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Driving report of the Porsche Cayenne Transsyberia

Porsche Cayenne Transsyberia
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E in an inconspicuous brick building in the middle of an industrial area in Stuttgart is the starting point. At first glance, the leisurely-looking, listed red building does not reveal any history or stories hidden behind the walls: The first VW Beetle was constructed here at Porsche headquarters, and in the workshop on the ground floor they are still whole today special models screwed. Among other things, a one-off piece that found its way to Mongolia.

S-TS 2624, a black and orange Cayenne, is currently in the workshop in question and is getting a handover check. The four-wheel drive with martial stickers will soon be able to begin its last journey. A trip to Berlin, really let off steam for a few days before retiring. It will then be waiting for visitors as an exhibit in the Porsche Museum, a stone's throw away from the red brick building. The handover procedure takes a little longer this time. A Porsche employee patiently explains the peculiarities of the racing car, the interior of which no longer smells of leather and luxury, but smells of pure racing.

Armin Schwarz has already driven it to Ulan Bator

The Cayenne with the start number 10 was the tool of Armin Schwarz, German champion, European champion and active in the rally world championship until 2005. Schwarz beat this Cayenne with his co-driver Andi Schulz at the Transsyberia Rally from Moscow to Ulan Bator last year and drove it through the finish line in third place after more than 7,000 kilometers, with several best times in the bag. That earns respect.

The test report of the winch, additional tank and its pump, the modified chassis control and the hundred other little things that differ from the series in the cleared out Cayenne, which is lined with a massive roll cage, is finally processed. Finally off.

Almost disappointing that the eight-cylinder starts with a disdainful turn of the key. But the music is right for that: The sports exhaust system is still just in the legal volume range, but with its deep bass leaves no doubt that an eight-cylinder has just been woken up here. The standard naturally aspirated engine with 4.8 liters and 385 hp is installed - the more powerful GTS or turbo machines were not wanted to be maltreated with Siberian fuel.

The highway is notthe area of ​​this Porsche Cayenne

heading north-northeast, out of Stuttgart, towards the Brandenburg Gate. The Recaro by Armin Schwarz fits like a glove, the suede rally steering wheel directs the black giant almost on demand, I only do without the two lower loops of the six-point belts for convenience on the way to the capital. The GPS at Andi Schulz's former workplace silently prays down information. I almost want to apologize to the device for the A81 and A9, after all, it still carries the rally tracks neatly stored in the nowhere of the Mongolian steppe. The V8 rumbled towards the horizon with a fat beat, not excessively hastily, because the high BF Goodrich All Terrain are only approved up to 160. Every half an hour there is a twitch in the foot, the eight-cylinder is allowed to bark for a few seconds, only to then bob back in the right lane. Transfer stages are always the boring part of motorsport.

The city limits have been reached, the photographer is waiting, the car is warm - there must be ice cream at the drive-in. Money out, ice cream in works a little awkwardly, screwed tight by the rigid sports belts. The young lady at the counter looks confused. There are also better vehicles for buying water at the supermarket, as it turned out shortly afterwards - but only a few that attract more attention. Between all the compact and mid-range bodies in the parking lot, the man from Zuffenhausen with stickers looks like an alien. Interim conclusion: Autobahn and everyday life are not what really make this car (and its user) happy. We didn't have to drive 600 kilometers to find out, that was clear beforehand. But now the freestyle begins. First a show in Berlin's parlor, strolling Unter den Linden, parking in front of the Brandenburg Gate. If there is a stir, then right. A police patrol finally scared us away, the guards from the nearby US embassy had complained. They didn't feel comfortable with the bright Porsche.

Out of the city, into the terrain

So out of the hustle and bustle, into the forest. Horstwalde, our super test area, is waiting. 1,200 hectares of spruce forest in a cordoned-off area with countless paths and slopes. The body of the racing Porsche has been carefully sealed after the series version, a suction snorkel, which is stored in a hand-sewn bag behind the seats, can be fitted in a few simple steps. A meter fording should not be a problem, but today the water basin remains dry. Instead, racing speed guaranteed without oncoming traffic. On the winding sand paths you get the feeling of a Finland rally, only the 1,000 lakes are missing. The cayenne roars. The crew too, with joy.

Change of scene, from the south of Berlin to the north of the city. On the 1,600-hectare area of ​​the Driving Center Dölln in theSchorfheide we normally do our dynamics and driving performance measurements. This time, however, the gigantic asphalt surfaces are not the goal. Away from the huge runways, there is an extensive network of rally routes. Again the belt is lashed with all six buckles.

The Porsche rages through the botany like a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Except that, unlike the primeval monster, it can fly. It's unbelievable how the 2.4 ton shooter can be kept in check. Because although the interior was completely gutted and all heavy comfort equipment fell by the wayside, the reduced weight is consumed by the expedition-compatible accessories (cage, winch, two spare wheels, tool kit, jack and and and ...). When Armin Schwarz dictated to the reporters at the end of a Transsyberia special that he had only driven a 90 km stage at full throttle, I thought that was a charming exaggeration. Today I know: the man spoke the truth. The black giant prances, roars, jumps. It drifts with a wonderfully rear-heavy all-wheel-drive design in gigantic clouds of dust across the bends. ABS and ESP are put on vacation at the push of a button, while Tiptronic changes gears using the steering wheel. Reduction? We do not need. Full throttle.

A worthy farewell to a great athlete

In contrast to the Transsiyberia series model, the air suspension chassis can be locked manually at any desired height and even offers in the highest position (270 millimeters ground clearance!) there is still a decent remaining spring travel. The handcrafted rally dampers do everything without complaint. Even after impressive flight operations, the Cayenne does not detonate unsharpened like a surface-to-surface missile in the sand of Brandenburg. Instead, it feels like majestic sailing, balanced, sublime. The brief moments in the air stretch in the cockpit for half eternity until the tyrannosaurus ends the air show with a smacking puff. What a landing gear! The sun goes down, one wish remains: Please repeat this day in an endless loop!

Hangover mood in the editorial office when the monster is on its way back to Stuttgart a few days later, A9, A81. Take it easy, then park in front of the museum. It was a worthy farewell for a great athlete.


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