The Porsche Cayenne was introduced in 2002, back at a time when crossovers and SUVs were focused only on carrying people and cargo. Sports car performance was not on the list of priorities, so the Cayenne was different from the rest. Could Porsche create an SUV that lived up to its reputation for building performance vehicles?
The answer was a resounding yes, and now, the Cayenne enters its third generation with new engines and features designed to elevate the driving experience even more.
The all-new 2019 Cayenne has four available powertrains, including a hybrid, and each posts impressive numbers. The base Cayenne is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Next up is the Cayenne S with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 and a jump to 434 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque.
Sitting at the top of lineup is the Cayenne Turbo, which boasts a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 541 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque. If you’re looking for the most performance-focused Cayenne possible, then you’ll want the Cayenne Turbo.
Finally, there’s the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. This plug-in hybrid features the 3.0-liter engine with the addition of a 134-horsepower electric motor. It has 455 combined system horsepower with 516 pound-feet of torque. Even the hybrid is every bit a sporty SUV.
New performance features include the first-ever staggered tires for the Cayenne. This puts slightly larger tires on the rear than the front, which is a feature typically found in sports cars. There’s also new rear-axle steering, which is a first in the Cayenne, along with standard all-wheel drive.
Already available in both the 911 and Panamera, rear-axle steering steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels when you’re on the track, but in the opposite direction at low speeds. This improves performance, offering better handling at high speeds and improved control at low speeds with a tighter turning radius ideal for city driving.
The Cayenne also debuts new Porsche Surface Coated Brakes as an option. These consist of a cast-iron disc with a tungsten-carbide coating that increases friction at the same time it reduces wear and brake dust.
The all-new Cayenne shows off a new design, too, but it’s not dramatically different than the outgoing model. It still looks like a Cayenne, but with a slightly increased overall length, lower roof, and changes to the sheet metal that give it a more streamlined appearance.
The Cayenne aims to be a vehicle that will take you off-road, across the country, or around the track. It wants to hit that just-right spot in the middle rather than going too far in any direction. That means an interior that’s comfortable with only a slight performance bend that includes mildly bolstered rear seats rather than a completely flat bench.
The cockpit features a 12.3-inch full-HD touchscreen with a high level of customization. It can manage up to six unique profiles with information on lights, driver assistance systems, and even audio settings. A choice of three available audio systems provides a premium listening experience.
The standard Sound Package Plus is a 10-speaker system with 150 watts of power. Next up is a Bose surround sound system with 710 watts and 14 speakers including a subwoofer. Sitting at the top of the audio lineup is a Burmester 3D surround sound system with 1,455 watts and 21 speakers. This includes an active subwoofer and tweeters all designed to reduce distortion and provide the best sound quality possible.
The 2019 Porsche Cayenne continues to set a high bar for performance SUVs even as competition becomes increasingly tough. Once unique in the SUV marketplace, the Cayenne now sets itself apart by offering a well-balanced vehicle with a wide range of engines to suit every buyer.
The 2019 Cayenne is available in dealerships nationwide with pricing starting at $65,700 for the base Cayenne up to $124,600 for the Cayenne Turbo, which arrives next year.