Riding on an all-new platform, shared with the Audi Q7 and the upcoming VW Touareg, the third generation Porsche Cayenne comes with enhanced design, a more spacious cabin and lighter on its wheels.
Since it was introduced back in 2002, the Cayenne has dominated the Porsche range – more than 760,000 units worldwide, with half a million of the second generation. As a reminder, the one millionth 911 was produced in May this year, after decades of uninterrupted manufacturing. Design wise, the Cayenne isn’t breaking new grounds – a streamlined front fascia comes with horizontal look for the grilles and large swept-back headlights. From the front you’ll have trouble identifying at a moment’s notice the different generations – but that’s not going to happen if you first see it from behind. The Cayenne has a full-width taillight design inspired by the rears of the facelifted 911 and new generation Panamera – but the same 114-inch wheelbase as its predecessor, and is only slightly longer by 3 inches. Still, the new architecture enables better packaging so cargo space has jumped 15 percent.
The Cayenne and S models drop a lot of weight – 121 and 143 pounds, respectively – thanks to aluminum exterior body panels and floor pan, as well as “virtually all of the chassis components.” The Cayenne even has a lithium-polymer starter battery, which itself saves 22 pounds. At first, orders will be available for the Cayenne and S, first up with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 rated at 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, up 40 hp from the previous generation. The Cayenne S comes with a biturbocharged 2.9-liter V6 with 440 hp (up by 20 hp from last year’s S), as well as 406 lb-ft. Thus, the Cayenne will strike performance gold with 62 miles per hour (100 km/h) in 5.9 seconds, or 1.7 seconds faster, while the S gets to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is half a second better. AWD and a refreshed eight-speed automatic are standard features. No diesels for now – Dieselgate, of course – but Porsche promises more engine choices, including plug in hybrid, Turbo and the GTS. For the first time ever, the Cayenne comes with staggered tire sizes, and there’s also optional rear-wheel steering.
The Porsche Active Suspension Management adaptive damping system is on the options menu as well – standard on the S. The Porsche Dynamic Chassis Controls are now integrated with a new 48-volt electrical system. More importantly, the Cayenne also premieres InnoDrive, Porsche’s new semi-autonomous driving technology. Additional novelty is brought up by the arrival of Porsche Surface Coated Brake – it’s a special tungsten-carbide coating on the steel brake rotors, coming as an intermediate between standard and high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes. The interior mixes old and new – the traditional analog tachometer is joined by a pair of 7-inch color displays on each side. The dashboard features a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system and the minimalist center console uses touch-capacitive controls with haptic feedback.