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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Two
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Issue Two
Nov. 25, 2002
• Classic Motoring
Porsche Cayenne
AutoSharp Pen
Coming Next Issue
• Volkswagen GTI 337
• Top Ten Gifts
• Holiday Getaways

Porsche Cayenne: Velvet Hammer of the Highroads and Highlands, continued
Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Porsche Navigation

Porsche All Wheel Drive

Porsche Engine

Big Porsche Brakes

Porsche Cayenne Rear View

All too often, large vehicles compromise handling in the name of brute force and cavernous cabin size - not true with the Cayenne. While the suspension is fully adjustable (you can vary the ride height approximately 4 inches with the flick of a switch), it is by no means "soft". Phrases like, "it handles like it's on rails" and "very flickable" come to mind after the first few corners become distant blips in the rear view mirror. Someone should tell the Cayenne that for a vehicle that's carrying nearly two-and-a-half tons around its waistline, it shouldn't be able to out handle the majority of today's "performance" cars.

Porsche approached building an SUV differently than most manufacturers would have. Traditionally, an auto manufacturer grabs a heavy steel truck frame from inventory (which is usually of the ladder-type design), slaps a big body on it, throws on some truck suspension pieces, a truck motor and sells it as an SUV.

Porsche chose to build the Cayenne as if it were a performance car, by constructing a street version of a racing monocoque chassis. They then built a race inspired, double-wishbone suspension system that offers active management and carefully mated it to the chassis. Finally, they wrapped all of these pieces in a body that was painstakingly designed to minimize excess weight.

Braking is equally impressive, with large rotors that are clamped by six piston monoblock aluminum calipers on the front, and four piston monoblock aluminum calipers on the rear. Thanks to the ultra-stiff monoblock calipers and their behemoth hub-mates, we estimate 70-0 braking distance to destroy the luxury SUV competitors, and we won't be surprised if the figures give a few sedans a run for their money. Porsche has developed an all-new air channel cooling system for the brake assemblies, which should greatly reduce the potential for brake fade.

The interior of the Cayenne works hard to remind you that you're in a Porsche vehicle. The ignition is located to the left of the steering wheel, and the gauge cluster mimics that of it's brethren, however, instead of a large tachometer staring the driver dead on, you'll find a driver information center, complete with temperature and fuel gauges. An 8,000-rpm tachometer sits left of the information center, and the speedometer sits to the right.

Order a Turbo Cayenne, and you'll be offered Porsche's Communication Management system, which is able to control all of the navigation, communications, audio and data applications from one central location.

All of this is adorned with some of Bessie's best hide, as the leather is supple and luxurious. But then again, we would expect nothing less from Porsche. The cabin is comfortable and quiet, and it offers a great view of the road ahead.

Speaking of the road ahead, we're sure that Cayenne drivers will have plenty of opportunity to survey the oncoming landscape - the Cayenne promises to be a blast to drive, and it's certain to cause some pretty big waves in the luxury SUV marketplace.

Stay tuned to Club Roadfly, as we hope to share our driving impressions with you very soon - we can hardly wait to get the Cayenne out on the road and put it through its paces.

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