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Porsche Adventure Trail 2016

Porsche Adventure Trail 2016
Ninad Ambre Ninad Ambre Wednesday 08 June 2016, 14:17 PM

If the idea of a sports car performance in the SUV segment is anything to go by, Porsche has showed us that they have brought it to reality. Especially with SUVs like the Macan Turbo and the Cayenne. These SUVs have a high-speed performance like many other powerful sedans. In a way, their off-road abilities have been overshadowed by these qualities. So, Porsche India wanted us to also feel how these SUVs perform off-road. They took us to a specially designed off-roading track at the MMRDA grounds in Mumbai.

I got the first-hand experience of how the Cayenne is to drive off-road. As much as I was excited, I was equally worried about damaging the car on the ruthless and challenging track. Thankfully, the SUV has the right components for a two-tonne vehicle to traverse the path with ease and smoothness. It completed it without any glitches.

The acceleration and braking part of the track required us to accelerate from standstill and brake within a short distance. Once I pressed the throttle hard, the 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 mill paired to the all-wheel drive system delivered the power to the wheels quickly. The spinning stock summer tyres ploughed through the loose soil pushing the car towards the 'braking' sign within no time. Then came the scary part where I had to brake hard. Thankfully, the high-performance ceramic brakes helped stop the heavy vehicle within the stipulated distance.

In the steep hill climb and descent section, we were required to put the car in the off-road mode through a small rocker switch in the centre-console. This is when some more intelligent electronics aids (Porsche Active Stability Management-PASM) got activated to automatically adjust the car and deal with the terrain. Getting up the hill wasn't much of an effort, but the real fun began on descending from the top. Porsche Hill Control (PHC) is a system to keep the car's speed constant on downhill gradients. And as we switched the descent control on, we only had to steer the Cayenne in the right direction. Thanks to this system, the car automatically braked without locking the wheels and came down the slope gradually.

Next up was the deep mud terrain, which involved a muddy track where cars would have easily got stuck. But, systems like Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV) and Porsche Traction Management (PTM) helped improve traction. The rear-axle differential lock, with the help of PTV, reduced rear wheel spin by intermediate locking and braking, thus getting the car out of the muck.

The final section was the obstacle course that included chicken strips, axle twisters and side inclines, where the car’s approach and departure angles were further put to the test. The air suspension came as a respite in these situations as it raised or lowered the car's ground clearance from 158mm to up to a staggering 268mm. All obstacles including small logs, deep ruts and big ditches were easily cleared. The Cayenne never beached anywhere. Despite not having a great articulation like big off-roaders, it went through the axle-twister in one go. When one wheel was in the air, the PTM system sent more power to the ones on the ground enabling the car to go forward. And on the 35 degree side inline, where my heart was in my mouth, the Cayenne just went effortlessly.

I was gasping for breath in sticky situations like these, but the SUV took me out of those conditions, and that too surprisingly - at ease. Even though a very short experience, it was a fun and a fulfilling one. And knowing not many Porsche SUV owners will put their cars through such tough terrain themselves, I feel lucky to have undertaken this task.



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