One section of Richard Pietruska’s 1981 book “Perpetuating Porsche Paranoia” made fun of the Porsche 914, saying that it was not a “real Porsche”. However, it made an exemption of the 914-6 on the next page, giving the impression that a “real Porsche” should have a horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine.
Like Pietruska, Porsche purists scoffed when the Cayenne was first released but the mid-size luxury SUV eventually became one the of Porsche’s best-selling and most profitable models. Now on its second iteration, the new Cayenne offers the same handling, comfort, and family-friendly size as the original but in a lighter package with greater power and fuel efficiency. Its exterior gets a facelift that provides a sportier vibe while its engine bay gets a choice of new engines that deliver improved performance and better gas mileage.
We drove a base Cayenne powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 300 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 400 Newton-meters of torque at 3,000 rpm. Mated to a shift paddle-controlled 8-speed automatic transmission, power is sent to all four wheels and allows the Cayenne V6 to scoot with authority befitting the Porsche badge. Factory acceleration tests claim 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and an electronically-limited top speed of 230km/h. Our limited time behind the wheel left us convinced and impressed.
Our test Cayenne V6 came with a start-stop system that further improves fuel mileage, although we find it irritating and unnerving in Metro Manila’s horrendous traffic. (What?! The engine stalled?! Arrgh!) Thankfully, Porsche installed a defeat switch. Outside, 18-inch alloy wheels, halogen fog lights, LED tail lamps and a power lift gate give this Porsche more pizzazz and the driver more paranoia.
Like the Panamera luxury sedan, the Cayenne V6 comes with a posh interior with a long, sloping center console, a 4.8-inch color display in the instrument cluster, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, and a plethora of buttons and switches including an electric parking brake. The rear seats come with an adjustable backrest and 6.3 inches of fore-and-aft slide adjustment thanks to the longer wheelbase. The trunk space is also larger, offering around 670 liters of cargo space with five occupants on board or 1,7806 liters with the rear seats folded flat.
Driving around the city, taking the kids to school, and driving to the office in our shiny black Cayenne V6 had pedestrians, bystanders, and other drivers giving us the eye. Richard Pietruska may have stumbled upon the truth that driving a Porsche, even a family-size one, can provoke a case of paranoia. Our weeklong drive perpetuated our Porsche paranoia, one that compels us to wish we can keep one in our garage.
Vehicle type : Front-engine, AWD, 5-passenger, 5-door SUV
Price : Call for prices
Engine type : Liquid-cooled V6 DOHC 24V VVT
Displacement : 3600cc
Power : 300hp@6300rpm
Torque : 400Nm@3000rpm
Transmission : 8-speed automatic
Wheelbase : 2895mm
Length : 4846mm
Width : 1938mm
Height : 1699mm
Curb weight : 2034kg
Wheels and tires : 18-inch aluminum alloys, 255/55R18
Words and Photos – Lester Dizon