First Drive: 2004 Porsche Cayenne S
Inside The Porsche Cayenne
In the 191-page coffee-table book that Porsche PR published to document the Cayenne's development, there are 89 photos of it involved in off-road testing, and only 27 that show it on pavement. That should tell you something. Forget the 450hp, twin-turbo V-8 (though it will be hard), the leather interior, and the optional 20-inch wheels. Those German engineers must have spent a lot of time in the sandbox as children because this 4x4 also offers an adjustable air suspension, automatic sway-bar disconnects, a 2.72 low range, a selectable rear locker, and dozens of other automotive technologies that tell us Porsche has come armed for battle in the SUV segment.
We got a chance to drive both the Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo this spring, and while we wouldn't be able to afford the $56,000- to $100,000-plus price tag they demand, there are lots of interesting technologies to explore on the new Porsche. Our immediate impression is that this is hands-down the fastest 4x4 we have ever driven. And it poses a serious threat at the title for most well-rounded 4x4 on the market with its 1031/44-inch ground clearance, 7,700-pound towing capacity, and 165-mph top speed. On paper this 4x4 has no equal. We plan to bring you in-depth driving impressions in our February issue, but for now let's take a closer look at the components that make the Porsche Cayenne so hot.-David Kennedy