2014 Porsche Cayenne S

THE PORSCHE OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE LUXURY SPORT UTILITIES

THE PORSCHE OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE LUXURY SPORT UTILITIES No one has to say anything about the legendary Porsche 911 line of high

and ultra-high performance sports cars.  Several years ago against many negative comments from the press and insiders, Porsche decided to enter the hot-selling luxury sport utility segment that BMW and Audi had earlier entered with success.  After my  seven-day test drive piloting the new 2014 Cayenne S  I have to say that it has been a phenomenal week because the 2014 Cayenne S is engaging and pleasurable to drive, and after previously driving the new BMW and Audi SUVs, the Cayenne S is the sportiest SUV-a unique compromise between performance, luxury and utility.  For the second-generation Cayenne in model year 2014 Porsche offers seven models: Cayenne with a 300hp V6 engine, six-speed manual and active AWD; Cayenne Diesel with a 245hp Diesel V6, eight-speed Tiptronic S and permanent AWD; Cayenne S with a 400hp V8, eight-speed Tiptronic S and Active AWD; the all-new Cayenne Hybrid with a 380hp engine, eight-speed Tiptronic S, and Active AWD; Cayenne GTS with a 420hp V8, eight-speed Tiptronic S and Active AWD; Cayenne Turbo with a 500hp V8 biturbo engine, eight-speed Tiptronic S, and Active AWD; finally the new Cayenne Turbo S with a 550hp V8 biturbo, eight-speed Tiptronic S and Active AWD.  This list gives consumers plenty to choose from and my test Cayenne was the S trim, besides, Cayenne was the world’s most popular Porsche model in 2012.  Introducing the Cayenne was a ‘win-win’ for both Porsche and Porsche enthusiasts all over the globe.

My test Cayenne S nicely slots between all seven models with plenty of power, bold Porsche styling, performance, interior luxury, ergonomics, connectivity and safety.  My test Cayenne S came loaded with a long list of standard equipment and a long list of options to make it the one that I would purchase if I had $84,980.00 including destination charges.  The base price is a more reasonable $66,800.00.

2014 Porsche Cayenne S Head on

On the outside the styling shows the ‘face’ of Porsche with optional triangular Bi-Xenon headlamp cluster in my S including LED daytime running lamps and orange LED turn-signal lights just below, a creased sloping hood meets in the middle with a wide two black slat grille, a lower diffuser and two round projector-beam foglamps.  The silhouette shows flared fenders with black moldings, a steeply raked windshield A-pillar, aero-styled power-remote/heated/self- dimming/power-folding sideview mirrors, a full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse, body-colored pull-out door handles, black lower bodykit and a protective body-color molding through the door bottoms.  From the rear is a uniquely styled top spoiler, big wraparound LED lamp clusters, a wide power liftgate, a short rear bumper, a trailer hitch, 2-seven inch wide rectangular exhaust finishers and a lower diffuser.  It is Porsche on steroids with the power and performance to back it up.  My test Cayenne S comes standard with 18X8 inch wheels and tires but my test S came with the optional ($3,510.00) 21X9.5 RS Spyder alloy wheels wrapped with Continental Sport Contac 275/45R20 inch all-season performance tires.  These meaty tires and wheels really filled up the flared wheel-wells nicely.

2014 Porsche Cayenne S

For model year 2014 Porsche pursued increased efficiency across the whole model lineup.  Multiple technologies work together to significantly reduce fuel consumption: an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission with auto start/stop functionality and a wide ratio spread; optimized thermal management for the engine and transmission cooling circuits and electrical system recuperation.  Reduced curb weights in conjunction with intelligent lightweight high strength, ultra high strength steel and aluminum also make a significant contribution to efficiency; the Cayenne S is 400 pounds lighter than the previous generation Cayenne S, for example.  Without compromising substance or safety, lightweight materials are used throughout the vehicle and in all-wheel drive systems.  In addition to efficiency and emissions improvements, performance, agility and handling also benefit from the reduced weight.  I really felt the difference in acceleration, agility, handling and stopping power as I drove around slow city traffic, entering and passing highway traffic, and stopping from high speeds.

