• 2004 Porsche 911 Cayenne (996)

With this outstanding Sports Utility, Porsche is taking a new approach in the market whilst maintaining the usual standard and look of the Company: The Cayenne boasts clear and distinctive design features clearly betraying the origin of the car: The V-shaped front and rear line as well as the V-shaped engine compartment with its elevated wings, the muscular lines of the wheel arches, the distinctive headlights, As well as the striking exhaust tail-pipes all spell out the name “Porsche" at very first sight.

  • 2004 Porsche 911 Cayenne (996)
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    6-Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3189 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    133 mph
  • body style:

Six-Cylinder Power Unit Plus the Cayenne Technology Package

Following the V8 power units in the Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo, Porsche for the first time has a V6 in the Cayenne. The “youngest" Sports Utility in the range, the Cayenne offers the supreme standard of driving dynamics, safety and offroad qualities which has already given the third Porsche a great name the world over.

Like its sister models, the Porsche Cayenne ensures truly outstanding engine output and performance: Maximum output of the six-cylinder power unit is 250 bhp at 6000 rpm, maximum torque is 228 lb-ft between 2500 and 5500 rpm. With this kind of power and muscle, the Porsche Cayenne accelerates from 0 – 60 mph in 9.1 seconds and has a top speed of 133 mph.

Six-Speed Gearbox with Porsche Drive-Off Assistant

The power of the six-cylinder engine is transmitted to the wheels in standard trim by a specially developed six-speed manual gearbox combined with an innovative assistance system: The Porsche Drive-Off Assistant makes things much easier for the driver when setting out on an uphill gradient, securing the vehicle in position by automatically intervening in the brakes. Once the driver engages the clutch the system takes back brake pressure and the Cayenne sets off smoothly and safely en route to its destination. Porsche’s six-speed Tiptronic S transmission is available as an alternative to the manual gearbox.

Most Advanced Generation of Four-Wheel Drive

All models in the Cayenne range come with numerous highlights in technology to provide an ideal blend of supreme onroad and offroad driving characteristics. These include permanent four-wheel Porsche Traction Management (PTM) featured as standard conveying 62 per cent of the engine’s power to the rear and 38 per cent to the front wheels in its basic mode. Depending on driving requirements, up to 100 per cent of engine power may be fed to the front or to the rear for optimum stability and performance.

This distribution of power and torque is not based on traction (or the lack of traction) alone, but rather uses sensors to measure the speed of the vehicle, its lateral acceleration, the steering angle and operation of the gas pedal in order to calculate the optimum degree of wheel lock. When driving in rough terrain, the driver is furthermore able, through PTM, to activate a reduction gear in the power divider as well as a 100 per cent front-to-rear differential lock.

Also fitted as standard, Porsche Stability Management (PSM) consistently interacts with PTM, but only intervenes when the Cayenne is being driven close to its physical limit. When towing a trailer, PSM detects any tendency of the vehicle and trailer to swerve and, intervening in the brakes on specific wheels, seeks to re-establish the necessary stability. The new “Shift on the Move" function serves to improve driving comfort on models with Tiptronic S transmission by enabling the driver to activate or, respectively, deactivate the low-ratio gearbox at low speeds.

Agile Chassis and Suspension

The chassis and suspension of the Cayenne ensure superior agility both in sports motoring and on rough terrain. This is guaranteed from the start by the axle concept with the large-size double track control arm axle running on a subframe at the front, whilst the rear axle is an elaborate multi-arm configuration. Long spring travel for offroad purposes is another special feature, with both air suspension and the variable Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping system available as an option.

Airbags for Extra Safety also at the Side

The various models in the Cayenne range incorporate a total of six airbags for enhanced occupant restraint: The driver and front passengers airbags are both activated by a gas generator operating in two stages. Then there is the enhanced side impact protection system featuring a thorax airbag integrated at the side in each of the front seat backrests and a curtain airbag in the roof frame.

Wide Range of Equipment

Porsche remains true to its style also inside the Cayenne: The ignition lock is naturally to the left of the three-spoke steering wheel, and large circular instruments with a multifunction display in the middle present the most important vehicle data. Standard features in the Cayenne also include an alarm system, central locking with remote control, air conditioning, an on-board computer, electric window lifts and electrically adjustable front seats. The seats – and this also applies to the rear – are incidentally finished in leather. Electrically Retractable Trailer Towing HookNever before has it been this easy and convenient to hitch up a trailer: Apart from two conventional trailer towing bars, Porsche offers an electrically retractable towing hook as individual equipment for the Cayenne model series homologated to tow up to 3.5 tonnes (braked). All the driver has to do to automatically move the towing hook in or out is press a button in the luggage compartment.

