The Ultimate Porsche SUV, for Now.
The Cayenne may be Porsche’s bread and butter product — representing a large chunk of total sales since the original launch 16 years ago — but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. And the 2019 Turbo variant proves the vehicle is anything but, entering its third generation with a smaller yet more powerful engine and a whole lot of cutting-edge technology. Read on. If you’re a true Porsche enthusiast, then you probably
aren’t expecting any radical updates to the exterior. And you’d be right.
The E2-1 (chassis code for second generation Cayenne) in 2011 was marked by an extreme design change, which is atypical for Porsche. I’d say the major change for the E2 II (refresh) in 2014 was the new engines, and we lost the manual [transmission], says manager of product planning Jonathan Thomson at a media event held at Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada. “In terms of design, the new E looks very familiar to the E2 II. We won’t expect to see [any more] massive changes, similar to the 911’s hereditary design,” says Thomson, adding the SUV really came into its own during gen two. The rossover has grown a little — 71 millimetres longer and 29 millimetres wider than the outgoing model, although the overall height has dropped 20 millimetres for a sportier, hunkered down appearance. One easy way to tell the 2019 apart from the rest is at the back. Similar to the Carrera, a thin light bar connects the taillamps, extending above the “Porsche” script in the centre of the liftgate. The rear valence possesses raised strakes, and house quad square, rather than round, tailpipes. The roof spoiler is also adaptive, the centre section able to automatically articulate upwards.
Completely revised infotainment
Inside, the dashboard is almost unrecognizable compared to before. Previously known for having too many buttons and switches, the Turbo now utilizes the Porsche Advanced Cockpit showcasing an ultra high definition 12.3-inch wide touchscreen display responsible for manipulating climate and entertainment settings among others, and two seven-inch HD screens flanking an analog tachometer showing a variety of customizable information. Even the suspension and traction management controls near the shifter are haptic-feedback based. Having a dynamic mini-map displayed on the right side is life changing when navigating unfamiliar roads.
That said, in my opinion there is such a thing as over digitization. I was playing around in the menus and at one point the electronic fuel gauge disappeared, not what one wants happening while out driving in the middle of nowhere. A lot of commands once executed
with a single button push are hidden away in submenus. Certainly takes some getting used to.
On the performance side, the Turbo is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 motor, replacing the former 4.8-litre bi-turbo unit, mated to a eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission. Output is up to 541 horsepower (+21) and 769 Nm of torque (+19), but feels much faster because the turbochargers are now installed inside the cylinder’s V shape. This shortens the exhaust path improving engine responsiveness. Unfortunately the conditions on the ground were quite slippery I didn’t get to push the crossover too much.
However I did make good use of the wicked new brake setup. Called Porsche Surface Coated Brakes, the massive 415-millimetre front, 365-millimetre rear rotors are treated with a tungsten carbide layer increasing performance and, as a side benefit, generate virtually no brake dust and feature a mirror polish finish. Sitting overtop are white 10 (F) and four (R) piston calipers. The stopping power is immense, even on the icy surfaces I experienced
Four door coupe
The 2020 model year sees the addition of a “coupe” body style. It’s not a two-door version, but rather embodies the spirit of one boasting a 20-millimetre lower greenhouse and steeply sloping back window. The license plate is integrated into the bumper instead of the tailgate helping to create the illusion of the vehicle sitting closer to the ground. Porsche Active Suspension Management, an electronic damping system, and the Sport Chrono Package, adding a Sport Plus dynamic mode, are both standard equipment. Two different motors may be fitted: the same 3.0-litre V6 found in the base Cayenne, or the Turbo’s 4.0-litre V8..