Chris Pfaff’s Blog – Porsche Cayenne Turbo
When Porsche introduced the Cayenne in 2003, it was hard to imagine the impact that single model would make on the whole company and the brand. Porsche’s first SUV was met with suspicion back then: how could the company reconcile space, practicality, and off-road ability with its traditional strengths of speed, handling, and nimbleness?
The naysayers back then forgot that Porsche, actually, had as much credibility off-road as it did on-road, from a string of three Monte Carlo Rally wins in a row to triumph at the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally with the 959. And, true to that legacy, the Cayenne was an incredible performer. It could do everything a purpose-built SUV could off the beaten path, while steering, braking, handling, and accelerating like a Porsche on pavement.
Fast forward 13 years – has it really been that long? – and the Cayenne bridges the two worlds of SUV versatility and sports-car performance even better than before. The current generation is hundreds of pounds lighter than the original, which means that it’s even more nimble in the corners, that it has better ride quality, and is even faster than ever. I’ve been driving a 2016 Cayenne Turbo recently – with 520 horsepower, it has 70 more than the original Cayenne Turbo while weighing about 450 pounds less. Plus it has eight gears in the Tiptronic S transmission instead of six. It jumps off the line like a rocketship when you hit the gas, it has effortless power no matter what speed you’re going, but it also cruises more calmly and economically than ever before.
The technology in the current Cayenne is pretty incredible, and certainly helps deliver on both ends of the performance-economy spectrum. For a car with 4.8 litres of V8 and two turbochargers, it is remarkably economical, not least because of Porsche’s latest and most advanced start-stop system. Not only does it transition from engine-off to engine-on faster and more smoothly than any other car, it can actually shut the engine down as you’re slowing – even before the car comes to a complete stop. On the other side of the coin, 21-inch wheels (an inch bigger than the largest size you could get on the original Cayenne), big brakes, air suspension, and Porsche Active Suspension Management, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis control means that this five-seat SUV corners unbelievably flat – and fast.
Inside, you definitely know you’re driving a Porsche. It’s not just the array of five classic gauges in front of you, or the rate at which the scenery is rushing by. It’s the rumble coming from the exhaust, it’s the way that you can specify the fittings exactly to your specifications (mine has contrasting red stitching, to match is brake calipers), and it’s in the steering that doesn’t just remind you of the 918 Spyder’s because of the great feel, but also because the design of the steering wheel is exactly the same. All this, plus 18-way power adjustments, a gorgeous panoramic sunroof, amazing sound system, touch screen navigation, and more.
The original Cayenne helped kick-start Porsche’s massive growth spurt throughout the first part of this century, and ultimately became the brand’s best-seller, accounting for almost half its overall sales. Not only did this SUV arguably save the company, but it also generated volume and profit that helped support the development of some of the best sports cars we’ve ever seen from Porsche.
Indeed, the brand continues to go from strength to strength – from the 911 R for purists (sold out within moments of its announcement) to the spectacular new turbocharged 718 Boxster to the all-electric Mission E, which will be on our shores before we know it. We’re expanding to meet the needs of these new products and others, as well as the new customers we anticipate they’ll bring to our doors, with a brand-new facility on Four Valley Drive, just north of the current Pfaff Porsche facility, and easily accessible off Highway 400.
We hope to break ground on this amazing new building, which will feature a 30-plus car showroom as well as state-of-the-art service facilities, later this spring. In the meantime, we continue to innovate to help serve your needs better, with our convenient and popular valet service, expanded service capacity, as the option of servicing your car while you’re away thanks to our Toronto Pearson Airport partnership.
It’s all part of our ambition to be the best Porsche dealer in Canada – one that continues to grow with the brand and the needs of its drivers.