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    New Mercedes ML 55 AMG

    New ML 55 AMG, around spring 2005, power is rumored to be in the 460 HP range.
    "If necessary even more".
    The picture is a computer enhanced image which shows how the ML55 could look alike.



    VW also plans a VW Touareg R60 with around 500 HP.

    And now the interesting part for you guys:
    rumors indicate a Cayenne Turbo S with "over" 500 HP by late 2005. At the same time, the power on the "standard" Cayenne Turbo is rumored to be upgraded from 450 HP to around 480 HP. Right now, Cayenne prototypes with around 600 HP are driving around Germany...Porsche wants to be prepared for the SUV wars.

    A personal opinion: all these babies eat a lot of fuel. I truely hope that the highly probable Iraq war won't raise fuel prices rocket high over the next few months and years. This might put an end to the high power SUV development.

    Re: New Mercedes ML 55 AMG

    In reply to:
    [...]This might put an end to the high power SUV development.



    And I'd applause to that!... To me, SUV don't make much sense to me. So this power inflation with the related increasing fuel consumption is even harder to understand...

    Ok, I'll now put my anti-flame suit on!...

    Greetings,
    --Pierre

    Re: New Mercedes ML 55 AMG

    It looks real nice.
    As you guys mentioned this SUV power war will follow the path of the ".com" era pretty soon. It will end at one point.

    Will some one explain to me why a utility vehicle

    needs over 400hp. As it is these vehicles endanger other passenger/sportcars with the weight and height. Add power to facilitate "speed creep" only makes these vehicles more dangerous. Many people will die because profit is king!

    Hopefully our court system in the US will put an end to this madness. A few big awards against Porsche, VW and MB will get their attention.

    Re: Will some one explain to me why a utility vehicle

    It is fun. That simple.

    But I have to agree a little bit: such a high power SUV in the wrong hands could lead to desaster.
    My wife has a lot of respect towards the power of our ML 55 and drives very carefully, almost too slow. But I know several "soccer moms" among our friends who drive their family cars like sportscars. If I imagine they had 400 HP under their butt, I would start worrying.

    What a lot of high power SUV owners don't understand:
    these babies weight a lot. Even with ESP and all those safety gadgets, these high power SUVs can be very dangerous.
    It requires a lot of driving skill and experience to drive a high power SUV very fast. Unfortunately I'm sure that some people will learn that the hard way.

    So maybe Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and all the other high performance SUV manufacturers should offer a driving lesson class with a high power SUV purchase. This would make people aware of the dangers. There is no need to forbid them, this doesn't make sense. The only reason I can see to forbid high power SUVs would be fuel consumption. But I guess this "problem" will be solved by fuel prices.

    I love my ML55, it is no sportscar but it is fun and with a fully loaded car (vacation), it can be very helpful to have lots of power. Especially when driving on the Autobahn.

    Re: Will some one explain to me why a utility vehicle

    nberry, I too wonder why all this power is 'needed'... To me, this is just to show-off: "HA HA... My 2'500 kg SUV is faster than your little sportscar!"... huh...

    We're getting slightly off-topic, but since you're mentionning it, your court system is the US is pretty weird too!... Or is it a good thing that overweighted(sp?) people can sue fast-food companies just for being to fat???... (and this is just one example!) Anyway, this topic doesn't belong to this forum, so let's focus again on cars!...

    Happy new year!
    --Pierre

    Why off-topic?

    I don't find this subject to be off-topic at all. This is the Cayenne Forum and the Cayenne is a high power SUV.
    I think Nick had all the rights to ask this question, it is actually a pretty interesting one.

    I try to get to this subject from a different perspective:
    imagine you guys that you have family (wife and at least one kid). And imagine you need a lot of room for luggage and kids stuff. Now imagine you have to drive around 800 km in your car with wife, kid and tons of luggage. How do you do that in your Ferrari or Porsche? Oh well, right...you buy a limousine, eventually a sporty one with lots of power. But hey, did you ever see how much luggage a family with kids needs? So this is no option. Right, you buy a SUV. But now imagine how slow and boring a SUV with 2.3 tons weight (probably more like 2.8 tons fully loaded ) and only a 150 HP engine can be. Even a small japanese compact car might be faster, especially when driving hills up, etc. Also imagine how frustrating it must be for a Ferrari or Porsche owner to switch cars and drive in a slow and heavy SUV. Now here's where the high power SUV jumps in: it is a fast, poweful car with lots of space for wife, kids and luggage. It is almost the perfect winter car (especially over here in Bavaria and Austria/Switzerland when we go skiing) and sometimes it is very useful on some of my rare Eastern Europe trips.

