Cayenne

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2019 Porsche Cayenne Overview

The Porsche Cayenne hit the market in 2004. Despite cries of protests from Porsche purists, it quickly became the brand’s best-selling model and fulfilled the brand’s mission and values within the parameters of an SUV. For 2019, the celebrated nameplate gets an all-new third generation.

Unlike the switch from the first to the second generation in 2011, the redesign this time is more of an evolution than a fresh design. Some updates include changes to the front end elements—the headlights, the grille, the lower accents—are larger and more squared-off than before. The grille slats play a bigger part in the design as well. Across the sides, the overall profile is sleeker, more closely related to the smaller Macan SUV. Car buyers will notice the largest change to the rear of the vehicle, a full-width bar connecting the three-dimensional LED taillights.

Plenty of re-imagined engineering went underneath that new shape. The Cayenne has switched to a new platform and has shed 143 lbs from its curb weight. The structure is now mostly aluminum, with strategically-placed high-strength steel, and the Cayenne now wears staggered front/rear tire sizes for improved performance. As before, the Cayenne is exclusively an all-wheel-drive (AWD) machine.

Inside, the Cayenne’s changes are subtle. The overall design carries over making panels and switches a little more geometric and square-shaped than before. The grid of buttons making up the center stack is now a series of touch-sensitive icons across a gloss-black panel—sure to delight some people while infuriating others. Since the new Cayenne is longer and wider, Porsche claims that cargo space jumps 15 percent, to 27.19 cubic feet with the split-folding rear seats in use.

There is a brand-new technology stack, also seen in the redesigned-for-2017 Panamera. The instrument cluster is comprised of a mechanical RPM gauge flanked by two 7-inch LCDs. In default mode, those LCDs each display two circular readouts and provide a modern interpretation of the classic Porsche five-across gauge layout; however, they can be reconfigured for other data, including a night-vision camera feed. And the center stack is dominated by a giant 12.3-inch widescreen infotainment system that lets drivers store profiles for everything from the ambient lights and memory adjustment settings to sound settings for the Bose and Burmester premium audio systems.

The newest Cayenne is sure to see all of its submodels return, but, for the initial third generation offerings, the brand has announced three, Base, S, and Turbo. Base employs an all-new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine making 340 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are up by 40 and 37, respectively. Zero-to-sixty time improves from 7.3 seconds to 5.9, and the SUV can reach a top speed of up to 152 miles per hour. There’s a new 8-speed automatic transmission as well, designed with a longer eighth gear for improved highway driving. Five driving modes, Normal, Mud, Gravel, Sand, and Rocks, manipulate the transmission AWD system for particular types of driving, proving that the Cayenne is still dedicated to the same levels of capability as before.

The S trim also gets a new engine, a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V6 with 440 hp—an improvement of 20—and 405 lb-ft. Also paired with the same 8-speed, this engine enables the Cayenne to run to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, versus 5.1 for the old model, and it hits a max speed of 164 mph.

The range-topping Turbo houses a twin-turbo 4.0-liter 8-cylinder engine with 550 hp and 567 lb-ft of torque, up 30 and 14 respectively, and an 8-speed transmission. It also makes use of an industry first for an SUV—an active roof spoiler that increases downforce on the rear axle with the ability to act as an airbrake to shorten stopping times. Top speed is 177 mph, and it can rocket to 60 mph in as few as 3.9 seconds.

For those looking to further improve the Cayenne, there are several performance options. Two brand-new systems, rear-axle steering and a 48-volt chassis stabilizer bar system, help the SUV to truly defy physics and remain sports-car stable during spirited or track driving. There’s active suspension management, a 3-chamber air suspension system, uprated disc brakes, and an off-road package. The Sport Chrono Package is available on each trim, unlocking additional engine performance that shaves a few tenths of a second off of the zero-to-sixty time.

The Cayenne starts out decently-equipped, with standard 19-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, partial-leather upholstery, keyless start, and 8-way power seats. Keyless access, a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled seats, active 18-way power seats, and 4-zone climate control are examples from a long list of upgrade options. Porsche also offers a huge assortment of exterior color, interior upholstery, trim, wheel, and accent choices.

Safety-wise, a reversing camera, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking are standard. Blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic detection, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-change assist are among premium features.

The third-generation 2019 Porsche Cayenne is better, in every conceivable way, than the previous model. It has made significant gains in performance, technology, and styling. Look for all three initial submodels to arrive in dealerships during the fall of 2018.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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