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Old 23rd May 2010, 16:39   #1
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Default 2011 Porsche Cayenne Training @ Dubai.

More than 2 years at Porsche Centre Mumbai, and i was still awaiting my turn to undergo a proper Porsche product training session. The most of Asian territory comes under Porsche Middle East (PME) and hence all product training take place at the Auto drome race track in Dubai.

I missed the 997 2nd generation training last year because of a small accident. My colleagues who attended were going ga ga over the Nine Eleven, once they returned. Porsche had arranged an Audi R8, a Maserati Granturismo, Jaguar XK, Mercedes SL, BMW 650i along with the range of 911 models to be driven by every single one on the track to feel the difference between the 911 and the rest. It really did not go too well with me and i was extremely disappointed having missing that trip.

Stuck around at Porsche all this while and got rewarded with the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Training @ Autodrome - Dubai.

Monday morning, May 17 - The coach takes us from Marriot at green community to Autodrome racetrack at 7.30 am. We start with the introductory session and and after an hour or so we are asked to move out towards the track and we see 4 New Cayenne Turbo's zooming past us on the start-finish straight. They really sounded like, well, a Porsche.

The drivers driving those Turbo's were professional Porsche trainers. They took us all out for a spin on the track, 3 ppl in each car excluding the driver. At the end of the straight it was already crossing 200 k's. The car was over steering so predictably, as if it were a rear wheel drive and not 4. It could carry so much speed in to the corners, and i could feel those G forces i have never felt before in an SUV.

After that was the theory session where we visibly inspect the exterior and interior of the new Cayenne along with all of its competitors.
The other SUV's present there were the BMW X5M, the X6, the Range Rover Sport Supercharged, the Audi Q7 V8 petrol, the Mercedes ML and the Touareg V8. I had no clue as to what was in store for us for after that session.

We drive all the above mentioned cars on the race track full throttle to check their behaviour taking high speed corners, high speed lane change, slalom, and start-finish straight for their respective acceleration prowess.

BMW X5M - 555bhp sounds fast, and it was. The gear change had an amazing turbo burp to it. Carries decent speed into corners but not so predictable road holding. Sheer size and weigh can be felt a little bit during slaloms. Disappointing leather quality and interiors could be better.
Overall - Better than the rest.

BMW X6 - Twin Turbo V8. Fast. smallest dimensions really help the car dynamically. Handles really well. Very small cabin. Poor rear seat leg space and head room. Poor off road capability.
Overall - Good to drive, but Impractical for the price.

Range Rover Sport Supercharged. - 510Bhp, doesnt feel like a car with those many horse powers. Slower acceleration times even when compared with the naturally aspirated Cayenne S. Faster than the car can handle. Poor high speed lane change and slalom ability. This made in England car needs a made in England Hamilton to handle it. Extremely poor CO2 emissions & fuel efficiency. Good fit and finish and leather.
Overall - Needs huge improvement.

VW Touareg - V8. Not fair comparing the VW with the cars above. It never really competed in Dynamics. It was slower than everything i drove. Slow turn in ability and it under steered a lot. The throttle is directly connected to under steer, a little input and its going straight already. What impresses is the quality, the sound interiors and the kit.
Overall - Not such a bad car, but lost in this company.

Audi Q7 V8 - Starts of well, loses steam a little sooner than expected. Not so good handling and a track is not where you want to be in this car. Not enjoyable to drive at all. But again, great four wheel drive system, comfortable family carrier with German build quality.
Overall - For the rear benchers with big families.

Mercedes ML500 - Did not get to drive one as some one crashed it 2 days before we reached there. (He probably tried doing what he did in a cayenne in the first corner and crashed)

Cayenne S - 4.8L V8 400bhp naturally aspirated. 8 speed. 185kgs lighter. 23% lesser emissions. 20% better fuel efficiency. 0-100kmph in 5.9secs and 258kmph. Great handling and is a pain in the neck in corners. Just doesn’t let go. Good off road ability and suspension travel of 110mm from 160mm lowest to 270mm highest ground clearance.
Overall - It doesn’t get better than this.

