IN my younger years a Porsche – a red one at that – was The Dream. Fast, sleek, powerful and loud, it seemed the ultimate head turner and symbol of success.
So when Porsche began toying with SUVs, I’ve got to admit I was sceptical. Porsche… SUV… but they’re a sports car manufacturer!
And in all honesty I never considered myself a SUV person either, but we all grow up and now I’m very happy with my SUV AWD.
So when the opportunity came to drive the new Porsche Cayenne S, I was in a much more positive frame of mind than I might have been a few years ago – in fact, the anticipation was high and I was not let down.
The Porsche Cayenne shape has evolved and been refined since the early models and it now has a unique yet appropriate style. The bonnet cries out Porsche, yet the chassis sits nice and low and it has that pronounced 4WD/SUV shape combined with an elegance that makes it equally appropriate as a chauffeur-driven vehicle or the ultimate family mover.
The Cayenne’s console, including widescreen monitor and a plethora of touch screen or alternate console buttons, can at first be a little overwhelming. But as you begin to play, you quickly discover everything has a dedicated purpose, even if some of it is obscure.
I think if the Cayenne was parked in my garage, I would probably tweak and play with the settings for a good six months – I acknowledge, I’m a gadget man – before settling on the perfect ride and driving position. But in others’ hands, the basic drive is an easy set-up and there are multiple saved positions to get everything right for you in a shared car.
The drivers’ dashboard has everything you could want to know in eyesight – including a mini-nav view so you do not need to look away from the road to the larger screen.
I couldn’t have possibly imagined the sports feel I would get from a 4WD vehicle, even if it is a Porsche. Although the soundproofing is good it doesn’t hide the roar of the engine and that little vibration you feel tingling through your body.
After playing with the ride settings on the space shuttle-esque console, I settled for sports mode and sports chassis. For the A-B driver the normal-normal mode is more than adequate, while the young-at-heart driver may toy with the super-sports mode.
If you want it to be, as I certainly did, it is a genuinely fun car to ride – an experience much more than simply a mode of transport.
Ken Burrowes is editorial director of Community News. He drove the Porsche Cayenne S courtesy of the Porsche Centre, Perth.
2018 Porsche Cayenne S
WARRANTY: 3 years
Active all-wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic S
Max torque: 550Nm
Fuel consumption (urban): 11.8l/100km
Fuel consumption (non-urban): 8.4l/100km
Top speed: 265 km/h
Acceleration 0-100km/h: 5.2s
Acceleration 0-100km/h (sport chrono): 4.9s
Porsche Centre Perth
101 Stirling Highway, Nedlands