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The Porsche Cayenne - Quite An Experience

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Porsche Cayenne

The Porsche Cayenne - Quite An Experience

Geoff Maxted
December 19, 2013

Porsche Cayenne Porsche Cayenne Porsche Cayenne Porsche Cayenne
Game of Thrones devotees will be familiar with The Wall and the fear and apprehension of new recruits to the Night’s Watch. Well, they had it easy, let me tell you. DriveWrite was just one of an intrepid band of automotive scribes who descended upon the Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone to be subjected to a hardcore induction courtesy of the Porsche off-road demonstration team.

Like the defenders of The Wall we placed our faith in a goodly knight - Sir Colin - all armed in Porsche regalia who took control of a powerful Cayenne and steered us to the precipice. By comparison, The Wall is but a gentle slope and we couldn’t believe that the Cayenne could get us to the bottom in one piece and yet it was so.

There are two ways to enjoy a few hours of prestigious motoring courtesy of Porsche. Visitors are well treated from the off. Excellent selections of food and drink are available in the restaurant and the staff are all unfailingly polite and helpful. Participants can enjoy a selection of cars on the purpose-built Porsche circuit, designed to replicate the B roads of Britain - we’ll cover this in the next article - or they can plunge into the unknown on the off-road course.

Whatever your feelings about the Porsche Cayenne (gas guzzlers, Chelsea tractors blah, blah) there is no questioning the ability of this big motor off-road. In all probability most buyers won’t take it anywhere near any truly gnarly stuff but if they did the car would not be found wanting.

Our instructor demonstrated the variable air suspension whereby the Cayenne could be raised up to accommodate the tough terrain and we set of into the unknown. The slopes are super-steep. Colin then demonstrated the hill hold whereby we were stationary on a vertiginous incline. The car didn’t move. We could have dismounted and had a stroll around. In the unlikely event that a reversing manoeuvre was needed the speed of descent can be controlled. To prove it we rolled backwards at precisely two miles per hour.

Passing easily over the top we came to rest at the edge of the precipice. The only view was sky. The instructor inched the car over the brink and proved that, with the suspension raised, the Cayenne had ample scope to handle the ramp break-over angle and not once did the underside of this two tonne car touch the ridge. At this point we hung, like petrified riders on an extreme fairground ride, looking down at the ground far below.

Not a problem; we eased our way down without bottoming out as the ground sharply levelled and on we went. We crossed tank traps (see bottom image - demonstrating axle articulation) and a set of railway sleepers set at an extreme angle to the perpendicular which Colin put two wheels upon and leaned the car at an impossible angle as he drove along it. In describing this ability he informed us the Cayenne can lean over to 45° without drama. He then told us that the sleepers were set at 46°! How we all laughed. What a wag. I suppose this is how these hardened professionals lighten their working day.

The Cayenne is an impressive vehicle and supremely able off-road. We’ll see how well it fares on the tarmac in the forthcoming part two of our Porsche Experience.

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