Let me get this out of the way – the Porsche Cayenne S Diesel is a luxury. Nobody NEEDS this car. It is extravagant, unnecessary and completely out of reach for ninety-nine per cent of the population. But sometimes it’s fun to get a taste of what’s out there and recently we were lucky enough to get a rather large gulp of this incredible machine.
The original Porsche Cayenne was unveiled in 2002 to much controversy. Porsche enthusiasts felt that it diluted the brand and didn’t like the idea of a company known for its sport cars making SUVs. However it received great reviews for its performance and handling and came to be considered as the #1 performance SUV.
In 2009 Porsche added a diesel model to the lineup, providing better fuel-efficiency than the petrol version and in 2012 Porsche announced the S Diesel.
The current Cayenne S Diesel is an incredible piece of engineering. With more power than a 911 (281kW and 850Nm of torque) this car definitely deserves to wear the Porsche badge. Before driving it, I was worried that it wouldn’t ‘feel’ like a performance car, but the first time you put your foot down and the 4.2 litre V8 engine comes to life, you’re left without a single doubt. It growls from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds, which feels astonishing in a car that weighs 2195 kg. Taking it on a road trip through the Royal National Park to the South Coast is one of the most memorable motoring experience I’ve ever had.
The reason this car exists is to combine performance and practicality, and the Cayenne excels at both. The boot capacity is 670 litres with the seats up, which is more than a BMW X5. We had no problem fitting three children in the rear seat, including two carseats. The diesel engine keeps fuel consumption to relatively sane levels – achieving 8.3l/100km.
With a base price of $142,300, I know I’ll never own this car, but I like knowing it exists. It let me live out the fantasy of a fourteen-year-old and take the family along with me to share the experience. And that’s priceless.