Ahead of the Pack

Ahead of the Pack

26 February, 2016
Rodolfo Avila
Race car driver Rodolfo Avila assesses the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
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Rodolfo Avila was born to drive. At the age of four, he could already identify car models on sight, and by 14, he had begun his professional racing career. Since then, his successes have been many; In 2002, he made history as the youngest driver to take part in the Macau Grand Prix, and he has continued to break records in international races, including becoming the youngest driver to win the ASCC championships in 2008 and the first Macau driver and youngest race winner in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in 2009. An impressive record, to say the least.

Fast forward to 2015, numerous podium appearances later, and he shows no sign of slowing down, having signed on to drive with Team Jebsen for the sixth consecutive season.

But what about off the track, in a car designed for a different purpose entirely? What does a professional race car driver like Avila have to say about a large hybrid SUV such as the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid?
 
We recently had a chance to drive with Avila in this very car, and asked him for his thoughts.
 
As a race car driver, what is your first impression on driving the Cayenne S E-Hybrid?
Porsche infuses the DNA of a race car into every road car they make – even an SUV. So even though, it’s a very different driving experience, you still can feel how well engineered the car is, and get a sense of the Porsche craftsmanship.
 
How would you describe the car to a fellow race car driver?
I would say it’s a very fast SUV! Because it’s a battery powered, it can do 0-100kph in just 5.9 seconds. And, again because of being electric, it has excellent torque, giving you that exciting sports car feel when you’re driving it – yet it also has great suspension which makes it a comfortable ride.
It’s also cool that you can change the ride height. You can set it low for good cornering in the city, or make it higher for off-roading performance. It’s like getting two cars in one, the best of both worlds!
 
What about friends and family – what would you say to them about the Cayenne S E-Hybrid?
As a family car it’s ideal because the size is comfortable and the chassis is very strong; it’s known to be one of the safest SUV’s on the market. And hybrids make so much sense for city driving. You save on fuel, which is great for the customer and good for the environment, meanwhile the fact that it’s quiet and has no engine vibration makes it excellent for traffic-heavy cities like Hong Kong and Macau. Plus, of course, the Hong Kong government currently offers tax rebates for hybrid car purchases, which makes it an even more attractive option.
 
What are your favourite on-car features?
I love the eight-speed gearbox; you get much lower RPM, which is great, plus it’s very quiet, which makes for a great driving experience.
 
How about inside the car?
The interior of the Cayenne S E-Hybrid is really special. It feels like you’re inside a spaceship, there are so many intelligent features! And yet, it’s also spacious and luxurious; you can tell that a lot of thought has been put into the design.
It’s not easy to create a car that corners like a sports car, yet is really big and comfortable, where you can fit a lot inside and not feel crowded. It’s Porsche’s signature engineering that makes this possible.
 
Any final words?
You really have to drive this car to feel how it handles. It’s amazing!
 
About the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
The S E-Hybrid model takes the original Porsche Cayenne’s sporty lines and precise performance and adds an electric motor and 10.8 kWh lithium-ion traction battery – combining unparalleled off-road capability with optimal fuel economy and lowered carbon emissions. Available in Hong Kong and Macau through Jebsen Motors.
 

By: Ecozine Staff
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