Track Tested: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Track Tested: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

The 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo costs $121,120, has an eight-speed automatic transmission, makes 500 horsepower from a turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 and weighs 5,112 pounds -- which is 408 pounds lighter than before. In the name of efficiency, of course.

But somehow, those are the least impressive numbers you're about to see. Track testing vehicles is often a bog-standard, predictable affair. The car simply does what it does, which happens to be about what you thought it would do. But then there are things like the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo. It's expected to be quick, but when the acceleration numbers of a four-wheel-drive SUV stay in line with those of a Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG, you know you've got something special.



Vehicle: 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Tiptronic
Odometer: 2,612
Date: 10/26/10
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $121,120

Drive Type: Four-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Eight-speed automatic
Engine Type: V8
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,806/293
Redline (rpm): 6,600
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 500 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 516 lb-ft @  2,250-4,500 rpm
Brake Type (front): 15.4-inch ventilated rotors with six-piston calipers
Brake Type (rear): 14.1-inch ventilated rotors with four-piston calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent, dual control arms, air springs, dampers
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink, air springs, dampers
Tire Size (front): 295/35R21 107Y
Tire Size (rear): 295/35R21 107Y
Tire Brand: Michelin
Tire Model: Latitude Sport
Tire Type: All-season
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 5,122

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 1.8
0-45 (sec): 3.1
0-60 (sec): 4.6
0-75 (sec): 6.7
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.8 @ 109
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.3
30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 108
Slalom (mph): 67.0 (66.8 stability control on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.94g ( off and on )

Db @ Idle: 47.2
Db @ Full Throttle: 77.5
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 65.5

Acceleration: Responds extremely well to pedal overlap, hoisting the nose skyward, and it stays there the entire run. Extremely smooth/fast shifts, especially in Sport mode. Power feels limitless and there are no dead spots in the rev range. Defies logic.

Braking: Initial braking runs were punctuated with anomalous lock-up of RF wheel (due to cold tires/brakes?). Once all elements were warm/hot, then brake feel/distance improved noticeably. Zero fade and near zero dive in sport chassis mode.

Handling: Skid pad: Huge grip. Amazingly adjustable attitude with throttle without AWD weirdness shifting power around (like some other AWD systems have). With ESC on, there's a barely noticeable brake correction; however, the adjustability to the line with throttle is gone. Steering is light but informative. Slalom: In Sport with ESC off, the Cayenne defies preconceptions of what a 4WD SUV should be able to do. Amazing turn-in, quick in transition, precise steering and an ability to actually use the AWD to its advantage, especially at exit with the throttle buried. With ESC on, there are slight brake corrections exactly at the limit of grip, effectively matching the car's (and driver's ) limits.

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