Porsche shows Cayenne can do off-road – just like the new Range Rover Sport

The Porsche Cayenne Diesel S is out on the Porsche Performance Drive 2013 from Chisinau to Bratislava, proving it can do off-road like a Range Rover Sport.

Photo of Porsche Cayenne S Diesel off-road

Porsche shows the new Cayenne S Diesel can do off-road

The Porsche Cayenne has come in for some stick since it first arrived a decade ago as the first SUV from Porsche.

The world declared the Cayenne too ugly to look at – well, that was the opinion of a certain Mr Clarkson – but anyone who’s lived with a Cayenne will know just how focused it is; it feels like a high-riding M5 to drive and, despite the misconception that sporty SUVs don’t do off-road, it’s remarkably capable when the going gets tough.

We’re sure it’s just a coincidence that the 2013 Porsche Performance Drive – from Chisinau to Bratislava – is taking place just after the new Range Rover Sport arrived as a truly capable sporty SUV – with its Land Rover off-road credentials still intact – but the event has given Porsche the chance to show the new Cayenne S Diesel can also do off-road with aplomb.

Day 3 of the event saw the Cayenne S Diesel – a very appealing Cayenne with a V8 diesel producing 378bhp and a very useful 626lb/ft of torque – tackling all manner of off-road stuff in the Carpathian Mountains including crossing rivers, trecking through forests and tackling steep slopes to show that the Cayenne is not just a tarmac champion.

It does look like Porsche has fitted different tyres to the Cayenne for the off-road stuff, with less road-focused rubber giving the Cayenne the best chance of tackling the rough stuff without problems.

And therein lies the difference between the Cayenne and the new Range Rover Sport.

The new RRS can do this rough stuff without a change of rubber as it runs all weather tyres as standard. In contrast, the Cayenne runs very road-focused rubber which can still do the off-road stuff when asked, but not with the alacrity – and prowess – the RRS has as standard.

That gives the Cayenne the edge on-road, and the Range Rover Sport the edge off-road.

You pays your money and takes your choice.

Source: Porsche (via GT Spirit)

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  1. dufonrafal says

    Porsche let you choose between sport tyres (standards in Europe, free option in America) and M+S tyres (standards in America, free option in Europe) 😉

    And anyway, a tyre change is just normal, like you buy winter tyres for the “snow stuff” you buy off-road tyres for the “off road stuff” and sport tyres for the “track stuff” 😉

  2. Chris says

    “The world declared the Cayenne too ugly to look at – well, that was the opinion of a certain Mr Clarkson.”

    Clarkson is correct. It is an ugly car no matter how good the engineering is.

    I’d take the Range Rover Sport anyday. If you buy a 4×4, then get one from a company who has been doing it for decades and not a dressed up VW Touareg.

  3. Dteamer says

    I like the Cayenne a lot, but the new Range Rover Sport looks to have better balance between on road and off road. But the 4.4 V8 diesel Sport will need to be very special to match the V8 Cayenne diesel’s performance.

What do you think?