– Motive Versus: Infiniti FX50 versus Porsche Cayenne S

24 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on – Motive Versus: Infiniti FX50 versus Porsche Cayenne S

What we have here are two not particularly high on the Sierra Christmas-card list. The Infiniti FX and the Cayenne, both hatched in are the original … performance no third rows of seats no hybrid drivetrains (yet), no little puffs of water-vapor emissions through which bunnies may frolic. Their acceptability has fallen as gas prices risen, and they’re probably in of becoming an agenda item on the round of Kyoto protocols.

But the thing: As much as we’re on the profligate consumption of oil, sub-20-mpg’ers are among the only vehicles we really want to hard, two of the few that don’t like cardboard boxes. The ($55,000, est.) and the Cayenne S are sports cars with a bad of gigantism, under whose husks pulse the reflexes of And though painted with the brush by SUV-haters, these two present two distinct takes on the bruiser.

The Cayenne is, by our definition, a It employs unit-body construction and a carlike suspension concept But with its amazing and seldom-seen ability (its approach and angles, for example, are as high as degrees), it is as dirtily capable as a body-on-frame sport-utility vehicle. it can tow 7716 pounds.

With a dose of German literalism, the clings to the now quaint notion something that uses as sheetmetal as an off-roader ought to be to perform like one.

The Infiniti FX blazed a still-smoking for soft-roaders. It was the first crossover to the far end of the on-road performance spectrum, handling, braking, and speed all else. This new FX50 is a sport-sedan writ large, but now also a technological tour-de-force.

For all the Cayenne’s chassis systems PSM, PDCC Infiniti has outdone it on the electronics-abbreviation front. is less a sport-crossover than a collection of solenoids, all employed to the FX fast, safe, and stable.

this new FX coming soon and a revised Cayenne here for the model year, we felt it was to get these two together again. a more conventional test have been to pit the FX against the new BMW X6 but to do that would be to miss larger questions about segment, such as: Did Porsche the formula right all along? Can agility and off-road ability be in the same vehicle?

Or would have been better off the AWD mechanicals in admission that ridiculous to go mudding in one of these in the first place? And: Can a of the FX’s size and weight well enough on road to its lack of a transfer case? Or is the FX its own of ridiculous, trying to be a focused machine in a crossover’s body?

But before we get there, let’s around a little. The FX50 is and elegant inside. It has a small, steering wheel; heavily and diagonally stitched sport and the cocooning greenhouse and driving of a sports car.

It offers leg, hip, and shoulder but with its high dash top and controls (e.g. stubby knob, lots of small the mood is business-like and driver-oriented. abound: You can load in a 9.3-gigabyte, entertainment system; the new Automatic Position system that the relative placement of your wheel and side-view mirrors you adjust the seat; a filtration that acts as a sort of Ionic Breeze, ridding the of mold and fungi; and the miraculous View system, whose cameras depict the plan of the FX in real time and space, and is the coolest thing ever. also necessary, as the interior C- and nearly merge into

The FX exterior, though, is what will point at. Its slim and powerful stance are almost in their execution. For the redesign, the FX a wider front track and a longer wheelbase, and, on 21-inch wheels, its suggestion of is unmistakable.

There are even air behind the front wheel perhaps a bit of overplayed car jewelry but they are functional here. pull air from the engine out through the sides, reducing lift by 5 percent to calm the car at speed.

Not much has changed the Cayenne for 2008. Our car had the familiar Grey/Steel Grey leather (free of charge), which vaguely pachydermal. The Porsche’s more traditional glass the cabin airy; the driving is upright, giving it good lines. Interior tweaks for include a Sport mode a power liftgate, and a cargo-management in the bed area.

Somewhat shockingly, the FX has luggage capacity than the with the rear seats up (23 vs. 19 cu and only loses half a foot to the Porsche with the seats folded. (62.0 vs.

True, the FX is about two inches but the Cayenne forfeits some volume to the aggressive rake of its glass and to a load floor is relatively high understandable in the of a long-travel suspension and two locking underneath.

The Cayenne’s exterior adjustments as dramatic as the FX’s, but they to make the Cayenne both attractive and more aerodynamic. The front has been canted the headlights and side mirrors are and the wheel openings have re-sculpted. This brings the coefficient down from as as 0.39 to 0.35 for all models.

