By Bennett Oghifo
The third generation of Porsche’s Cayenne is in the starting blocks. The new edition of this successful model, which has achieved more than 760,000 sales since 2002, has undergone a complex and challenging series of examinations, the automaker has said.
Taking place across the globe and under extreme conditions, these tests ensure that the SUV meets the highest quality requirements set by Porsche. In conditions ranging from minus 45 degrees to plus 50 degrees, the prototypes and pre-series vehicles complete a total of around 4.4 million test kilometres.
Porsche is celebrating the world première of the completely redeveloped Cayenne on August 29, 2017. The drive, chassis, display and control concepts of the new model have been redesigned to further increase the spread between sportiness and comfort. The main objective of the extensive testing process is to achieve a perfect balance between the many components, some of which were developed especially for the Cayenne. The assessment process began as far back as 2014 with the unit carriers and has continued to this day with prototypes and pre-series vehicles. In addition to increasingly accurate virtual simulations, testing under real-life conditions is still highly valued at Porsche and represents the final examination for every new model produced by the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer.
The full vehicle test is implemented to harmonise the interaction of all individual components, whilst also analysing operational stability and functionality in customer usage scenarios. The aim is always to meet the highest quality standards set at Porsche. Specifically, this process includes tough endurance tests on Hydropuls units – a hydraulic testing facility that applies artificial vibrations to both the chassis and body. The range of assessments also cover on and offroad operational stability, which take place at the Porsche Weissach development centre, inside and around the facility.
During the programme, a vehicle’s life span is simulated under conditions that are so tough, they are unlikely to ever occur once the car is owned by the customer. Under everyday conditions in urban traffic, on country roads and on the motorways, the test models cover up to 240,000 km within a few months in shifts.
To simulate extreme stresses, prototypes of the new Cayenne were tested around the world, including on race tracks traditionally used by Porsche to assess all its models. In Germany, the Hockenheimring and the especially challenging Nürburgring-Nordschleife are used. In Italy, the vehicles are put through their paces in continuous operation on the 12.6-km high-speed track at Nardò. Materials, sensors and electronics have to prove their quality and durability in different climate conditions – at up to plus 50 degrees Celsius in the sand dunes of Dubai (UAE) and on dusty slopes in Death Valley (USA), as well as at up to minus 45 degrees Celsius on ice and snow in Alaska (USA). The third generation of the Cayenne also had to endure the
stop-start traffic in the hot and humid conditions of Chinese cities, master test tracks in Sweden, Finland, Spain, and was transported to South Africa, Japan and New Zealand to complete an extensive on and offroad testing programme.