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Review: Porsche Cayenne S 4.2 V8 diesel

Driven November 2012

Review: Porsche Cayenne S 4.2 V8 diesel

For a rich Indian, this is a wet dream. A Porsche. An SUV. Powered by a diesel. And that too a V8 diesel. Now if you think 382bhp isn’t much for a two tonne monster, remember, this is a diesel. And 850Nm is not a torque figure you can brush off. Also what you can’t brush off is the surge of torque available within a moment.

Most diesels, even the sophisticated ones with intelligent twin turbos have the ever-so-minute turbo lag. There’s nothing till 1500 or 2000rpm and then, your head will snap back, the seat will behave like it wants to swallow you whole. In fact, I’ve become so used to lag and the rush we get after it kicks in, I have begun to enjoy it.

The 4.2 V8 in this Cayenne does nothing of this sort. Power is available all through the rev range with none of the snapping and swallowing you expect. The engine is superb. Handling is brilliant, and in a line, this Cayenne is essentially a supercar on stilts with five doors and the ability to handle bad roads. For such a high and heavy car, the Cayenne as usual defies physics.

What we don’t like (again, as usual) are the looks and the lightness in the steering. The steering is good for an SUV, but not for a Porsche. So if you are expecting Boxster fun with the practicality of five seats and high ground clearance, you aren’t going to get that. However, at just under Rs 90 lakh off the showroom, the Cayenne S with this V8 engine is a perfect all round car you can take all over the country.

The numbers
4134cc, V8 turbo-diesel, 382bhp, 850Nm, 8A, AWD, 0-100: 5.7 secs (claimed), Top speed: 252kph (claimed), Rs 88.34 lakh (ex-Mumbai)

The verdict
Not the ultimate Porsche, but a cracking all-round vehicle

Sriram Narayanan

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