Last Wednesday, sharp-eyed visitors to Porsche’s online car configurator might have noticed an unknown-but-strangely-familiar face among the array of cars pictured:
Yes, folks, that’s the new Cayenne, roaming wild and free for all to see. Of course, since the new Cayenne isn’t supposed to be unveiled until the Geneva Auto Show a couple weeks from now, Porsche rapidly pulled the image off the site – but thankfully, not before at least one person snared a decent screenshot.
Car and Driver was lucky enough to take a spin in the next-gen Cayenne; in their February issue, writer/photographer/presumed bratwurst enthusiast/lucky son-of-a-bitch Juergen Zoellter states Cayenne 2.0 is about 440 pounds lighter than the current model – smart thinking, given the current Cayenne is massive enough to gravitationally suck in unlucky pedestrians. (Though that makes for a great conversation starter.)
With the standard eight-speed automatic, Porsche claims the 500-hp Turbo model should do the 0-60 in 4.6 seconds. While we can’t vouch for those times yet, we can certainly endorse the looks of the new Cayenne. Based on the picture above, it looks a hell of a lot more aggressive than the current model, which from certain angles, looks as awkward as John Edwards at a “Democrats For Fidelity” summit.
We’ll have official details of the 2011 Cayenne once the Geneva Auto Show kicks off on March 2nd. However, if you’re still itching for another little glimpse of the fun to come…take a look at the 2011 Audi RS5, also debuting at Geneva.
The RS5 cranks out 450 horses from its 4.2 liter V8 without a psi of help from a turbo or supercharger. Putting that grunt to all four wheels is a seven-speed DSG. Audi claims 0-60 comes in 4.6 seconds – oddly enough, the same as the Cayenne Turbo. That’s the good news.
The bad news is, Audi hasn’t announced whether it’ll come stateside yet. Start writing your senators now, folks.
Of course, never one to be left out, Mercedes-Benz has released details about its Geneva star, the F800 Style concept. Mercedes says the F800 indicates the design direction the company intends to follow from now on, and strongly hints at the look of the next0generation CLS. While we think it looks a bit…blunt from the front, there’s definitely potential here.
The F800 also comes with a concept car’s usual array of apocryphal wonders, like a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of running from 0-60 in 4.7 seconds while still achieving 81 miles per gallon. To quote Broken Lizard’s magnum opus Super Troopers – “I’ll believe that when me shit turns purple and smells like rainbow sherbert.”
Yet sadly, for most of us, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Audi RS5, or Mercedes-Benz CLS will remain out of fiscal reach for quite some time. But if your budget only stretches to automotive crack instead of full-out cocaine, fear not: it looks like our old friends at Ford have your back.
Ford execs have dropped a couple subtle hints that the next-generation Ford Focus will not only receive a Rip-Snortin’ RS version (would you prefer “Red-asS”?), but that the hardcore Focus will be coming to the U.S. for the first time as well. One word: BOOSH.
The 2012(ish) Focus RS should make around 300 horsepower, thanks to a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four equipped with Ford’s EcoBoost, which is also slang for stealing power from a wind farm.
Finally, from the “No Shit, Sherlock” files, the NHTSA (click the link if you want to know what the acronym’s for, we’re sick of typing it out) is prepping legislation that would ban texting while driving.
Of course, the NHTSA has no ability to put the laws into effect; they’re meant as guidelines for individual states to adopt or edit as they see fit. 19 states and D.C already have similar measures in effect, including, hilariously, seat-belt-averse New Hampshire. (Live Free or Die! Or, rather, Live Free until You Die Being Ejected Through A Windshield At 70 MPH!)
We here at CCO think this is a brilliant idea. While we’ve got mixed feeling on hands-free-calling-only-while-driving laws (studies have shown they don’t reduce distraction compared to holding the phone, and we think people will be more likely to engage in distracting phone calls if it’s easier to do), texting while driving is just a bad idea. Period. In fact, on weekends, we at CCO like to pick up a Rent-A-Wreck and perform a little vigilante enforcement by ramming texting drivers right off the road. Tweet about that, will you.