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Old October 2nd, 2002, 07:18 AM   #1
Magic Mtn Dan
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Porsche Twin Turbo V-8!

Porsche and its regular customers require the Cayenne be capable of electrifying acceleration and have a top speed that is illegal practically everywhere on earth.

Well, with the 4.5-liter, 450-horsepower Cayenne Turbo, it looks as though it has succeeded. Zero to 62 mph takes just 5.6 seconds, and the maximum is 165 mph. Even the 340-hp non-turbo version is good for 0 to 62 in 7.2 seconds and 150 mph. Comment on the Cayenne’s road and off-road manners will have to wait until we have had some time behind the wheel, but on paper the prospects look good. The full-time all-wheel drive system incorporates an electronic control that automatically feeds drive to the front and rear in relation to the grip available at each axle. Normally, 62 percent of the power goes to the rear and 32 percent to the front, but if necessary 100 percent can be fed to either axle in response to sensors that measure vehicle speed, lateral acceleration, steering angle and gas-pedal application.

The Cayenne’s platform is shared with VW’s new SUV, the Touareg, but the two vehicles have little in common. Although Porsche developed the platform, the company is at pains to point out that nobody from Porsche has yet driven a Touareg and nobody from VW has driven a Cayenne. Porsche is relying on its heritage and the new twin-cam 32-valve V-8 engine to make the Cayenne special. Asked at the launch whether any other company would have access to the engine, Porsche CEO Dr Wendelin Wiedeking was very forceful in pointing out that “Nobody else will get their hands on that power unit!”

In terms of looks, the Cayenne has strong links to the 911 models in its sloping hood and forceful front grille and air-intakes, giving it an unmistakeable ‘Yes, it is a Porsche’ look. At the rear, it is generic luxury SUV, but it has an unusual layout to its rear door in the way that the window opens on its own to give access to the large load space for loading small items. For larger loads and full access to the rear, the door and lift together. The interior is roomy and well trimmed, with leather and stylish metal-trim making it a worthy competitor to its rivals from Germany and Japan.

Wiedeking speaks

Speaking at the first press showing of the new Porsche Cayenne SUV ahead of the Paris Auto Show, the company’s CEO, Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, said the vehicle would turn a profit as soon as the first one left the showroom floor in Germany on December 7.

Dr Wiedeking, who brought the company back from the edge of the financial abyss and has delivered handsome profit figures, is convinced the Porsche/SUV equation will work. The world won’t know whether he is right until next spring, when the Cayenne will go on sale in its make-or-break market, the U.S.

Wiedeking says all the development and capital costs of the Cayenne have already been covered out of profits, Wiedeking said, meaning that the production vehicles will not have to contribute to those costs. With production slated at 25,000 per year, the Cayenne should be a major contributor to Porsche’s profitability, which continues to be among the best in the world.

Despite a global downturn in the luxury markets that Porsche inhabits, in the year ended July 31, Porsche production fell by only 0.6 percent, with sales of 54,234 units. The majority of these sales – 32,337 – were of the more expensive and more profitable 911 models. The entry-level Boxster dropped by 21 percent, recording 21,897 sales in a year in which the original model was run out and an upgraded version introduced.

Adding the Cayenne to the model mix is a step that Dr. Wiedeking likened to the introduction of the first Porsche sports car in 1948. The upmarket SUV extends Porsche’s reach beyond the two-seat enthusiast sports car market and gives the company a foothold in the luxury end of the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. market.

Back to the track

It’s the U.S. market, of course, that is most important to Porsche. Its sports cars have been popular in America since the 1950s, and the 911 has built a strong following among car enthusiasts, who have been more faithful to the brand than the yuppies who took the car to their hearts in the 1980’s. Porsche is aware that many of these dyed-in-the-wool Porsche fans consider the idea of a Porsche SUV as heretical, but Wiedeking is philosophical about this reaction. “We have always been accused,” he said, “of being ‘heretical’ by all those enthusiasts who have invariably criticized new developments by Porsche. This was the case with every 911, and it was the case with the Boxster. So believe me, we have been through this experience before.”

Dr. Wiedeking pointed out that customers old and new had always been won over because the company remained true to its principles of building “purist thoroughbred sports cars.” This had been the guiding principle behind the Cayenne, he said, and he was convinced that the car, with a 450-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-8 in the most powerful model, would be a true Porsche despite its four seats and luxurious interior.

Production of the car started last August, with recently re-elected German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder ceremonially tightening the lug nuts of the first Cayenne off the line. The Cayenne doesn’t just represent a major development for Porsche; it’s also important for the German economy, since the car is being built in a brand-new plant in Leipzig, in the former Eastern Germany. With a new car being produced in a new plant by a workforce that does not necessarily share the same traditional values of the Porsche home factory in Stuttgart, Porsche is taking a major leap of faith.

Then there’s the question of competition. Dr. Wolfgang Durheimer, the engineer responsible for the development of the car, was asked whether the all-wheel drive Cayenne would compete in the tough Paris-Dakar off-road rally, an event that Porsche has won in the past with 4x4s based on its 911 and 959 models. Dr. Durheimer’s response was that “We will be racing on slicks (treadless racing tires) before we go racing on sand tires.” The enigmatic statement did not rule out an off-road racing future for the 450-hp turbocharged SUV, but implied that the German company would be back on conventional racetracks before that happened. Pressed further on the statement, Dr. Durheimer and his boss would go no further, but did confirm that the company was preparing a return to competition. The news will be welcomed by race fans – the firm, which owes much of its reputation to race track success, has been absent from top-level competition for some years now.

source: Car Connection

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Old October 2nd, 2002, 09:15 AM   #2
Steve B
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Re: Porsche Twin Turbo V-8!

Does anyone know what constitutes the "platform" that is common to the Prosche and VW?
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Old February 28th, 2022, 09:23 PM   #3
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This was the case with every 911, and it was the case with the Boxster. So believe me, we have been through this experience before.
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