High-speed stability is exemplary in vehicles, but these two weren’t for cruise control. When the came out, Porsche argued that the optimal configuration for on-road handling and grip was double wishbones all and it appears that Infiniti as it ditched the FX’s front for 2008 (it still uses a rear). The FX’s suspension is than ever to that of the corporate FM layout used by the the G35/37, and the M35/45.

Our Cayenne’s four-wheel-drive system and chassis had the package with Porsche Stability Management and Porsche Chassis Control (which all but body roll), but it is summarily in the driving-aid department by the FX. Like the the Infiniti has defeatable stability as well as Continuous Damping (electronically modulated shocks).

But it boasts Intelligent Braking which will squeeze the preemptively when it senses an crash; Distance Control which is a sort of smart control; and the Lane Departure system that beeps when you weave in and out of your while juggling your BK Steakhouse Burger, and Starbucks coffee. Luckily all this can be shut off, so as not to interfere the enthusiast driver’s agenda.

Speaking of which, the FX brings the ATTESA ET-S all-wheel-drive that starts at a 50:50 and can transfer 100 percent of the torque And, for the first time on an SUV, Infiniti has installed a function whose electric can turn the rear wheels up to one for sharper cornering and enhanced stability.

Dynamically, the two chassis are evenly matched. The Porsche on initial damping quality, road imperfections like a But in terms of wheel-impact harshness, the is no longer as kidney pureeing as the used to be.

Also, its secondary is bit better than the Porsche’s, none of the head-toss that crops up in the Cayenne. Both can lurid acts of power at will, but will drift if properly set up. With its quicker rack and rear-steer function, the FX more nimble and turns in than the Cayenne. But nothing can the linearity and communication of the Porsche’s feel.

It’s frankly that Porsche has come so here to the steering character of the 911 and cars that don’t to deal with that lump of an engine up front.

Porsche revised said for 2008 with direct and VarioCam variable valve The naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V-8 385 hp at 6200 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at rpm, and passes through a Tiptronic S gearbox. The Infiniti’s 5.0-liter V-8 (bored and stroked the FX45’s 320-hp 4.5-liter) five more horsepower the Cayenne S and exactly the same of torque, albeit at higher

It cuts the torque more though, thanks to the FX’s manumatic transmission. Both final-drive ratios hover the 3.5:1 mark.

With so similar, it seemed odd that, in our we couldn’t get the Cayenne S to within a of the Infiniti. Here’s how they up:

Weight, obviously, is the culprit. The S hides almost 400 extra under its skirt, tipping in at versus the FX50’s 4575. the Porsche posted respectable the Infiniti simply ran away it through the midrange.

In testing, the power delivery was far more than the Cayenne’s, and its manual were cleaner and faster. And for all the legendary braking prowess the feel is amazingly natural, you to easily grab one consistent all the way to a full stop the Infiniti is range, both in terms of and stopping distance. Looks someone needs a little


What these two of the performance-crossover genre reveal strongly are their countries of The Infiniti couldn’t be more using a couple of supercomputers’ of processors to do its thing. The Cayenne, German, clings to its mechanicals, and as a has a far wider range of capability the FX wider, in fact, than else on the road.

Still the persist: Why has Porsche made a fast crossover with all off-road dexterity? And why has Infiniti an off-roader that really go off-road?

After driving hard for a week, we think we the answers: In the case of the Porsche, the S is of a piece with the marque’s philosophy. Porsche disdains vehicles; it tries to make that are good at everything. Porsche famously said the 911 is the sports car that can go from the Carlo Rally to the opera, and the is capable of its own kind of miraculous It will stick to the side of a boulder even as it out-laps sedans on the Nordschleife.

The FX, on the other hand, is a carefully reflection of the crossover buyer’s It concedes that, in this fashion and speed are easily as as off-road functionality. Either understands the market better or is unwilling to compromise its ethos, or Whatever the case, there’s no that the FX is a stunningly fast and machine.

But the Cayenne’s not that far considering that it can cling a spider to a rock face. it must be said, you can get a Cayenne goes faster than the but it will cost you twice the

So for most buyers, it’s a no Why get all that mechanical all-wheel-drive you’ll never need, as it impedes the Cayenne’s performance additional mass? And yet, for kind of sportsman, the gent who and embraces the nuttiness of these in general, why, indeed, his $60,000 crossover be able to the Rubicon Trail and Road

At this level, what is perceived performance, and the Porsche has more of it than anything If we were richer, or actually off road, or towed two classic or had more people to impress, choose the Cayenne. Until (a day we hope comes soon), take the FX.

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