Porsche Cayenne: An off-roader that thinks it is a 911 racer

The new Cayenne during testing in Crete. It has a sporty character with outstanding off-road capabilities.
Updated 11 November 2017
0

Porsche Cayenne: An off-roader that thinks it is a 911 racer

CRETE: The launch to international media of the third-generation Porsche Cayenne in Crete recently represents the third chapter in a success story that started in 2002. Since the launch of the first-generation Cayenne 15 years ago, the company has sold more than 770,000 units of the best-selling Porsche car ever.

In the latest version, Porsche has the balance right between the dynamics of a sports car and the comfort of a touring car. The Cayenne has many technical components from the 911 range and that shows in its performance on mountainous roads and tight chicanes. This Cayenne has come closer to its roots as a sports car than ever before.
The Cayenne continues to offer outstanding off-road capabilities. The exterior design of the new Cayenne got the proportions and aerodynamics right. To emphasize the sporty character of the car, Porsche has added an adaptive roof spoiler and air brake for increased performance and shorter braking distance. Cayenne Turbo is the first SUV in the world to have this feature, which has always been the reserve of sports cars.
The car comes fully connected with onboard WiFi hotspot, online navigation with real-time traffic information, Bluetooth interface, online voice control and four USB ports. The Cayenne has extensive assistance systems including adaptive cruise control with stop/go function, lane-keeping and lane-changing assist and night-vision capabilities. Most functions can be controlled from the 12.3-inch-wide touchscreen.
At launch, early next year, the new Cayenne will come in three models. The top-performance model is Cayenne Turbo with a 550bhp bi-turbo V8 engine, which propels the car to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds. Adding a Sports Chrono package improves this performance to 3.9 seconds. Top speed is 286km/h.
Second in line is the Cayenne S, which is powered by a 2.9 liter bi-turbo V6 engine generating 440bhp. It reaches 100km/h in 5.2 seconds and achieves a top speed of 265km/h.
The base model Cayenne has a 3.0 liter six-cylinder turbo engine delivering 340bhp. It accelerates to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 245km/h.
All engines are connected to an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission, which combines faster shifting and comfortable smooth starting with improved initial acceleration performance. All Cayenne models achieve top speed in sixth gear with seventh and eighth gears designed for cruising comfort on long journeys.
To contain the substantial power of the Cayenne engines, Porsche has developed a new surface-coated brake, composed of discs coated with hard tungsten-carbide layers, which improve responsiveness, lower wear and tear and ensures 30 percent longer service life. Porsche says that it is the world premiere of the system.
Porsche has developed an adaptive three-chamber air suspension. In addition to comfort on sporty drives, the system controls ground-clearance off-road. The system is standard on the Cayenne turbo and an option on other models. Also, for the first time, the Cayenne is available with rear-axle steering as an option, which improves driving dynamics and reduces turning circle.
The new Cayenne is available to order but first deliveries to the GCC will reach the region in February 2018. Prices for Saudi Arabia are SR308,600 ($82,250) for the Cayenne; SR375,800 for the Cayenne S and SR573,700 for the Cayenne Turbo.


Audi launches electric SUV in Tesla’s backyard, with assist from Amazon

Updated 18 September 2018
0

Audi launches electric SUV in Tesla’s backyard, with assist from Amazon

SAN FRANCISCO: German luxury car brand Audi on Monday staged the global launch of a new electric sport utility vehicle on the home turf of rival Tesla Inc, and highlighted a deal with Amazon.com Inc. to make recharging its forthcoming e-tron models easier.
The Audi e-tron midsize SUV will be offered in the United States next year at a starting price of $75,795 before a $7,500 tax credit. It is one of a volley of electric vehicles coming from Volkswagen AG brands, as well as other European premium brands including Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo Cars and Jaguar Land Rover.
All aim to expand the market for premium electric vehicles and also to grab share of that market from Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which has had the niche largely to itself.
“I want Audi to be the number-one electric vehicle seller in America over the long term,” Audi of America President Scott Keogh told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is also head of rocket company SpaceX, planned to mark the e-tron launch occasion by staging a SpaceX event in Los Angeles at roughly the same time on Monday evening as Audi’s unveiling.
Audi and parent Volkswagen are using the US launch of the e-tron SUV in mid-2019 to take aim at one obstacle to expanding electric vehicle sales — the lack of convenient ways to recharge their batteries.
Audi will partner with online retailer Amazon to sell and install home electric vehicle charging systems to buyers of the e-tron, the companies said on Monday. Amazon will deliver the hardware and hire electricians to install them through its Amazon Home Services operation.
Amazon’s partnership with Audi to provide home charging systems is the first time the online retailer has struck such a deal with an automaker, and signals a new front in Amazon’s drive to expand its reach into consumers’ homes beyond the presence of its Alexa smart speakers in living rooms and kitchens.
“We see charging installation as a very important business,” Pat Bigatel, director of Amazon Home Services, told Reuters at Audi’s launch event in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center.
Audi executives said home charging stations would cost about $1,000, depending on the home’s electrical system.
Tesla offers wall connectors for home charging at a $500 list price, and will arrange for installation, according to the company.
At the same time, Electrify America, a company funded by Volkswagen as part of its settlement of US diesel emission cheating litigation, plans to launch next year the next round of installations of public charging stations, Electrify America executives told Reuters.
Tesla has developed its own network of Supercharger charging stations with more than 11,000 chargers in North America. Electrify America plans to have 2,000 chargers installed by mid-June next year. Those will be open to any vehicle, and customers can swipe a credit card to recharge.
“We want to work with all” automotive brands, said Giovanni Palazzo, Electrify America’s chief executive.

Lifting the Curtain

Audi has been heralding the launch of the e-tron SUV for some time, but until Monday it had not shared many details of the vehicle.
The e-tron is electric, and has two electric motors — one in the front and one in the rear — driving all four wheels. The Hungarian factory building motors for the e-tron will start with a production pace equivalent to 200 vehicles a day, Audi officials said.
In Europe, the vehicle will use cameras instead of conventional mirrors to give drivers a view to the rear. That feature is still not approved by US regulators.
However, in many other respects the e-tron is a conventional, mainstream luxury SUV. It offers seating for five, and its length and wheelbase position it in the center of the market for midsize, five-passenger luxury SUVs such as the BMW X5. The e-tron is 5 inches (13 cm) shorter than the Tesla Model X, and it has conventional doors. The Model X uses vertically opening “falcon wing” doors.
The e-tron will have an advanced cruise-control system that can keep the car within a lane and maintain a set distance behind another vehicle, but the system will be designed so that drivers must keep hands on the wheel.
Audi officials said they do not have official range estimates for the e-tron SUV under US testing procedures. The e-tron’s 95 kWh battery has less capacity than the 100 kWh battery used in the Tesla Model X 100D model, but more than the base Model X 75D.
The Model X 100D is rated at 295 miles (475 km) of range by the US government.