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Custom French Cayenne best yet?

2009-08-03 09:05
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Porsche
Model Balrog
Engine 4.8l V8 turbo
Power 448kW
Germany’s mighty tuning industry has tried, and failed, to rectify the Porsche Cayenne’s aesthetic, well, limitations. Perhaps the French know better?

When you’re thinking aftermarket tuning, the global capital of style, Paris, does not come to mind first - right?

Yet it’s here, in the considerable late afternoon shadow of the Eiffel tower, that former Modify magazine editor, Jeremie Paret, has developed one of the most bizarre looking Cayenne aesthetic embellishment kits we’ve seen around.

Paret, having swopped the his editor’s desk for a design space, assembled a crack team of French upholsterers, engine tuners and carbon-fibre artisans and spent eight months perfecting a radical tuning package for the world’s most notorious SUV.

The result is called – wait for it – the Balrog.

Indeed, not the most eloquent of names, especially considering it was built by people who speak the world’s most flowing language.

Haute couture Cayenne?

Despite the odd name, this Balrog package looks absolutely outrageous without coming off as completely ridiculous - depending on how many drugs you habitually consume.

In quintessential Parisian style the surfaces which have been refashioned add – or attempt bravely to add – a sense of proportion to the Cayenne styling.

Brazen front styling treatment improves airflow to the engine cooling systems and brakes - allegedly...

Most notable is the fundamentally restyled front section.

It sports a completely new bumper and drilled grille design, which although oversized in proportion, is neat in execution. We are not quite sure if a replacement can be procured from within our solar system if you scratch it though.

The light clusters, for the most part, are stock Cayenne Turbo items, with angel eyes finishing and new fog lights. LEDs are mercifully not on the styling menu.

Wheelarches have been generously widened, to accommodate larger wheels and render a forbidding, widebody look.

Around the rear there is a new carbon-fibre diffuser unit, which has been constructed to be easily removable if you live in a dicey neighbourhood and fear it might be nicked at night.

Paret says it was made to be removable to enable the tow-hitch to still deploy and operate, but such an explanation is simply too boring to wash with us.

Balrog's interior design can be customised with a limitless range of upholstery options - cut, stitched and coloured to order.

Leather is of Connolly grade, the esteemed British company who supplied leather to Rolls-Royce and Ferrari before ceasing to trade as of 2002.

The vendors of choice for Paret are former Connolly employees who have gone it on their own and perpetuate the legendary Connolly skills set.

More power, better brakes?

If you would like some added pace and dynamic agility to dovetail with the Balrog’s outlandish styling, well, Jeremie Paret aims to please.

Paret’s engine specialist, know only as Franck, has boosted the blown 4.8l V8’s power from 406kW to 448kW with some ECU trickery and a refashioned, more resonant exhaust.

To cope with the additional pace, those stock Porsche brakes have been binned in favour of Brembo six-pot calliper actuated discs – a curious decision considering the Cayenne Turbo’s outstanding stopping ability.

Hardly restrained or subtle, much in line with the stock Cayenne’s vibe, Paret's Balrog package is quite a different solution to the usual German Cayenne aftermarket fare.

This French Cayenne is one mad frog.


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