The key to a great drive
You sense something special awaits the moment you’re handed the key. Not just any old key mind, this is God’s own key, crafted, painted and housed in the most sumptuous leather fob imaginable. Hold it and weep, writes Paul Agnew. Photography: Roger Moore
Car manufacturers don’t go to such lengths over a key… unless what follows is rated exceptional.
Well, the dream designers at Porsche clearly believe that the new Cayenne is worthy of high-end luxury across every detail. And they’re damn right too. It is.
If you like your cars to leave the crowd standing in terms of power, performance, design and style, then there are few, if any, serious rivals.
The Cayenne is a stunner, slimmer and more refined then some of the chunky SUV competition and offering as much ‘sport’ as you can handle.
They call it the Porsche experience, but you have to get out there on the road to fully understand precisely what that means, a genuine sports car, for sports car lovers.
And where better to take a look and a spin than the awesome showroom at Porsche Centre Preston (part of famous Lancashire family car giant Bowker Motor Group), which opened this year and is, in itself, a treat for the senses. You could be standing in the VIP section at the airport or the foyer of a top hotel. Quality.
The Cayenne (in this case the Cayenne S) draws you like a magnet, kerb appeal of the highest order and an interior to match, while the drive is everything you’d expected and more.
A 2.9-litre, twin-turbo, V6 engine (8-speed Tiptronic auto) produces close on 450bhp, can accelerate from 0-60 in about 5 seconds, reach speeds north of 150mph and still manages to deliver around 30mph (combined). Oh, incidentally, there are also coupe and e-hybrid models available, the latter capable of 680bhp!
You can almost taste the motorsport atmosphere just by climbing aboard. In short, Porsche DNA. The interior is built and focused on satisfying the needs of the driver. Take the seats – sporty and stylish without any compromise on comfort.
Choose between four driving modes: ‘Comfort’, ‘SPORT’, ‘SPORT PLUS’ and ‘Individual’. All are punchy and responsive, but stand by for proper engine bite should you opt for SPORTS PLUS!
The driver seat and steering wheel work together to memorise individual settings (18-way) and the rear seats move back and forth to provide either more leg room or extra luggage space.
Additional features include Adaptive Air Suspension, and Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) which follow the road (a great benefit on twisting country lanes).
In the cockpit, a centre console features an interface in glass with tou ch-sensitive buttons for direct access to all the most important functions. The instrument cluster sits behind the multifunction sports steering wheel. To the right and left of the Porsche typical analogue rev counter (a classic with needle), two high-resolution displays show all the virtual instruments, maps and other information as required.
The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) boasts a full-HD, 12-inch touchscreen display and easy access for all audio, information and navigation. The new generation has online navigation, mobile phone preparation, audio interfaces and voice control features.
You can sample the various infotainment applications and there are two USB data and charge ports at the front and two USB charge ports in the rear, along with Bluetooth, SD card and CD/DVD autochanger. BOSE surround sound quality is astonishingly good.
Porsche ‘Connect’ offers all sorts of options and possibilities with a dedicated smartphone app to get you where you need to be in the fastest, most efficient and enjoyable way. Precise route calculation, online map data and real-time traffic information means you will never get lost.
Porsche Connect has a SIM card reader for operating comfort and optimised data connection both in-car and on your smartphone/tablet. For all music services as well as for the use of the Wi-Fi hotspot integrated into the vehicle, a data package is available from the Porsche Connect and you can, of course, use your own SIM card.
Test driving a Porsche Cayenne is an experience you never want to end, although arriving back at base at Porsche Preston does soften the blow somewhat.
And at least you get to fondle that key fob one last time.
Porsche Centre Preston
Watery Lane, Preston PR2 1QJ