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.
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.
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.