Why should you have to give up on owning a Porsche just because your vehicle needs to fall outside the mission statement of a two-place sports car? This very quandary led Porsche to develop the original, revolutionary Porsche Cayenne. It has been a decade, and the 2012 Porsche Cayenne is the latest iteration of a vehicle that's become a bona fide hit.
The 2012 Cayenne is built with the famous attention to detail that has made the 911 such a performance and quality standout since the 1960s. The second-generation Porsche Cayenne debuted in 2011 with a refined exterior design and nearly 150 pounds less weight than the first-generation Cayenne. The performance quotient of the 2012 Cayenne has been cranked up with technology like Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, Lane Change Assist and even a Cayenne S Hybrid. All Cayenne models feature standard active all-wheel drive, which can be augmented with several performance options and teamed with performance suspension enhancements as well.
There are four Cayenne models for 2012. The Cayenne (MSRP $48,200) has a features list that reads more like its Boxster sports car cousin than a family-capable premium SUV. The 300-hp 3.6-liter V6 features Direct Fuel Injection and VarioCam Plus stepless variable valve timing and lift adjustment. The flexible engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual gearbox with a short-throw lever, and the available eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission is an adaptive, willing partner that studies your driving style to crank the enjoyment factor way up. The Tiptronic S transmission also enables a
fuel-saving Auto Start Stop function.
The Cayenne S (MSRP $65,000) piles on the horsepower with a 4.8-liter 400-hp V8 that pushes the top speed to 160 mph and drops the zero-to-60 run to a scant 5.6 seconds compared with 7.4 seconds for the Cayenne). Standard eight-way power front seats hold occupants comfortably in place, and the Cayenne S offers an available Bose® audio system, a Convenience Package, featuring the Porsche Communication Management system with navigation, Bi-Xenon headlamps augmented by the swiveling functionality of the Porsche Dynamic Lighting System, Driver Memory Package, heated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors and a moonroof.
Seeking serious performance? You'll find it packed into the muscle-bound Cayenne Turbo (MSRP $107,100). The 500-hp Cayenne Turbo can put up supremely quick acceleration numbers that are normally the domain of far wispier machinery, reeling in 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds on the way to a 172 mph top speed. This road-scorching performance happens while you sit ensconced in the luxurious interior.
The 2012 Cayenne isn't limited to feats of accelerative performance either. An available self-leveling air suspension includes Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and features six different ride heights for easy loading including two levels of off-road-specific ground clearance. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) uses an electronically controlled rear differential to move the engine's torque around across the rear axle. PTV Plus optimizes cornering performance depending on inputs from steering speed, yaw sensor and throttle application. The result is enhanced stability and agility, and the axle can also be locked for maximum off-road traction. When equipped with the air suspension, the Cayenne can be fitted with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), an active anti-roll system that snubs body lean during cornering. Go ahead, tear around curves with gusto, the Cayenne is your hard-charging partner.
For all the brawn the Cayenne models pack, buyers enjoy an equal level of luxury and options. All models feature standard two-zone automatic climate control and Bluetooth®, and the options list is as long as your arm. An electrically-sliding/tilting glass moonroof creates an airy atmosphere inside. The available Burmester® high-end surround-sound audio system and available rear-seat entertainment create plenty of harmony as you roll toward your destination with the aid of the available Lane Change Assist system, ParkAssist system with rear-view camera and Porsche Entry & Drive.
Not only is the Porsche Cayenne an astoundingly capable sporting machine, it's really three vehicles in one. Going with any version of the 2012 Cayenne will net you a luxury-outfitted interior, all-terrain capability and sporty dynamics that completely redefine what any SUV can or should be. Most of all, the Cayenne does so many things so well, it should be in your garage.