    Please understand: I don't want to get bored, I don't want to hate my family car and I don't want to be one of those frustrated dads who jell at the kids when they start singing in the car. I want to have fun, what is wrong with that?
    I have the driving skills, I'm not driving my SUV as I would drive my Porsche and I'm always aware that I have a wife and a little child in my car.

    Last but not least: yes, it is fun to see how some (so called) sportscar owners make big eyes when I pass them. So what? This is part of the game of life. Don't you guys enjoy it when you pass somebody in your Ferrari or Porsche? C'mon.

    There is no need to forbid high power SUVs, I know about such a campaign in the US and these are probably the same people who would be outraged if I told them that I drive 200 mph almost every day in my backyard. So what? I can do things with my wife's SLK 32 other people wouldn't dream of in a 996 Turbo. Everything depends on driving skills, experience and mental health.
    This is similar to sports: some people do unbelievable things in sports and we think they're crazy. But they're actually very skilled and highly trained. Would somebody please forbid skiing, hiking, boxing or paragliding?

    Fuel prices and also car prices will limit access to these high power SUVs, I'm sure about that.
    And one last thing: why not forbid sportscars? They're way too fast, right? Oh yeah, let's forbid Sex too...too many people dying from AIDS, VDs, heart attacks, etc.

    The high power SUV delelopment is actually a very interesting one. Take a Ford Explorer MY 2001 and a ML 55 MY 2001 and you'll understand what I mean. SUV is not always SUV.
    And before you guys think I'm crazy: take a Cayenne Turbo for a ride, let's say for around 100 mls. As skilled sportscar drivers, try to make that thing brake out or do nasty things. I'm curious about your experience, you'll be surprised...actually shocked. What I did with the Cayenne Turbo during my testride, some people might not do with their 996 Turbo. And I'm still alive, I didn't kill anybody, they didn't take my driver's license and my dealer got his Cayenne Turbo back without scratches.
    I bet CR can confirm the Cayenne's qualities.
    Or to use the words of an engineer who worked in Cayenne development: it takes a fool to make that thing turn upside down and it is even fool-proof.

    But if you guys want to talk about fuel consumption and environmental issues, you're right. These high power SUVs eat a lot of fuel, way too much. I guess weight reduction will be one main goal for the next few years.

    Re: Will some one explain to me why a utility vehicle

    I read an intresting article speculating that the rise in popularity of SUV's and in particular ones with some performance was due to the greens onslaught of the good old staion wagon with rear wheel drive and a V-8. The V-8 rear drive station wagon was basicly outlawed in US due to fuel consumption requirements. But small trucks were exempt for farmers and small trades men. When people who needed a car to haul stuff and kids and a trailer found they could no longer get a real staion wagon they turned to minivans, but they do not pull anything and are booooring. They turned to trucks, which manufacturers were happy to provide - high profit and no gas consumption penalty. As time went on the buyers demanded more and more car like features and some demanded performance. This whole thing was enhanced by the US tax structure which says basicly "no one should have a car that cost more than US$17,000 so that is all you can deduct", but trucks (again farmers and trades men) can be fully deducted based upon expected life, so the high dollar/performace SUV became "cheaper" to buy. So now we have two reasons for SUVs and both are due to the unintended consequenses of the short sighted demands of the greens and socilaists. It will be intresting to see what are the unintended consequenses of the "correction" to the SUV probelm.

    PS Bad drivers are dangeous in any car, not just SUVs.

    Re: Why off-topic?

    RC, it was my own remark about the US court system that was off-topic, not Nick's post!...

    I can follow your argumentation about SUV's, but I still think these babies do not need over 400 HP. What bothers me isn't the power itself but the related fuel consumption and the fact that most of these vehicles seem to be mainly used for one or two people's trip accross cities or to the vacation's house... I spent one afternoon last week in Crans-Montana (well-known ski resort in Switzerland), and couldn't believe my eyes! Almost half of the cars there were high-end ML, X5, etc. (Ok, maybe not half of them, but half of the total weight for sure! ) And I can tell you that almost none of them was used to carry more than 2 persons... (BTW, there also was a 996 C2 with GT3 body-kit and skis on the roof!) Hey, it would have been cool to show up there in a brand new Cayenne Turbo!

    Ok guys. I'm no SUV fan (did you notice?), but I respect others' opinions and choices. Enjoy your toys!

    Greetings,
    --Pierre

    One more added: Audi Pikes Peak quattro

    500 HP

    Audi

    Re: agreed!

    i completely agree! IMO the car industry has got quite some other problems to solve than doping slightly pointless cars to pointless power heights. put currently, power and size sells.

     
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