Porsche launched a new, third generation of its Cayenne SUV August 29, adding more power, performance, and luggage space while reducing the vehicle’s curb weight and sharpening its all-aluminum bodywork.
The new 2019-model-year Cayenne will arrive in base form with a potent 340 horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine capable of accelerating the SUV from naught to 100 km/h in a respectable 6.2 seconds, or 5.9 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono package.
This turbo mill can push the base Cayenne to a top speed of 245 km/h and churns out plenty of torque, with 331 lb-ft on tap low down in the rev range, making quick work of the passing lane, and rendering itself well-suited to the frequent acceleration required of urban driving.
Those craving more speed can step up to the Cayenne S, which is powered by a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6, producing 440 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque at full throttle. This engine, which gained 20 horsepower over its predecessor, can accelerate the Cayenne S to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, shaved down to 4.9 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package. If you can find the space, the Cayman S will top out at 265 km/h.
Helping to transmit all that power to the road is a new eight-speed Tiptronic S gearbox which benefits from a wide spread of gear ratios. Porsche says its new gearbox improves the Cayenne’s fuel economy, but also allows it to accelerate quicker thanks to shorter low-end ratios.
The lowest first-gear ratio is so short Porsche says it also benefits its SUV’s off-road capability, allowing for improved torque and control when crawling over rocks or up very steep inclines.
For 2019, the Cayenne went on an alloy diet, shaving an impressive 65 kilograms from its curb weight, despite adding more standard equipment.
Helping in this regard is the installation of a lithium-ion polymer starter battery as standard equipment, which shaves 10 kilograms from the vehicle’s heft. The new Cayenne now tips the scales at 1,985 kilograms—which is approaching luxury sport sedan territory. For comparison, the last generation BMW M5 weighed in at 1,945 kilograms, making the new Cayenne a decidedly sporty SUV that’s relatively light on its feet.
Porsche is offering a new three-chamber adaptive air suspension on the Cayenne, which greatly increases the spread between the suspension’s firmest, sportiest setting and softest, most comfortable setting. Anyone traversing rough Toronto roads, for example, would benefit from this optional system, which can be tuned on-the-fly to tighten up for curvy roads or a track day.
Porsche says its new air suspension system adds to the Cayenne’s three-in-one appeal, offering sports car handling dynamics, GT-style ride comfort, and off-road capability in a unique SUV blend.
New to the Cayenne is a 48-volt vehicle electrical system, which powers a new, upgraded electrically-actuated version of Porsche’s optional roll stabilization system, coined PDCC. The system’s quicker response times improve the vehicle’s agility, helping it stay flatter during transitions with less body roll.
In a pioneering move, Porsche has installed a version of its rear-axle steering system on the Cayenne SUV. This chassis system is electrically-driven, using a worm-gear to rotate the rear wheels opposite the front wheels when turning at low speeds, and with the front wheels when turning at speed, meaning the Cayenne will remain more stable during high-speed cornering, while benefiting from more agile handling and a tighter turning radius at low speeds.
With all this added power, speed and handling, Porsche has not overlooked the brakes. An industry-first application of a tungsten-carbide coating on the brand’s cast-iron discs makes its debut on the Cayenne, offering better braking with increased friction and, counter-intuitively, less brake dust.
Look for white brake calipers to differentiate the new PSCB brakes, which are available when ordering the Cayenne with 20- or 21-inch wheels. Porsche’s PCCB ceramic brakes remain the top-shelf performance offering on the vehicle.
In a nod to safety, every 2019 Cayenne will arrive fitted with LED headlights as standard. A newly-developed Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) can be ordered as an option, which borrows from Audi LED headlight technology to apply 84 individually activated light-emitting diodes within the headlight projector. These individual diodes can paint a shadow over oncoming vehicles, meaning the adaptive high-beams do not blind opposing traffic.
Still need help selling the new Cayenne to your other half? It might be worth mentioning the SUV’s increased luggage compartment volume, which is up 100 litres, now totalling 770 litres in capacity.
The full range of performance Cayennes is sure to follow in due time, including the GTS, Turbo, and Turbo S models, as well as a hybrid-electric model, but for now, the aforementioned base and S models are available to order.
If you want to be first in line, it’s high time to visit your local Porsche dealer to place a deposit. Expect the new 2019 Cayenne to arrive in Canadian dealerships next summer with a base price of $75,500. The more potent Cayenne S will start at $92,600, with prices eclipsing $100,000 after adding performance, comfort, and technology options.