2014 Porsche Cayenne S Engine

Power to quickly move the new Cayenne S out from a standstill is generated by the proven 4.8 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC V8 with direct fuel injection, dry sump lubrication, electronic engine management, VarioCam Plus intake and valve adjustment.  This potent powerplant generates 400hp at 6,500rpm and healthy 369lb.ft. of torque at just 3,500rpm.  It rockets the Cayenne S to 60mph from a standstill in a very respectable 5.6sec.  Torque is transferred through the new eight-speed Tiptronic S that comes standard in all new Cayenne’s except the standard Cayenne.  This transmission is a dream for the Cayenne combining high efficiency, very rapid gear changes, and superior smoothness and more refinement.  The top two gears are both overdrives, made possible by the wide ratio spread and reducing fuel consumption significantly during steady-state cruising.  For optimal acceleration, the eight-speed Tiptronic S always launches from a standstill in first gear.  Most models reach top speed in sixth gear except the Cayenne S Diesel, which attains top speed in eighth.  I can select between ‘Comfort’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes.  When cruising just a little push on the throttle by my right foot drops the transmission into sixth gear for instant acceleration.  The aluminum clad paddle shifters on each side of the steering wheel is fun and easy to use for even more spirited driving times.  Furthermore the Cayenne S comes standard with the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) active all-wheel drive with an electronically-regulated, map-controlled multi-plate clutch.  The system’s variable torque distribution improves the driving dynamics, agility and rapid traction management.  On road the grip is awesome and off road the traction is supreme.  I am able to adjust off-road characteristics using a rocker switch located on the center console.  In off-road mode 1 all relevant system are tuned for optimum traction.  Off-road 2 closes the center coupling to 100% for improved traction on difficult terrain and off-road mode 3, activated by another press of the rocker switch locks the rear differential for even greater traction.  In all cases, hill control assistant is activated by means of a separate switch.  I had a ball of fun when traveling over loose sand and gravel near water.  The Cayenne S never lost traction whether I was driving up or down a hill or on level ground.

Handling and nimble agility is at the fore front of the new Cayenne S with its fully independent all-aluminum front and rear suspension systems.  Up front is a double wishbone setup with stabilizer bar, and a multi-link rear setup with stabilizer bar.  Air springs help keep the Cayenne S level no matter how the truck is loaded with people or cargo.   My test Cayenne S came equipped with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) option.  This system varies the amount of damping power from the gas-charged mono-tube shocks absorbers at each wheel.  As mentioned above I can choose from Comfort/Normal/Sport modes as I please with seamless integration.  At high speeds the system automatically is set to Sport for optimum handling and agility.  Pinpoint accuracy and super-quick reaction to my steering wheel inputs made the drive even more fun and exciting.  As part of the Porsche Premium Option Package I enjoyed the Power Steering Plus electro-hydraulic speed sensitive rack & pinion steering system.  A lighter steering effort was felt at slower speeds but the steering really tightened up when I was cruising on the freeway.  It is perfectly weighed with great on-center feel and an extra-ordinary feel for the road.  It couldn’t have been calibrated better for the Cayenne S sporty driving experience. 

The Porsche Premium Option Package is priced at $7,710.00 and include also includes Bi-Xenon headlamps, front seat heating, auto dimming outside/inside mirrors, PCM including Porsche’s Navigation System with Voice Recognition, 14-way power seats with driver’s-side/front-passenger side memory, front/rear Park Assist and a heated steering wheel.  Other options aboard my test new Cayenne S included Classic Silver Metallic paint for $790.00; a trailer hitch without receiver/tow ball for $650.00; wheel center caps with colored Porsche Crest for $185.00; one-touch panorama sunroof with power sunshade for $660.00; electric roll-up sunblind for rear side windows for $450.00; wheel arch extensions with side door protection moldings for $990.00 and finally a Bose 585-watt, Surround Sound Audio System with 14-speakers including an active subwoofer for $2,100.00.

