Porsche has taken the wraps off of its all-new Cayenne, and the remake gives its range-topping premium all-wheel-drive SUV a new level of sporting sophistication. While its exterior styling retains a number of familiar cues, the rest of the package has been recast from the ground up, a transition that brings a new platform, new engines, enhanced technology and even greater connectivity. This new Porsche will launch in Cayenne and Cayenne S forms when it arrives here in mid-2018.

Slightly longer and lower than the vehicle it replaces, the new Cayenne retains its 114-inch wheelbase but gains almost 15 percent more cargo space with the rear seats up. Now built on the VW Group’s aluminum-intensive MLB modular architecture, this newest Porsche now features full aluminum bodywork. This helps to trim some 140 pounds from the package. The new Cayenne’s more aggressive front/rear fascia treatments are set off with full LED lighting, while bigger front air intakes and larger 19-inch to 21-inch wheels add more curbside presence.

Upgraded powertrains

Although additional variations including a full-on Turbo, E-Hybrids and more will appear over time, initial motivation for the new Cayenne will be supplied by a pair of force-fed V6s from the Porsche portfolio. The base engine is a 3.0-liter single-turbo that makes 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. That’s 40 more ponies and 37 lb-ft more torque than the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter it replaces and helps the 2019 Cayenne hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The 2.9-liter twin-turbo in the Cayenne S makes 440 horsepower–20 more than the current 3.6-liter twin-turbo--and makes 406 lb-ft of torque. Those output figures allow it to sprint to 60 mph in just 4.9 ticks and give it a top speed of 164 mph compared to 152 mph for the standard Cayenne. Fitting either with the optional Sport Chrono Package reduces their respective 0-60 mph interval times by 0.3 second. At the top of the range is the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S which makes 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft of torque from its 4.0-liter twin turbo V8. That muscle is good for 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph. 

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All engines are backed by a new multi-mode 8-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission that offers on-road and light off-road (Mud/Gravel/Sand/Rock) settings for improved performance in all driving conditions. Porsche also fitted it with a relatively tall top gear ratio for more relaxed freeway cruising and greater fuel-efficiency. As before, all Cayennes come with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive.

Enhanced Capabilities

Underpinning the new Cayenne is a sophisticated, fully independent suspension that includes staggered-width tires for the first time to enhance on-road handling. The Cayenne S also comes with the driver-selectable Porsche Active Suspension Management system which is optional on the base model; and both will offer a new rear-axle steering system that enhances low-speed maneuverability and high-speed stability. The option roster also includes a new 3-chamber air suspension package and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control that includes stabilizer bars actuated by a new 48-volt electrical system as well as the Porsche 4D Chassis Control system introduced on the second-generation Panamera sport sedan.

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Standard stopping power on the remade Cayenne can be upgraded on models with 20-inch and 21-inch wheels courtesy of the automaker’s new Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) technology. It employs a tungsten-carbide coating on the cast-iron rotors that increases their friction while reducing wear and dust. Cayenne buyers seeking the ultimate performance will still be able to order Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes.

More cabin charm

Inside, the new Cayenne gets a major upgrade that borrows heavily from the current Panamera. This includes a digital main instrument cluster with dual 7-inch supplemental displays, the latest version of Porsche Communications Management and a new 12.3-inch full-HD center touchscreen. Porsche Connect Plus also brings enhanced capabilities and apps. In addition to Bose or optional Burmester audio, the Cayenne also will offer driver support functions including night vision, lane change and keeping assist, traffic sign recognition and traffic jam assist. Other available functions include park assist with surround view and adaptive cruise control.

The order books have already opened for the 2019 Porsche Cayenne. The base model will start at $66,750 with the Cayenne S kicking off at $83,950 and the Turbo S will be $124,600 when they arrive in dealerships this fall. All prices exclude $1,050 delivery.

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