REVIEW: Porsche’s all-new Cayenne takes on desert terrain

Rachel McArthur reviews Porsche's new Cayenne in Dubai for Arab News. (Supplied)
Updated 31 October 2018

REVIEW: Porsche’s all-new Cayenne takes on desert terrain

DUBAI: When Porsche first unveiled its Cayenne approximately 16 years ago, motoring fans thought it wouldn’t take off. After all, what does a sports car brand know about launching an SUV?
Turns out, a lot actually as funnily enough it’s now a top seller. In 2018 the Cayenne is one of the German giant’s most successful creations in the Middle East region and beyond. So much so, that this year marks its third generation of the beautiful beast. And with Porsche’s promise of the vehicle’s “outstanding handling on any terrain” where else to put it to the test than on our beautiful desert roads?
But first things first — what versions are available? The models we tried were a trio of specs: The Cayenne, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo. A Cayenne E-Hybrid is also now available.
The base model comprises a six-cylinder turbo engine, producing 340 hp. It achieves a 0-100km/h in just 6.2 seconds. The Sport version is powered by a 2.9-liter, 440 hp biturbo-charged V6 engine, reaching 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds. And finally, the tough Turbo — featuring a biturbo eight-cylinder engine putting out 550 hp — reaches an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds.
We took all three out for a spin around Dubai, Fujairah and Dibba — different roads, different terrain. And the manufacturer is true to its word when it says the Cayenne can handle all types of ground (of course we didn’t try it on icy roads, but hey, what are the chances of needing to over here?).

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THE LIST

Cayenne starting prices

SR308,600 Cayenne

SR375,800 Cayenne S

SR573,700 Cayenne Turbo

SR392,167 Cayenne E-Hybrid

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The core components of the third generation are new. The more efficient engines combined with a new eight-speed Tiptronic S — along with new technology such as 4D chassis control, rear axle steering, three-chamber air suspension, and tungsten-carbide-coated Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) — result in a phenomenal performance. Meanwhile, the updated lightweight chassis delivers top class driving dynamics.
On normal roads, it offers the best steering experience along with great safety features, including parking assistance with reversing camera, surround view, and adaptive cruise control. There’s also an optional lane-keeping system that can monitor the vehicle’s position using a camera, responding by providing steering support if you leave your lane without indicating. Great for long drives.
While the spacious interior makes it ideal as the ultimate family car, it’s also one for adventure. You can choose between five different drive and chassis modes,
depending on the terrain. So going off-road is never a problem. In fact, we took one onto the mountains in Dibba and were very impressed by how safe the drive was. We just chose the mode that suited the terrain (between “gravel” and “rock”) and went for it. This adjusts the car to suit the environment ensuring a safe drive. An optional off-road package includes a menu offering additional displays for the steering angle, transverse gradient and longitudinal incline.
Inside the car, noise is kept to a minimum, while the technology in its infotainment system is second to none. While it’s great for your passenger, however, it sometimes can be a little too much for the driver. So make sure you set up your navigation, apps and music before setting out and avoid distractions on the road.
The Cayenne isn’t for the faint-hearted — it’s a big vehicle — but if you’re looking for a strong and sturdy family car, or something to take you on the greatest of outdoor adventures, then it doesn’t get any better than this.


Supercars go under the hammer in RM Sotheby’s auction at Abu Dhabi F1

Motorsport enthusiasts can expect to see one of the best hyper-car and supercar lineups ever presented for public sale. (Supplied)
Updated 02 December 2019

Supercars go under the hammer in RM Sotheby’s auction at Abu Dhabi F1

  • Motorsport enthusiasts can expect to see one of the best hyper-car and supercar lineups ever presented for public sale
  • The auction’s undisputed star lot is a Ferrari F2002

ABU DHABI: During the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, which is taking place from Nov. 29- Dec. 1, classic car auction company RM Sotheby’s is holding its first-ever auction in the Middle East. Featuring an expertly curated selection of 40 high-performance vehicles, the auction will take place on Nov. 30 at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Motorsport enthusiasts can expect to see one of the best hyper-car and supercar lineups ever presented for public sale.

(Supplied)

The auction’s undisputed star lot is a Ferrari F2002. It is estimated to sell for as much as $7.5 million. The reason for its elevated value?  German racing driver Michael Schumacher drove it to victory three times during the 2002 season, helping him to secure his fifth world championship at the French Grand Prix. A portion of the winning bid will also support Schumacher’s Keep Fighting Foundation.

Meanwhile, a rare Mercedes-McLaren collaboration that can go from zero to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds is also up for grabs. The supercharged AMG V-8, which is one of 75, is estimated to sell for as much as $2.7 million in Abu Dhabi.

(Supplied)

Among the highlights is also one-of-50 example of Maserati’s iconic 21st-century supercar, a 2005 Maserati MC12.

Another eye-catching lot is undoubtedly the 2011 Aston Martin One-77, which is the 38th make out of 77 of the luxury vehicle company’s hypercar. The sparingly-driven super car, which is being auctioned by the original owner Markus Jebsen, founder of Auction4Wildlife, currently boasts under 1,000 km. All proceeds from the sale of the One-77 will go towards African Parks.

(Supplied)

The auction coincides with RM Sotheby’s online-only sale of F1 memorabilia taking place during the end of November to the beginning of December that features more than 100 items ranging from signed racing helmets and gloves to car parts.

Scroll down for the highlights from the show...

2002 Ferrari F2002

German racing driver Michael Schumacher drove this vehicle to victory three times during the 2002 season, helping him to secure his fifth world championship at the 2002 French Grand Prix.

(Supplied)

2011 Aston Martin One-77

The sparingly-driven super car currently boasts under 1,000 km. All proceeds from the sale of the One-77 will go towards African Parks.

(Supplied)

2005 Maserati MC12

Defined by its colossal rear spoiler and removable hardtop, this iconic 21st century sports car is one out of just 50 ever made. 

(Supplied)

2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

The car sports an eye-catching and seldom-seen colour combination of Semaphore Yellow over a light beige interior and dark beige soft top.

(Supplied)

1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster

Introduced in 1990 as the successor to the legendary Countach, the Lamborghini Diablo was the company’s signature 1990s model.

(Supplied)

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing

What would result became a true automotive icon of its era. Mercedes-Benz’s 300 SL was the industry benchmark for performance in the 1950s, pioneering a number of cutting-edge technologies.

(Supplied)