Oh yes, the new Porsche Cayenne S stops like a Porsche should with giant brake rotors.  Up front are 14.17 inches internally vented rotors clamped with six-piston fixed calipers, and 12.99 inch internally vented rotors clamped with four-piston fixed calipers.  My control of direction during severe braking was handled nicely by the standard ABS and Porsche Stability Management (PSM that work together to keep me from skidding during hard cornering or losing traction on-road or off-road.  The brake pedal always felt linear when pushing, and the meaty 20X9.5 inch tires also helped with sharp braking power.  Porsche has gotten it all together for a pleasurable, fun, engaging and exciting driving experience from the powerful engine, high-tech eight-speed transmission, active AWD, performance suspension systems and awesome brakes.  It is the sportiest SUV with its unique combination between performance and utility.  The performance is there and the interior matches perfectly with sportiness, comfort, convenience, connectivity, luxury, versatility and safety.

All for door open wide to reveal a sumptuous cabin.  As I step inside I am amazed with all of the beautiful luxury materials, attention to detail and craftsmanship.  The leather-trimmed/14-way power-adjustable front driver’s seat moves backward and the beefy, leather-wrapped, heated/multi-function steering wheel tilts up for ease of entry then does the same when I take the key out of the ignition for ease of exit.  Both the driver’s-side and passenger-side bucket seats have 3-person memory.  Each bucket seat is super comfortable and cut deep to keep me and my front passenger in place during hard cornering.  Once in place I looked at the Porsche signature five analog/digital gauge cluster and the awesome center console bursting with buttons, switches and toggles, all with chrome accents.  Chrome and aluminum trim is found throughout the interior giving the Cayenne S a very luxurious look.  I feel like I am at the controls of my own private jet airplane.  It is so exciting to see how all controls are placed in groups for ease of use by both me and my front seat passenger.  All controls are fully illuminated for safe nighttime use.  The leather-wrapped stick shifter sits in an aluminum gate and is perfectly placed for easy use.  The front door pulls are matched on the sides of the center console to grab during hard cornering.  The sporty look is further accented with the aluminum/rubber faced foot pedals.  The center of the dashboard top shows a round Porsche clock that remains at 12:00 until the front door is unlocked when it then reverts to the current time. 

Standard equipment not mentioned above includes a rear split-folding bench seat (40/20/40) with fold out center armrest and dual cupholders, automatic dual-zone climate control system with active carbon filter and quality sensor, a sliding center console with dual cupholders and storage box, two in-door bottle holders and storage compartments in front doors, Bluetooth hands-free phone, 3.5mm audio input jack, keyfob with remote locking functionality, all express up/down windows, an instrument cluster with a 4.8 inch TFT screen and black dials, rain-sensing wipers/washers/headlamp washers/rear wiper/washers, rear privacy glass, power top hinged tailgate with integrated spoiler, five 12-volt sockets and multiple interior light locations, locking glovebox with A/C, rear air outlets behind the center console, grab handles above each door, dual map lights, a large opaque U-shaped front interior light when the front doors are opened, overhead console, cruise control, aluminum door kick plates, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, four-chrome tie-downs in the cargo area, a pull-out cargo cover, an aluminum plate and the front of the cargo area, high-gloss black interior trim and Porsche signature floor mats.

Standard safety features include fully galvanized self-supporting body with side impact protection in each door, 3-point safety belts with pretensioners (front/out rear seats, LATCH system for child seats, full-size airbags for driver and front passenger, driver knee airbag, front side airbags integrated in seat, curtain airbags from A to C pillar, alarm system with immobilizer and ultrasonic interior monitoring.

What more can I say about the new 2014 Porsche Cayenne S?  It has it all for active enthusiast singles, couples and families looking for the best there is in the high-performance luxury SUV class.  It is engaging and enjoyable to drive and is the sportiest SUV that I have tested so far-a unique combination of performance, luxury, and utility.

COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS:

Wheelbase: 114 inches

Length: 190.8 inches

Width: 76.3 inches

Height: 67.4 inches

Track: front-66.9 inches

Headroom: front-39.57 with moonroof

Legroom: front-62.7 inches

Turning circle: 39.1 feet

Curb weight: 4,553 pounds

Fuel tank: 22.5 gallons

Towing capacity: 7,716 pounds

Payload: 1,709 pounds

Storage volume: 23.7 cu.ft. with 2nd row seats up/62.9 cu.ft. with 2nd row folded

Top track speed: 160.4 mph

EPA mileage: 16mpg/city, 22mpg/highway

Price: $66,800.00-base/$84,980.00 as tested including $975.00 destination charges