Striving for perfection underneath the skin
well as a constantly expanding range of 911 and 718 sports cars. This means two doors, four doors and five doors and some delectable drop-top roadsters.
Power units have gone from normally aspirated petrol to turbocharged petrol, turbocharged diesel, petrol-electric and plugin hybrids, while there are now pure electric models waiting in the wings such as the Mission E. Transmissions have evolved from manual gearboxes to Tiptronic, dual clutch and fully automatic transmissions with a torque converter, while some are linked to complex all-wheel drive systems and incorporate an automatic, fuel-saving stopand-start feature.
Porsche, with transmission specialist ZF, has developed an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission with normal, sport and sport plus modes for the 2018 Cayenne, now incorporating a launch control feature. All Cayenne models reach top speed in sixth gear, with overdriven seventh and eighth ratios providing better fuel economy and more relaxed high-speed cruising. There is now a new Chrono Plus transmission option that permits the selection of an individual mode, for instant responsiveness for 20 seconds, at the press of a button, the same as that on its cars.
Sophisticated traction management is used on the allwheel drive system of all 2018 Cayenne models. During offroad driving, the system uses the variable distribution of drive forces between the front and rear axles to ensure maximum propulsion over all surfaces.
The enthralling explanations by highly qualified Porsche engineers of the roll-out of new technologies and new solutions for old problems, backed up by visuals and a host of quality cutaway exhibits made for a very interesting day at the worldclass Adac driver training facility in Grevenbroich, near Düsseldorf. Topics for the group of journalists were handled in the order of electrics/electronics, powertrain, chassis, body, and taxi drive, which involved being chauffeured on test tracks by top-class drivers from the company. This meant we could listen to real experts drilling down into the latest technologies in the various aspects of designing and developing the new model.
Among the most interesting innovations were Porschedeveloped tungsten carbidecoated brake discs for better performance and durability, as well as producing less dust, while costing about one-third of a set of ceramic brakes.
Others were an adaptive rear spoiler on the tailgate that adjusts to driving conditions, including acting as an air brake in an emergency, and temperature-controlled flaps on the radiator and intercooler air intakes for best performance linked to aerodynamic benefits.
As the saying goes, “the proof is in the eating” and this took the form of going faster and faster as a passenger in a Cayenne Turbo on a track wet in parts with a very experienced racing driver keeping things under control.
We then went off-road in a Cayenne S, which included very steep slopes of rough concrete which was wet from a rain shower.
The 2018 Porsche Cayenne handled these varied driving conditions with aplomb as it lived up to the high standards set by the product engineers.
The interior is as much about engineering and technology as it is about design.