What's New – Porsche ups the ante by introducing the most powerful version of the Cayenne, the 2009 Turbo S. In addition to the standard air suspension, self-leveling and ride-height control, Active Suspension Management and Dynamic Chassis Control, the Turbo S will be offered with ceramic composite brakes.
Why It Matters – Porsche says the Turbo S is a response to "enormous demand." Okay, they did say most of it's coming from the lands of new riches in Eastern Europe and Asia, but this Speedy Utility Vehicle is coming to America in August. So those of you who want to make the guy next door with the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG sweat will have just the vehicle to drench him.
2009 Porsche Cayenne S Turbo Preview – 2008 Beijing Auto Show: More horsepower isn't new. In fact, the battle for under-hood supremacy continues unabated despite the prediction that new U.S. fuel economy standards will kill off high-performance vehicles. That might be true for mainstream models, but in the realm where vehicles are more than transportation appliances, power can be purchased. One corner of that realm is called Porsche, and the folks there don't discriminate against the SUV in the lineup just because it isn't a Le Mans winner. Case in point: The 2009 Cayenne Turbo S. More power than any of its predecessors with 550 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque. That's the kind of power usually found in exotic sports cars. It's 72 horsepower more than Porsche's RS Spyder prototype racing car.
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2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S – Notable Features
The most notable feature will be available on several 2009 Cayenne models – S, GTS, Turbo and Turbo S – can be equipped with the competition-derived ceramic brakes as long as the wheels are 20-inches or larger. Standard wheels on the Turbo S are 21-inches in diameter.
The optional high-tech brakes compliment several features that are standard on the Turbo S. Porsche's Active Suspension Management and Dynamic Chassis Control are systems designed to help the driver control the SUV when the driving gets spirited or the situation challenging. Speed-sensitive variable power steering is tied in with the chassis control system, and Porsche Stability Management is standard. There are front, side and curtain airbags, and there are two additional sensors up front to provide better detection of a head-on collision. On the outside, Porsche has fitted sophisticated lighting, including Bi-Xenon headlights that adjust for cornering and feature dynamic leveling, LED brake lights and fog lights front and rear.
Porsche Communication Management wraps navigation, travel computer, audio, a GSM telephone, electronic logbook and extended navigation into a system that occupies the center stack. A premium Bose audio system tailored specifically for the Cayenne's interior is standard, as is a rear-view camera system and automatic dual climate control. A rear-seat entertainment system is available as an option. The steering wheel is power tilt/telescope and automatically heated, while the standard sport seats are 12-way adjustable. The memory feature for the driver's side stores settings for the seat, exterior mirrors, steering wheel and seatbelt height. If you want more light, a panoramic roof is optional.
Finally, for those who have something to tow, there is a package that can handle a braked trailer weight of 7,716 pounds and a tongue weight up to 616 pounds.
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2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S – Under the Hood
The Turbo S uses the same twin-turbocharged, 4.8-liter, all-aluminum V-8 engine with direct injection found in the Turbo, tuned to add 50 horsepower and 37 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is water-cooled and front mounted, unlike the marque's rear- or mid-engine sports cars. A six-speed Tiptronic S gearbox feeds power to all four wheels with a front/rear split of 38/62 percent. For the 0-60 mph trip, the Turbo S gets there in 4.8 seconds, shaving a tenth off the Turbo model's time. Not bad for a vehicle weighing more than 5,000 pounds. Top speed is 174 mph, three more than the Turbo.
Despite the 10 percent boost in horsepower, Porsche says the Turbo S achieves the same mileage as the Turbo model, measured with European Operating Cycle. Stateside, the 2008 Turbo is EPA rated at 12 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway. Estimates for the Turbo S haven't been released yet.
The Turbo S uses double-wishbone independent front suspension and a multilink setup in back. The air-suspension system is self-leveling and includes ride-height control and active management coupled with Dynamic Chassis Control. Rack-and-pinion variable power steering is speed sensitive and tied in with the chassis control system. Standard brakes on the Turbo S are four-wheel ventilated discs, nearly 15 inches in diameter in front and just over 14 inches in back. The system uses aluminum calipers with a six-piston model in front and four-piston setup in back. The optional ceramic composite discs are 16.4 inches up front and 14.56 inches in back, with the same caliper setup as the standard brakes. The advantage to composite brakes is more uniform performance across a wide range of temperatures and when braking from high speeds. The 21-by-10 inch wheels are shod with 295/35 R21 tires.
Porsche uses several different steel alloys in the Cayenne. The safety cage is made of high-strength material, while the crumple zones are formed with an alloy that more easily deforms to absorb the energy produced in a collision.
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2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S – Design
The Turbo S has the same overall look inside and out as the Turbo. However there are a few notable differences, with the 21-inch wheels being the most notable. The wheel arches and extensions and air-intake grilles are painted to match the body color, the dual twin tailpipes are brushed aluminum, and there's a new color – Lava Gray Metallic – that's exclusive to the Turbo S.
The interior is very much like the Turbo's, but it comes with sport seats with memory [a no-cost option on the Turbo], carbon trim and leather in exclusive color combinations. Of course, the gear shift and steering wheel are leather covered. Cargo space is 19 cubic feet and expands to 62.5 with the rear seats folded down. Porsche describes the space behind the rear seats as being enough to stow four large suitcases.