By Patrick James on 2018-11-11 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Porsche Cayenne S
THERE are few more iconic names in the world of motoring than Porsche, a brand long synonymous with sporting pedigree and top end quality.
So it came as a bit of a surprise when the Cayenne first came on the scene some 17 years ago.
But it was an SUV with attitude and soon proved its worth with sales, not to mention performance associated with the brand and became a best seller.
A complete departure, a bulky SUV where sleek sports had previously driven sales.
Performance however, was, and is, still startling. Not only that, with its complex four wheel drive system, it proved itself more than capable of the rough stuff and no doubt still does.
The first one I drove was around Brands Hatch racetrack with a professional driver, so any doubt about the vehicles sporting pedigree was dispelled in seconds.
Revamped for 2019, the latest version is sleeker, slippier through the air and altogether more aerodynamic. The original curved profile has been replaced with sharper lines and angles and a new grille and light clusters, giving the car a more predatory look.
The rear has been completely redesigned. with rear light clusters using use state-of-the-art LED technology.
The interior is typically luxurious with full electrically operated and heated leather seats and soft touch finish throughoutwith new features including the Porsche Advanced Cockpit control concept.
The centre console glass surface gently slopes upwards and featuring touch-sensitive buttons for direct access to the most important functions. like suspension settings.
Above that is the Porsche Communication Management (PCM), with 12-inch touchscreen display and includes an online navigation module. Behind the multifunction Sports steering wheel is the instrument cluster.
There are also two high-resolution display screens that display virtual instruments, maps and other information functions like infotainment, smart phone connectivity and navigation. Voice controls are also available while the central analogue clock remains.
The other buttons and switches are too numerous to mention, the car is a riot of hi tech gizmos and wizardry.
There are a number of versions, including a hybrid and all pack an exceptional punch.
This S model with its 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 enginedelivers a stonking 440bhp and pins you back in the seat as it powers what is a heavy vehicle to 60mph in just over five seconds and on to, well a speed you will never reach, maybe even not at Brands Hatch.
The eight-speed automatic gearbox slips seamlessly through the gears, although you can switch to manual with the steering wheel paddles.
It also packs 550NM of torque, which will pull just about anything and making it great for towing. A really versatile motor.
On the road the cars handles beautifully, especially when you slip it into sport mode, one of three options available, and adjust the suspension. There's surprisingly little wallowing on corners and occupants as well protected from road, wind and engine noise intrusion.
Off the road, it is more than capable. Not tried out this time but past experience shows its four wheel drive capability canmore than handle the rough stuff, not that many are likely to.
Sports performance and SUV practicality. A full five seater, the rear seats fold 40/20/40, to increase a generous 745 litres capacity 1,710 litres. The boot opening is wide and reasonably low for easy of loading.
Desite seeming to have just about every driver accessory, this model still managed to pack in an extra £13,000 of goodies, Well, I suppose if you can affort the intial £68,000 outlay, the extra won't break the bank.
Porsche Cayenne S
Mechanical: 440bhp, 2,894cc, 6cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 164mph
0-62mph: 5.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 30.7
Insurance Group: 45
C02 emissions: 209g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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