If subtlety and understatement are your tuning tipple, look away now. The TechArt Magnum Turbo is arguably the most ostentatious, over-the-top, and downright brutish machine on the road today. Park it next to a Hummer H1 and it's the army surplus that will look oh-so-slightly girly. The Cayenne Turbo-based Magnum marks a significant departure for TechArt. While the company's western customer base has traditionally favored cars that are subtle to the point of anonymity, the emergent eastern markets want both mouth and trouser.
"In Russia, for example, people like to show off their lifestyle," says TechArt President Thomas Behringer. "The Cayenne accounts for 95 percent of Porsche sales in Russia, so there's a huge opportunity for us."
After unveiling the concept in 2004, TechArt delivered the first customer car in February 2005. Even Behringer has been surprised by the Magnum's success: "We expected to sell about 50 Magnums each year, but in December, we shipped our 250th car." Most are assembled at the TechArt workshops in Germany, but the conversions can also be supplied in kit form to agents across the globe.
Customers unloading their crate of bits will discover a body kit that encompasses a new front bumper with a larger air intake, front foglights and brake cooling ducts, exaggerated side skirts and wheel-arch extensions, a revised rear door panel, and a new rear fender. There are scoops in the hood and a new look for the head- and taillights.
This is a comprehensive kit that transforms the look of the car. While the basic silhouette of the Cayenne can still be identified, the Magnum boasts its own, unique character. Fully fitted, the body kit costs a hefty 26,654 euro, and it's sure to polarize opinion--some will revel in its bravery, while others will call it vulgar.
The Magnum's interior is tailored according to a customer's taste and budget. Our test car made do with a chunky, ergonomic steering wheel, an aluminum pedal set, and new floor mats, but Techart's technicians will reupholster the entire cabin upon request. Thumb through the Magnum brochure and you'll be met by all manner of eccentric creations--anyone for yellow leather roof lining?
Having overhauled the aesthetics, Techart's technical boffins set to work on the dynamics. The Magnum Turbo boasts a stage-three conversion kit for the Cayenne Turbo, which costs the considerable sum of 32,944 euro. The 4.5-liter V8 gains a new, high-performance exhaust with bespoke manifolds, sport-air filters, larger turbochargers and a reprogrammed ECU.
The power output rises by 150 to 600 bhp at 6000 rpm, while the peak torque is increased from 457 to 626 lb-ft at 3100 rpm. According to Techart's own figures, the Magnum will sprint from zero to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds and reach 181 mph. In other words, it has more than enough straight-line thrust to outrun a stock 911 Carrera S.
Subjective impressions garnered on the roads of Germany lend credence to these claims. What impresses more is not the top-end power but the sheer indulgence of the torque. Curl a big toe and the Magnum surges forward with a ferocity that borders on the indecent.
And it sounds like nothing else on the road. To get the full effect, you really need to follow the Magnum through a tunnel. The full-bore soundtrack emitted through the quad exhausts has more in common with a jet engine than something powered by internal combustion. It's loud enough to wake the neighbors, but they should regard it as an honor.
The "Sport" air suspension pack (2,041 euro) lowers the ride height by around 40 mm and, in combination with 20-inch "Formula" alloys (754 euro), this lends the car a hunched, menacing stance. There's even a lowered parking mode for the ultimate bar pose. Needless to say, these revisions do little for the Cayenne's off-road ability.