  Specifically questioned about Volvo or (gasp) Daimler, Winterkorn answered: „There are many who would like to snuggle in VW’s cozy bed. Thank you, not interested.”  Instead, he’s re-thinking the line-up of his new acquisitions:  “I could imagine a smaller Cayenne derivative. Or a Porsche below the Boxster. This is under discussion.”

As far as synergies with Suzuki go, Winterkorn sees the usual savings when buying parts. (Suppliers, beware the feared Volkswagen-Einkauf.) He can also imagine Kei cars “on the roads of Paris, London, or Bangkok.” What he doesn’t see at all is the rumored Nano-swatter, built by VW & Suzuki: “A Nano is taboo for us. We will never stoop down to a level of a Nano. We have certain standards, for instance when it comes to safety. Suzuki won’t do that either.” Never say never: A low-priced entry model for emerging markets is thinkable for Winterkorn.

Suzuki dealers could also sell VWs. But strictly within the boundaries of racial separation, called Markentrennung at VW: “They have to do that in separate showrooms.”

Winterkorn is looking forward to 2010. He sees a higher market share for VW, especially in the B(R)IC countries. He’s up on the electrification of the car, someday. He’s decidedly down on hydrogen. Reminded that Daimler wants to sell a hydrogen car at the price of a common hybrid by 2015, Winterkorn sneered: “They also had announced production-ready hydrogen cars for 2004.” He doesn’t believe that hydrogen can be made in an environment-friendly way, and he can’t imagine a hydrogen gas station at every corner.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: Staying Current Edition Thu, 10 Dec 2009 21:14:23 +0000 eRuf Stormster. Really.

Yes, the world is officially crazy enough for Siemens and Ruf to consider building an electric Cayenne. Er, excuse me, eRuf Stormster. Range is about 110 miles, but the top speed is only 92 mph, presumably to prevent unseemly snickering at the prospect of running out of power after an hour of spirited driving. Let’s be fair about this: if the Stormster ever made it to production it should be good for about 90 minutes of “enthusiast” range to go with its nine second zero-to-60 time. Jerks.

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: Scoville Scale Edition Mon, 07 Dec 2009 19:58:37 +0000 Tastes like burning? (

The next-gen Cayenne gets caught without camo by Autoexpress. So, on a scale of zero to 16 million, just how spicy is the new peppery Porsche? Our equipment is rating it somewhere between “Pimento” and “Poblano.”

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What’s Wrong With This Picture: Sign Of The Unrepentant Times Edition Wed, 02 Dec 2009 20:38:46 +0000 Oh brother... (

According to Jalopnik, this license plate belongs to Morgan Stanley Vice-Chairman Rob Kindler, who apparently thought this kind of joke is funny. Too bad he missed bonus points by failing to put the plate on an Escalade.

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