The Porsche Cayenne has had more than a few detractors since it’s inception, with many feeling that there is no reason for an SUV with 911 lineage. Porsche is determined to show the world that the Cayenne is a winner in it’s own arena. But what exactly is that arena?
This is no shopping mall autocross, this is the Transsyberia Rally. Beginning this morning, 25 rally prepped Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberias will begin the 7000 km trek from Moscow’s Red Square to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbataar. There are no over privileged soccer moms on board these Cayenne’s, with names like Rod Millen and Armin Schwarz at the wheel. There will be some serious stage action.
To cope with that action, the Cayenne’s have received more than a bit of beefing up from the big guys at Weissach. Mods include full roll cage, upgraded air intake and body sealing (for water crossings), additional lights and rally tires. As would be expected, each truck carries a full complement of navigational electronics to make sure the crews find their way.
The event runs until August 17 and will be covered live through the Porsche web site. You can also check back to The Garage, as we’ll keep readers up to date as we receive details.
Porsche press release and more photos after the break
Stuttgart/Moskau. At 11.20 a.m. local time (9.20 CEST) today, the first of a total of 25 Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberias will depart from Moscow’s Red Square heading east. After approximately 7,000 kilometers, the Transsyberia Rally will finish on August 17 close to the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbataar. In a first for such a competition, Porsche has created a limited edition series and produced 25 Cayenne S Transsyberias for this long-distance Asian rally.
The excellent off-road characteristics of the new Cayenne have been further enhanced in the Porsche Development Center in Weissach with the following modifications: a roll cage for the interior; a special air intake above the engine hood; a multi-component underbody guard; the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control adapted for extreme off-road conditions; body sealant up to the side windows; special off-road tires; four roof-mounted headlamps and a roof spoiler with double-deck profile and eye-catching rally design. Also on board as standard are a navigation system specifically for off-roading, a Tripmaster computer, and two one-man tents. The Transsyberia Rally may be described as an orienteering excursion, but it is by no means a “luxurious, fair-weather event for the faint-hearted”.
The drivers participating are correspondingly experienced, and include Armin Schwarz (1996 European Rally Champion), RenÃƒÂ© Metge (two-time winner of the Paris-Dakar Rally), Rod Millen (multiple winner of the American hill race Pikes Peak) and Saeed Al-Hajri (several-times Middle East Rally Champion). In addition, Germany’s best-known television judge, Alexander Hold (from the program “Richter Alexander Hold” on Sat 1) will act as co-driver on the first two stages, navigating one of the Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberias and putting his skills in dealing with the roadbook and Tripmaster to the test.
Porsche will be reporting live at the end of each of the sixteen stages, the longest of which starts in Novosibirsk and finishes in Kosh Agash, covering a distance of around 950 kilometers across Siberia. The latest texts and photos from the individual stages are available on the Internet at http://www.porsche.com/transsyberia.