2012 Porsche Cayenne Performance

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Performance
The Cayenne is one of the original sports-SUVs, and it continues to live up to the Porsche name in its on-road abilities.

The one exception to that rule may be the Cayenne V-6 model. Fitted with a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine, it's certainly not weak, but still takes 7.1 seconds to reach 60 mph, thanks mostly to its size and bulk. The 300-horsepower engine, paired to the optional eight-speed automatic Tiptronic S transmission, is sharp enough to execute passes well, however, and it's relatively fuel efficient. A six-speed manual is standard on the base Cayenne, while Cayenne S, Turbo, and Hybrid models get  the eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic. All Cayennes are all-wheel drive.

The Cayenne S improves performance considerably, rendering a sports car-like 5.6-second 0-60 mph time from its 400-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8 engine. Top speed for the Cayenne S is 160 mph.

The Cayenne S and Turbo are impressive street machines, and even the Hybrid is fun to drive; the V-6, however, is somewhat lackluster.

Stepping up to the sportiest of the Cayennes, the Turbo, gets a 4.4-second 0-60 time from a 500-horsepower turbocharged version of the same 4.8-liter engine and a top speed of 172 mph.

The Cayenne S Hybrid is no slouch, either, fitting in right behind the standard Cayenne S with 380 total horsepower from the combination of its hybrid electric motor and 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine. Top speed is 150 mph for the Hybrid.

Handling is very good for a large vehicle, especially one so tall, with good feel through the steering wheel, surprisingly little body roll, and immense cornering traction from the large wheels and tires, particularly on S and Turbo models.

Lest we forget, however, the Cayenne is an SUV, and therefore capable of off-roading as well as mad dashes on pavement. The latest generation of the Cayenne ditches the former dual-range transfer case in favor of an electronic Porsche Traction Management system, which offers three modes for loose sand/snow, wet surfaces and mud, or rocky terrain. PTM controls the throttle and individual brakes in complex ways to make the most of the available traction, whether flat, uphill, or downhill.

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