Driver's delight

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 September, 2010, 12:00am


Related topics

I've never been able to look at a bloke driving a Porsche - and it's rare to see any other gender at the wheel of this particular brand of automobile - without feeling envious.

Away with anything so trivial as envy: overpowered, overpowering, what's the point?

That was before I settled behind the flight deck of the Cayenne S. It took a while to get started as the indicator stalk had concealed itself behind the steering wheel.

That hurdle surmounted, it was down, down, down out of the car park and up, up, up to the dizzy heights of driving what rapidly revealed itself as a superlative machine.

Heading for the Cross-Harbour Tunnel, I was struck by the admiring glances thrown my way by a couple of women pedestrians. Correction: they were looking at the Cayenne, not me. Strange to name a car after a pepper, you might think.

But just nudge the accelerator. 'Fiery' only gives the vaguest indication of what's in store.

The Cayenne doesn't look like a Porsche, as it's morphed with all the exterior flash of an SUV. A five-door, five-seater, throbbing to the tune of its 4.8-litre engine and dancing to the conductor's baton that is the eight-speed transmission. The seat is a little rigid when climbing in and out, but that may well be my posterior talking.

On-board computers barely need remarking on, but the Cayenne's had shanghaied a midget bongo player who rattled out a minor warning whenever I veered too close to any solid object, and indeed when any solid object veered too close to me.

This was accompanied by flashing disco lights on the dashboard. Naturally, there's a music system to provide further aural entertainment.

This is a top-class car. Naturally, the optional extras deserve a quick word. The most expensive add-ons are the 21-inch SportEdition wheels with wheel arch extensions - just short of HK$43,000; and the most obvious is the Bose surround sound system, priced at HK$12,900. Humming along the highways and byways - a momentary lapse of concentration led me up to Mid-Levels with Kennedy Road offering itself as the only escape route - there's a delightful feeling of being in a well-ordered and brilliantly designed cocoon. So why not sit back and enjoy the music?

At slightly more than HK$1 million, or HK$1.5 million with every single one of the options, this is a car for the seriously cashed-up.