Two new Cayennes
GTS: The Cayenne range was a gamble when it was launched in 2002, but one that’s paid off handsomely for Porsche. This vehicle platform has been a worldwide success. A new variant of the Cayenne is now available in India, and I got a chance to get my hands on it. The Cayenne GTS was developed to fit in between the current Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo models.
Porsche introduced the Cayenne GTS at Frankfurt in September. Being a Porsche, the SUV is loaded with luxury and safety features. It is also available in two special colours—GTS Red and Nordic Gold Metallic.
Siddharth Vinayak Patankar
On the road, the GTS looks particularly striking compared to the regular Cayenne, due to some superficial changes that are more in line with the Turbo. The wheel arches are flared, and the 21-inch wheels add to the car’s sporty character.
The thicker tyres are also a pleasure when driving and cornering at high speeds. I managed to actually get up to speeds of about 280-290km per hour (kmph), and the GTS does it with élan. Active and anti-roll stability control, coupled with an all-wheel drive, makes this a safer drive, too, at speeds like that.
While the GTS uses the same 4.8-litre engine block as the other variants, it has more power than the S version at 405bhp. The vehicle has the option of a six-speed manual or a six-speed tiptronic auto gearbox. The car’s performance is fantastic.
Porsche’s chassis and suspension specialists have developed a unique combination of features, making this version of the Cayenne especially high-performing. This is the first Cayenne to combine a steel suspension with Pasm or Porsche Active Suspension Management, for adaptive control of the vehicle’s dampers.
The GTS also has optional air suspension with self levelling for a higher standard of sporting performance, which means this one’s clearly for the speed nuts.
The GTS starts at Rs85.30 lakh, but with optional equipment, the price tag can go as high as Rs95 lakh.
TURBO S: Porsche has just launched the Cayenne Turbo S. This new variant will be offered to Indian buyers in a couple of months, though I think Porsche will push the GTS more aggressively here. The Turbo S takes performance to a new level with a 550bhp output. The SUV also has a sports exhaust system, with four aluminium tailpipes. The air-intake grills and wheel arches are body coloured, and the latest variant is also available in a signature exclusive body colour—Lava Grey Metallic.
Buyers can choose exterior and interior accessories. Gadgets include a touch-screen navigation system, and a new Bose surround-sound system with 14 speakers, developed specially for this model.
There’s also the option of voice actuation with full word recognition for navigation system destinations, audio with MP3, cellphone link-up via Bluetooth, and a TV module for both analogue and digital terrestrial signals.
Prices for India will be announced at launch, which is expected in 2009.
This new Scooty from TVS will appeal to the environmentally conscious. It can be plugged in for a full charge, which takes 9 hours. This gives you a driving range of 50km, though riding it on the “Economy Mode” gets you a few more. The scoot is powered by an 800 watt magnet motor, and its top speed is 40kmph. It has almost all the features which the Scooty Pep Plus had, such as puncture-resistant tyres, and a mobile phone charger. There is also a battery charge indicator, and range selector, which warns you 6-10km before the battery is about to run out. This is an L1 category bike, which means you get a license to ride it at the age of 16.
Mahindra-Renault has decided to combat the slowdown in sales of C segment sedans by launching new variants to excite buyers. The company’s Logan sedan will soon be available with anti-lock braking or ABS as an option. This will be on offer in the top-end petrol 1.6 or GLS and the diesel DLS.
Moreover, by 2009, MRL will also introduce bi-fuel variants. There is demand for a CNG and LPG option on the Logan from the metros, especially Delhi. Expect the LPG/CNG versions to be priced about Rs50,000 more than the current sedan.
While navigation devices are becoming part of standard equipment in many cars in Europe and the US, it’s still early days here in India. There isn’t much awareness about using GPS devices to find your way around, but now after-market products such as MapmyIndia’s GPS devices are catching on. The new models from the company are user-friendly, with touch-screen functions, and come pre-loaded with the city maps of your choice. The GPS guides you to your destination using voice commands. While the system is easy to use, there are limitations—you cannot enter an exact street address or house number because our cities have not been mapped down to the last block, but it will get you within shouting distance of your desired destination.
Prices range between Rs18,000 and Rs21,000; three models are available.
(Siddharth Vinayak Patankar is editor, auto, NDTV)