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2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Review

An Agile and Elegant Muscle SUV

by Alain Gayot

A front view of a 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

In short: Truly the head of the class in the SUV category.

We first got a chance to experience the Cayenne during one of those rare Southern California winter storms.

Navigating the slippery streets with potholes and the flooded freeways had never been as fun or felt as safe as at the wheel of one of these pure-bred street-legal racing machines. Certainly a lot of the technology is issued from the manufacturers' racing prototypes, namely the Porsche 959 designed for the gruesome Paris-Dakar race.

2004 Porsche Cayenne TurboObserving all aspects of the vehicular code you are still quite sure to arrive first. To boot, you would have traveled in first class, as this model combines true sport, luxury and, of course, utility.

Can you imagine having a 911 Carrera as a garage mate? You'd have the dream garage to go with the dream house. As a matter of fact, the Cayenne solves the evergreen problem of the sports car enthusiast wanting to go away for the weekend and taking a couple of suitcases, golf clubs and a picnic basket. Have you tried that in your Ferrari lately?

Since the car and the technology embedded in it were designed for off-road use, we have no doubt that such tests would be passed with flying colors. In the city, the car handles perfectly and is not too big to be cumbersome in narrow streets or crammed parking lots. On the highway, it's a true pleasure and you just want to keep on going. We never found ourselves in lack of power. Combining the engine structure with the Tiptronic S transmission operable from the steering wheel, you get a wide range of instant power selection, whether it's time to downshift or ease off.

Other technological innovations that keep the car on track under any driving conditions are the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and the Porsche Traction Management (PTM), which work in synch to prevent slipping, sliding or uneven distribution of power or application of the brakes.

The cockpit of the 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
High Performance Cockpit
The 4.5-liter turbocharged V8 engine of the 2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Power Manufacture

It's hard to find anything wrong with this car. We'd hope that over time it will remain reliable and yes, it is quite expensive: It is one of these cars that you get when money is no object.

Read a review of the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid Tiptronic

Warranty/Service: Limited four-year/50,000 miles warranty, ten-year limited anti-corrosion warranty, Porsche Roadside Assistance.

Price as tested: $96,090

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: 4.5-liter V8, 450 hp, 32 valve, twin turbo chargers

Transmission: 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic® S; all-wheel drive with two-speed transfer case

Safety: Dual front and side airbags, two-level dual side curtain airbags, A 2 C Pillar front and rear deformation zones

Top Speed: 165 mph

Acceleration: 0-60 in 5.6 sec.

Braking: Two-circuit system with separate brake circuits on each axle, standard anti-lock technology and vacuum brake servo, front 6-piston (rear: 4) aluminum monoblock calipers with inner-vented discs with pad-wear sensors

Fuel Economy: 13 city,
18 highway

Handling: Double wishbone front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, air suspension with PASM

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Photography: Walter Mladina

(Updated: 07/06/11 NW)

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