Friday, July 3, 2009

2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

You might think that putting a twin-turbo V-8 into a 5500-lb SUV and charging almost $140,000 for it is excessive, but we figured it out: The 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S is theperfect tow rig. It is rated to tow 7716 pounds, and everybody wants a tow vehicle that outruns the car on the trailer, right?

Stupid Quick and Stupefying Agility

With 550 hp, the Cayenne Turbo S accelerates to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds and to 100 in 10.8. On a tight road, the rate with which it builds speed is terrifying; after just 30 feet, the Turbo S feels like it’s going 20 mph or so faster than its actual, already eye-bulging velocity. With the accelerator pinned, the air cascading from the tailpipes sounds like opening a window in a 747 at cruising speed.

For guys who grenade the clutch in their 911 Turbo while bracket racing, we recommend subbing in this Cayenne: All-wheel drive and an automatic transmission will have you running 12.9s at 110 mph as regularly as CARB ignores reality. Passing on two-lanes is a riot, and the jackass who accelerates when you pull out to overtake him better be commuting in an F-15 if he hopes to block you—the Cayenne’s 50-to-70-mph time of 3.3 seconds is just one tick behind that of Cadillac’s 556-hp CTS-V automatic.

Odds are your Porsche club isn’t renting the local drag strip, so it’s good that the Turbo S is as weirdly competent on a winding track as it is stupid fast on a straight one. We recorded 0.88 g of stick on the skidpad, and activating the suspension’s Sport mode keeps the big body relatively level and buttoned down in the twisties. Club the throttle halfway through a turn, and rather than an immediate dive toward the weeds, the Turbo S responds with a gradual unraveling of your line. So it’s agile, but it never feels small—if this is barnstorming, then you’re piloting the barn.

Keep Reading: 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S - Short Take Road Test


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