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Pepper Steak

Porsche Cayenne Turbo

September 1, 2003
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Imagine a locomotive for the road-momentum in its purest form-then add a white ball of light under the hood for limitless power. That’s the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo. When you deign to go, this SUV zaps you to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Of course, it tows like a freightliner. Weighing 5,680 pounds and designed by experts with a habit of winning LeMans, the Cayenne feels as if it wouldn’t be fazed by gale-force winds. So hook up as much as 7,700 pounds and dash from points A to B at air-freight speeds.

Makeup ingredients aren’t particularly remarkable. You’ll find a twin-turbo, 4.5-liter V-8, a six-speed automatic transmission, and a dual-range transfer case under a stout steel body. The wheels attach to the chassis through air springs and electronically adjusted shock absorbers. Mere mortal SUVs offer most of this stuff. But Porsche tuned the mechanical bits to achieve remarkable performance. At idle, the engine pants expectantly like a caged tiger. Unlatch the cage door and it pounces forward with a satisfied purr.

We hooked up a 2,420-pound Checkmate to the Cayenne and the jerks from the jumpy single-axle trailer didn’t disrupt the peace of this mighty beast. At the launch ramp, there was no wheel spin nor any reluctance yanking the craft from wet clutches.

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Investing nearly 100K in this ride buys you respect for the sacred Porsche crest, plus such peripheral attributes as roll control, steering precision, and massive brakes for confident stopping. The interior is a tastefully gorgeous display of polished metal, tanned hide, and entertaining electronics.

For those who relish the idea of a Porsche truck but prefer soaking heavy cash in a boat instead of its tow vehicle, the Porsche Cayenne S comes with 340 hp for a more realistic $56,665.

MODEL Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Engine 4.5-liter DOHC V-8
Net hp/rpm 450/6000
Net torque (ft-lb/rpm) 457/2250
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Suspension Front control arms, air springs
Suspension Rear multilink, air springs
Brakes (front/rear) disc/disc, standard ABS
Tires Bridgestone Turanza, 255/55YR-18
Wheelbase (in.) 112.4
Length (in.) 188.3
Width (in.) 75.9
Height (in.) 66.9
Curb weight (lbs.) 5,680
Towing capacity (lbs., max.) 7,700
Cargo capacity (max. cu. ft.) 63
Fuel capacity (gal.) 26.4
0-60 mph acceleration (without/with 5,100-lb. towed load, sec.) 5.2/7.4
60-0 mph stopping distance (without/with 5,100-lb. towed load, ft.) 122/167
Observed towing fuel economy (avg. mpg) 9
Price (as tested) $94,130

LAST WORD. If you’ve got it, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo is the ultimate way to flaunt it.

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