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May 23, 2007

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First-rate drivers take Porsche Cayenne to the starting line of the Transsyberia Rally

Two and a half months before the start of the Transsyberia Rally, Porsche has produced a small production run of 26 Cayenne S Transsyberias in Leipzig.

Armin Schwarz

At a mass training session, the drivers got intimately acquainted with their 385-bhp, long-distance rally vehicles and prepared themselves for their two-week mission. Among the Porsche drivers who will be lining up at the start in Moscow on August 2 are Armin Schwarz, the second most successful German rally driver after Walter Röhrl; three-time champion of the Dakar Rally, René Metge (France); two-time motorcycle world rally champion, Marc Coma (Spain); and New Zealand rally legend, Rod Millen.

At the Leipzig plant

During the three-day training session, the participants performed various driving exercises on the off-road terrain of Porsche’s Leipzig plant. Every driver, without exception, was taken aback by the outstanding off-road capabilities of the Cayenne S Transsyberia.

The permanent all-wheel drive of Porsche Traction Management (PTM) has a differential lock which further improves traction.

Rough-tread off-road tires ensure optimal grip with the ground. The ground clearance of the Cayenne S Transsyberia can be adjusted by means of a rocker switch on the dash to suit the different driving conditions.

Along fast stretches, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) uses a pair of active stabilizers to eliminate body roll almost entirely. On trickier terrain, the stabilizers can be completely decoupled for maximum suspension articulation.

“I never thought such a large automobile could be so agile,” said rally maestro Armin Schwarz (43) as he marveled at the sportiness of the Cayenne S Transsyberia. Schwarz, who took third in the 2001 Safari Rally, continued, “with its off-road tires, decoupled stabilizers and incredible all-wheel drive, this thing can go practically anywhere. The 4.8-liter V8 engine has tremendous torque.”

In addition to off-road driving, the training session in Leipzig also featured slalom and obstacle-avoidance exercises on the asphalt, plus navigation practice and repairs sessions. “After the training, I couldn’t feel better prepared for the adventure,” said Schwarz. “I can’t wait for the Transsyberia – the same sorts of challenges await me between Moscow and Mongolia as those I was up against in the Rally World Championship,” added the 1996 European Rally Champion.

The Transsyberia Rally starts in Moscow on August 2 and ends 6,600 kilometers away in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on August 17.

All Photos: Porsche

(May 22, 2007)

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