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    Too expensive for 2 more HP

    2003 ML55 AMG
    342 HP
    $66,620


    2003 Cayenne S
    340 HP
    $55,900

    Re: Too expensive for 2 more HP

    Good point. To be fair though, the ML55 includes almost everthing standard. I believe a similar Cayenne is around $63k.

    Very good point!!!

    Remember Porsche is not an example in term of standard equipment and that AMG version are usually very well equipped in comparaison.
    I think the ML looks better, and they're problably about the same price if you compare the options.
    Would be interesting to see how much is the Cayenne S equiped like an ML55.
    Fanch.

    No doubt...

    ...the Cayenne S with air suspension is the better deal, even if I still find the ML 55 more attractive due to it's looks and it's trunk space. But the Cayenne S has a very attractive price tag and it is the more modern SUV. So right now, I'd probably go for the Cayenne S instead. The Cayenne Turbo is a different story, in my opinion the turbo version of the Cayenne is overpriced and should have all options as standard.
    I know that Porsche sells a lot of Cayenne Turbo these days but this can change as soon as people find out how much fuel the Cayenne Turbo consumes. Even rich people care about fuel consumption, one reason why the ML 400 CDI sells much better in Germany than the ML 500 or the ML 55 AMG.

    Re: X5 4.6is

    has the highest price tag but lowerest capacity of all engine. I have to admit, the X5 has to be the first to replace a more powerful engine. Hopefully the V10 500hp or a V12 from 760i not the 4.8L

    Its very unfortune that BMW doesn't have an engine for the X5 when the ML55 released. They were forced to buy off Alpina blueprint to compete with the ML. It is a very good engine, just need for power. Despite of that, 4.6is is still my favorite SUV right now.






    Re: X5 4.6is

    I'm pretty curious to see the future of the high power SUV over the next three years. Porsche took the high power SUV a step forward and I'm sure neither Mercedes nor BMW will stay behind. What this means? Well, I suppose we'll see a 476 HP ML 55 AMG from Mercedes and maybe even a V12 bi-turbo version from Mercedes. BMW probably will offer the V10 with 500 HP or little less. That said, Porsche will be forced to increase power to at least 500 HP and we might even see SUVs with 600 HP. I'm not sure where this will lead, especially because of fuel consumption and environmental issues but I guess that the only chance for such high power monster SUVs will be...REDUCING WEIGHT. I bet we'll see some high power SUVs below 2000 kg by 2004 or 2005 and I'm pretty curious to see what Porsche will do about the Cayenne.
    If Mercedes and BMW offer 500 HP versions of their new SUVs with a weight below 2.2 tons, Porsche is in serious (performance) trouble. It will be an interesting time but unfortunately these babies will cost so much that they'll stay the toys for a limited number of customers. Most customers probably will go for the V6 or Diesel engines.

    Re: X5 4.6is


    I do agree 100%, the future isn't to increase power but to reduce weight using aluminium or other composite elements. 2,000 kilos is already pretty heavy but i'm sure in the future it's possible to go below that mark. Car makers have to put these babies on a strict diet. The Audi A8 is a good example.

    Re: i too agree

    weight reduction is a 'cheaper' solution for the company, but customers still want more power

    Light weight high power SUV will be perfect !! If sport SUV is a sucess, a typical 4 door sedan will become obeslete in 8 to 10 years. A 4 door sedan will be like a 2 door coupe.. (fashionable item).

    Re: i too agree


    I'm not sure clients want more power .... they definitely want better performances ...... they don't really care how you get there and weight reduction is a way to get there.

    We have to bear in mind that in this forum we are car lovers and we DO CARE about horsepower. But over 90% of the people have absolutely no clue what type of engine they have. So we are not representative of what the "mainstream" is concerned about.

    I still firmly believe in Collin Chapmann's philosophy: A rigid chassis and weight is THE ennemy. Lotus cars aren't really powerful but so much fun to drive .... The Lotus 7 is a blast and the Elise is great fun too even if it has only around 150 HP... The 2.7l RS with its 210HP is also a great example.

    Re: performance

    Its actually the opposite in my opinon, The mainstream customers care more about capacity of the engine and horsepower more than performance number and weight especially in a SUV stand point

    When you talk about performance, how many customers know what 'performance' really mean?? Most of them think 0-60, 1/4 miles and lateral g is the judge of all performance. How do you define performance to the customers?? How do typical customers know the advantage of a light weight car vs heavy a high horsepower car??

    Weight reduction is not as easy as you think. There are many trade-off to reduce weight. Less sound insulation, less luxury stuff in the cars..etc People want SUV with luxury product. The only way they can reduce weight is from the engine and suspension component.

    Let say there isl a light weight X5 with 300hp to compete with a Heavy Porsche Cayenne with 450hp, consider everything else equal. Same performance and same price tag. Which do you think 'rational' customers going to choose?

    Now, Sport cars are entirely different. We are talking about high power luxury SUV. Lighter sport car is faster in the corners and carry much higher speed, as the result faster staight line momentum. (no need to Stop and go) Do you know anyone will drive a SUV like that except RC and me

    Re: performance


    I think you're partially right. Some customers just care about the "headline" number of the power of their car, and between a 300hp lightweight SUV and a 450hp heavyweight one, a lot of people will go for the heavy one. This is because in car advertizing most of the time they stress the output.

    BUT as always life is a pendulum. Late 60's early 70's, cars in North America were huge and were averaging 12-15mpg (18-23l/100km). Then the oil crisis came and car makers produced smaller cars up until early 80's. For the past 2 decades we have been upsizing and we are now back to this type of fuel efficiency with the Ford Excursion or the Cayenne Turbo... This may be a sign we are at the peak of the cycle.

    I do agree, reducing weight isn't easy when you don't want to de-content the car.
    The chassis is the main piece where we can gain weight. Audi is gaining basically 300kg (600lbs) on its A8 compared with the 7 series and the S Class. Body panels are also important with thinner but stronger sheets of steel or plastics. The engine and the gear box are also important elements.
    Inside of the car there is also a lot to gain with seat frames, different type of plastics.... Unfortunately the trade-off most of the time is the noise.

    Bottom line, I think the client isn't ready for the time being to pay a premium to get a lighter car because for most of the people the heavier the safer!!!!

    I know at least 3 persons if I include myself. I would be more than happy to drive a light and luxurious SUV. It would have less inertia and would drive more like a go-kart....

     
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