Striv­ing for per­fec­tion un­der­neath the skin

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

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.

TRANS­MIS­SIONS

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.

UN­DER CON­TROL

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.

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