Cayenne Turbo - 4.8L V8 Twin Turbo 500bhp. 185kgs lighter. 23% lesser emissions. 23% better fuel efficiency. 0-100kmph in 4.7secs, same as X5M which is 55bhp more. 278kmph Top. Turbo is the quickest an SUV will do around a circuit, go off road with confidence, be comfortable in the comfort setting.
Overall - Unreal abilities.

Last edited by doctorque : 23rd May 2010 at 16:47.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 16:59   #2
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The Autodrome as well as the Sand dunes.
Sand dunes were the part of the 2nd day.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 17:29   #3
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Awesome!! Getting to drive the Cayenne in it's natural habitat would be loads of fun!
So when is the new Cayenne coming to India?
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Old 23rd May 2010, 19:34   #4
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Actually, the world is a natural habitat for the New Cayenne. It was as happy on a racetrack as it was pondering around on the Dubai freeways and as soon as we reached the dunes, just some reduction on the tire pressure and its ready to take on the dessert with road tires. Awesome.

Its a july end launch.
Bookings are on though.

Last edited by Technocrat : 23rd May 2010 at 20:42. Reason: Please edit your post for adding any content instead of making back to back posts, thanks
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Old 24th May 2010, 07:01   #5
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Awesome pictures. And an awesome new cayenne also.
Did you actually compare the other vehicles alongside the porsche while off roading ?
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Old 24th May 2010, 08:33   #6
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Awesome stint there Kunal, You got to test the beasts the way no one in India can!
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Old 25th May 2010, 09:40   #7
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Loads of fun for sure.

1st day comprised of theory and Autodrome tests for the cayenne and all other competitors.
2nd day was mostly at the sand dunes with just the Cayenne's and also us being tested for our knowledge as theory.

The best part was that i was in the blue group and blue group won in the end. We bettered most of the Porsche guys from other countries. Prize was a full metal new Cayenne Turbo model car. Beautiful.
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Old 25th May 2010, 10:04   #8
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That sounds cool, more pics awaited.. including the cayenne model!
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Old 25th May 2010, 10:33   #9
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To be frank, I don't like the design of the new Cayenne. I'm sure Stuttgart designers could have done a better job. It looks too Asian rather than being German. What are your thoughts on this doctorque?
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Old 25th May 2010, 10:49   #10
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Wow sounds like fun, how were you guys rated for the win ? Did you have some kind of point system or something or where you timed on the track ? Please do post the picture of your trophy too.
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:18   #11
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Nice short review about the competition;loved the ML part

Lucky you. Hope you post more details about your experience and pix.
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Old 29th May 2010, 13:36   #12
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Nice!

Good to see that you were not only given the Cayenne, but also a taste of some of its competitors to give you a wider view.

Any more pics/vids of the track event?

cya
R
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Old 30th May 2010, 16:25   #13
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@ theragingbull - respect your views, but we were taught about the evolutionary design changes Porsche has done on the new Cayenne. Its so much like the new Panamera. Even towards the rear, the fenders are as powerful looking as the Panamera and pictures really do not suggest the way the car looks in flesh. It is a good looking car. I suugest have a good look of it once we launch it here in July end.

prguru - the first instruction the trainers gave us was that it wasnt a race and there are no lap times. So be nice to the machines as the other manufacters have been kind enough to give us the cars, also the ML accident really ruined it for the others.
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Old 30th May 2010, 18:07   #14
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The Cayenne's looks are all about getting used to.But as far as its performance and dynamic abilities are concerned,its one of the very best out there!
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Old 31st May 2010, 22:14   #15
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Hmmm i dont agree. I feel too much of autodrome has lost perception of the real point of an SUV.



Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorque View Post
BMW X5M - 555bhp sounds fast, and it was. The gear change had an amazing turbo burp to it. Carries decent speed into corners but not so predictable road holding. Sheer size and weigh can be felt a little bit during slaloms. Disappointing leather quality and interiors could be better.

Agreed

BMW X6 - Twin Turbo V8. Fast. smallest dimensions really help the car dynamically. Handles really well. Very small cabin. Poor rear seat leg space and head room. Poor off road capability.
Overall - Good to drive, but Impractical for the price.

Agreed


Range Rover Sport Supercharged. - 510Bhp, doesnt feel like a car with those many horse powers. Slower acceleration times even when compared with the naturally aspirated Cayenne S. Faster than the car can handle. Poor high speed lane change and slalom ability. This made in England car needs a made in England Hamilton to handle it. Extremely poor CO2 emissions & fuel efficiency. Good fit and finish and leather.
Overall - Needs huge improvement.

Here is where you get it all wrong - The Range Rover has a massive history of over 60 years and unlike the cayenne was not built with the single purpose of getting the fastest lap times. Its built to do MUCH more. Try getting a range rover vs cayenne offroad or on a long journey and you'll begin to see the point of a range rover despite all porsche biases. Offroad and in the real world, the range rover stands alone as an icon which just cannot be matched. The Cayenne is a good performing SUV, i agree but when you take in all the factors like off road ability, stability, build quality, materials, varied range of options, comfort and especially price, running costs and dealerships, service etc. you will understand.

An SUV is not about 0 - 100 times. It is about providing a rock solid go anywhere capability with the comfort of a luxury sedan.

Having owned a cayenne and ML for about 2 years i finally get the point.

Morover the Range Rover Supercharged gets from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 secs too so its in no way 'slower' than the cayenne S. When you go pricing wise, its not worth comparing a 1.30 crore car with an 85 lakh car. 45 lakhs is a big gap.


VW Touareg - V8. Not fair comparing the VW with the cars above. It never really competed in Dynamics. It was slower than everything i drove. Slow turn in ability and it under steered a lot. The throttle is directly connected to under steer, a little input and its going straight already. What impresses is the quality, the sound interiors and the kit.
Overall - Not such a bad car, but lost in this company.

Audi Q7 V8 - Starts of well, loses steam a little sooner than expected. Not so good handling and a track is not where you want to be in this car. Not enjoyable to drive at all. But again, great four wheel drive system, comfortable family carrier with German build quality.
Overall - For the rear benchers with big families.

Agreed

Mercedes ML500 - Did not get to drive one as some one crashed it 2 days before we reached there. (He probably tried doing what he did in a cayenne in the first corner and crashed)

Yup i cant even think of an ML.


Cayenne S - 4.8L V8 400bhp naturally aspirated. 8 speed. 185kgs lighter. 23% lesser emissions. 20% better fuel efficiency. 0-100kmph in 5.9secs and 258kmph. Great handling and is a pain in the neck in corners. Just doesn’t let go. Good off road ability and suspension travel of 110mm from 160mm lowest to 270mm highest ground clearance.
Overall - It doesn’t get better than this...... for track use

W

Cayenne Turbo - 4.8L V8 Twin Turbo 500bhp. 185kgs lighter. 23% lesser emissions. 23% better fuel efficiency. 0-100kmph in 4.7secs, same as X5M which is 55bhp more. 278kmph Top. Turbo is the quickest an SUV will do around a circuit, go off road with confidence, be comfortable in the comfort setting.
Overall - Unreal abilities.
I see you didnt care to comment on the looks and presence of these SUVs (well atleast some are).

Atleast we both agree (even if its subconciously) how porsche has gone awry with its designs lately. Character and looks are important too. Even the fully souped up turbo with 20 inchers in black looks ugly. The 09 GTS was much better anyday.

Last edited by Rehaan : 3rd June 2010 at 14:33. Reason: Large quote shortened + please spell ugly without an f.
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