The Porsche V6

In its engine output and performance, the Porsche Cayenne, just like its sister models, offers a supreme standard: Maximum output of the six-cylinder power unit at 6000 rpm is 184 kW (250 bhp), maximum torque is 228 lb-ft from 2500 – 5.500 rpm. Indeed, the torque curve alone is an outstanding symbol of muscular performance, exceeding the mark of 221 lb-ft just above 2000 rpm and remaining above this limit all the way to 5000 rpm.

The performance this means in practice speaks for itself, the Porsche Cayenne accelerating from 0 – 60mph in 9.1 seconds, then continuing all the way to its top speed of 133 mph.With the driver exercising the appropriate style of motoring, the Cayenne is a very fuel-efficient vehicle, returning superior fuel economy of less than 12 litres/100 km or more than 23.5 mpg Imp on the road. According to the EU standard, the Cayenne consumes 10.6 litres of fuel for 100 kilometres outside of town (26.6 mpg Imp), composite fuel consumption under the EU standard also including urban motoring amounting to 13.2 litres/100 km (21.4 mpg Imp).

Six-Speed Gearbox with Innovative Porsche Drive-Off Assistant

The power of the six-cylinder engine featured in the Cayenne is transmitted in standard trim by a newly developed six-speed manual gearbox. This gearbox is combined with an innovative assistance system helping the driver set off on gradients: The Porsche Drive-Off Assistant secures the vehicle by automatically intervening in the brakes. Then, once the driver engages the clutch, the system takes back the brakes and allows the driver to set off smoothly in his Cayenne.The Cayenne is available as an option with Porsche’s six-speed Tiptronic S transmission. Applying Porsche’s usual control philosophy, this specific automatic transmission allows the driver to shift gears manually by means of paddles in the steering wheel. Another option is to shift gears by briefly flicking the selector lever forwards or backwards, a function particularly convenient for shifting gears on rough terrain. And for the first time the “Shift on the Move" function allows the driver to activate the reduction gearbox at low speeds (below 15 km/h) or deactivate it again (up to 30 km/h).

Cutting-Edge Four-Wheel Drive

The Cayenne comes with a number of highlights in technology providing the ideal synthesis of supreme onroad and excellent offroad driving characteristics, features which indeed made their world debut in Porsche SUVs.

One example is Porsche’s intelligent Traction Management (PTM) providing a 62:38 split of engine power between the front and rear wheels in the basic mode. Then, via a multiple-plate clutch, up to 100 per cent of the drive forces may be fed to the front or rear wheels depending on requirements. In this process PTM does not just respond as a function of traction (or the lack thereof). Instead, sensors also measure the speed of the vehicle, its lateral acceleration, the steering angle and position of the gas pedal, providing better control when driving to the limit. A further feature standard in the Cayenne is Porsche Stability Management (PSM), constantly interacting with PTM, but only intervening when the vehicle is driven to the absolute limit under extreme conditions.

PSM also comes in very handy whenever a trailer is about to swerve, applying the brakes specifically on individual wheel in order to maintain the necessary stability.The Cayenne’s outstanding performance on the road is perfectly supplemented by equally superior offroad driving qualities: On rough terrain PTM is able to activate the reduction gear integrated in the power divider as well as a 100 per cent front-to-rear wheel lock should individual wheels lose their traction.

Chassis and Suspension for the Road and Rough Terrain

The chassis and suspension of the Cayenne are configured and designed for supreme driving dynamics combined with outstanding safety and offroad qualities. The front axle is a large-dimensioned double track control arm configuration resting in a subframe held elastically by large-volume rubber mounts. With the track control arms being far apart, forces in the suspension are kept to a minimum. The rear axle is an elaborate multi-arm configuration able to handle both traction forces and any loads the Cayenne may be carrying with absolute ease.

Long spring travel for offroad motoring is particularly helpful. With ground clearance of 217 millimetres or 8.54", the embankment angle is 29.1° at the front and 25.7° at the rear. The ramp angle is 20.4°, and the vehicle is able to cross bodies of water up to 50 centimetres or almost 20" deep. As an option the Cayenne is available with the air suspension of the Cayenne Turbo as well as the variable Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping system.

Superior Active and Passive Safety

The Cayenne offers superior active and passive safety, again in typical Porsche style. Acting as the ideal partner for the drivetrain, chassis and suspension, 17-inch brakes front and rear with inner-vented 330-millimetre (13.00") brake discs ensure powerful and smooth application of the brakes without fading. The discs come with six-piston monobloc aluminium fixed callipers at the front and four-piston aluminium fixed callipers at the rear.

