April 19, 2007

Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia tries on hiking boots

Although from the very beginning the Porsche Cayenne family of SUVs was regarded mainly as an outrageously laughable attempt of going mud-plugging in an Armani suit, the vehicles proved to have not that bad off-road capability. A normal (i.e. not tuned) Cayenne features an 8.5-inch ground clearance, a low-ratio box and locking differential. With its lower center of gravity the luxurious SUV can handle approach angles of up to 45 degrees and lean up to 30 degrees before toppling over.

Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia

And now Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG is trying to make the Cayenne a real rally-racer. The new Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia is not only painted in that orange-on-black color scheme from the Half-Life franchise. With all its additional gear it could have successfully be driven by Mr. Gordon Freeman through the contaminated barrens of the HL2 brave new world.

Although its 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V8 still develops 385 bhp, which is 45 bhp more than the older engine could produce, the SUV is actually about 15 per cent more fuel efficient than the less powerful model. More than that, it's a flexible-fuel engine, which means it not only drinks premium gasoline but can also run on a mixture of a gasoline and ethanol with up to 25% of the latter.

Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia (front)

The Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia is now equipped with an electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch and an additional transverse lock usually available only as an optional Offroad Technology Package. To make the Transsyberia's off-road capability even more prominent, Porsche's engineers have fitted the vehicle with the air intake tube moved up to its roof so that no water could get into the intake manifold while crossing water streams.

The SUV also sports modified wheels and suspension, such as the doublearm front axle, which comes with reinforced track control arms and new off-road tires measuring 255/55 R 18 T and fitted on 18inch "Cayenne S II" light-alloy wheels. The regular foot operated brake is replaced by a hand brake enabling the driver to understeer the vehicle intentionally in a tight bend.

Inside, the Cayenne Transsyberia lacks rear seat bench, interior body panels and sound proofing material but sports new safety cage and its glove compartment is replaced by a Tripmaster computer. The luggage compartment also comes with two 20 liter reserve cans, and two transport boxes for tools, company is reporting in its press release.

See also: Porsche Cayenne Hybrid is coming upon us

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