Whether in a head-on, a glancing, side-on or rear-end collision, whether in a roll-over or hitting a pole, the Cayenne fulfils all legal requirements the world over. The longitudinal and transverse structure of the front end, for example, ensures intelligent distribution of impact forces in a collision. Deformation energy is taken up by three load levels above one another, forces being split up among the stiff chassis legs on floor level, the sill and tunnel area, and the door structure. Ultra-modern multi-phase steel offering the highest strength standard of and stability has been used furthermore on the seat crossbars at the bottom and the rear floor crossbar. The B-pillars, finally, are made of TRIP steel on the inside, as are the reinforcements on the A- and B-pillars serving to enhance safety in a rollover.

Combination of Thorax and Curtain Airbags

The concept of passive safety continues consistently throughout the interior of the Cayenne. The full-size airbags for the driver and front passenger are activated in each case by a two-stage gas generator reducing loads acting on the occupants in the event of a collision. Two sensors fitted in the bumper area serve to detect collisions from the front. The side impact system is made up of a thorax airbag integrated at the side in each front seat backrest and a curtain airbag fitted in the roof frame. Used by Porsche for the first time, the curtain airbag moves down from the roof when inflated, covering the side window area and protecting occupants both front and rear.A further feature is the fitment of three-point seat belts on all five seats, all of which – with the exception of the centre seat at the rear – come with a belt latch tensioner. The front seats also have belt force limiters in order to further reduce any loads acting on the occupants.

Porsche All the Way also Inside the Cayenne

Inside the Cayenne you will also enjoy that typical Porsche style borne out by features as unmistakable as the ignition lock to the left of the steering wheel, the circular instruments with the multifunction display right in the middle, or the three-spoke steering wheel with Porsche’s coat of arms in colour.

Other standard features are the alarm system, central locking with remote control, an on-board computer, tinted heat-insulating glass, air conditioning, electric window lifts, and electrically adjustable front seats. It almost goes without saying that the seats – and this includes the seats at the rear – are finished in leather.

The steering wheel rim, door closing handles, grab handles in the centre console, and the gearshift lever also come in leather. And last but certainly not least, a CD-radio with a double-tuner even able to play MP3 files and 12 loud-speakers is also standard. And last but not least, the new electronic logbook comes as special equipment, as with both of Porsche’s sports cars and on all other Cayenne models.

Convincing Transport Concept

The Cayenne’s luggage compartment fully equipped as standard with a partition net and roll cover offers a capacity of 540 litres. The rear-seat backrest and seat bottoms tilt forward additionally either completely or with a 40:60 or 60:40 split, increasing luggage compartment capacity to a maximum of 1770 litres.

A further advantage is the low loading sill for very convenient loading and unloading, an electrical closing unit helping to close the tailgate. The rear window opens upwards to provide yet a further option allowing the driver and his passengers to load small items without even opening the tailgate.

Wintersport enthusiasts, in turn, are able to use the ski-bag for through-loading their skis, and sports-people with really big luggage such as a glider or a sports boat can have their Cayenne fitted additionally with a trailer towing bar for loads of up to 3.5 tonnes (braked).The customer has the choice of three different trailer systems, including a fixed-position trailer bar and a manually removable version. The third trailer towing system, by contrast, offers a far higher standard of comfort and convenience, with a towing bar folding down electrically at the touch of a button (not available in the US market).

To prevent unwanted operation of this towing mechanism the lowering/lifting process is activated by a toggle switch fitted on the right-hand side of the luggage compartment. And again in the interest of extra safety, the towing bar can only be lowered or lifted with the vehicle at a standstill. To facilitate the subsequent process of fastening a trailer, all Cayennes are come as an option with a back-up camera hidden behind the trim strip beneath the rear window. This camera moves out automatically as soon as the driver shifts to reverse, providing an exact overview on the PCM screen in manoeuvres.

Optional PCM with Offroad Navigation

The Cayenne comes as an option with Porsche Communication Management (PCM) comprising a double-tuner, CD-player, dynamic route navigation based on DVD technology, an on-board computer and a GSM dual-band telephone.

As a further option the PCM navigation system may be supplemented by a special offroad navigation unit available from Porsche for the first time, offering additional altitude information, presenting the position of the wheels, and even serving as a compass.

Yet a further feature of offroad navigation is the choice given to the user to enter his destination on a map by way of a hairpin finder, and to use the back-tracking function memorising the route covered and guiding the driver back on the same route he took to his initial destination.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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