Introduction to the new Porsche Cayenne
The 2019 Porsche Cayenne brings performance mastery to an unapologetically boxy SUV frame style. That doesn’t mean Porsche needs to make excuses for its design (which hasn’t changed much in over 10 years).
Quite the contrary, the 2019 Cayenne remains an elevated sports car with speed and a sumptuous interior. There are two main model trims: the Cayenne and the Cayenne S. There’s also the Cayenne Turbo and the E-Hybrid.
The 2019 Cayenne has some new exterior style cues on display, some new turbo engines, and other mechanical marvels to justify the astronomical price tag that rises with nearly every custom feature.
The New Exterior
The 2019 Cayenne has a longer body than the 2018 model and sits at 194 inches long. You might be excused for thinking that the new Cayenne was also much wider. The wheelbase is unchanged at 114 inches, but the front fascia has broader horizontal lines in the front grille that extend all the way across the headlight assembly. The air intakes are also larger.
The profile has high, broad shoulders. In the rear of the vehicle, you’ll notice that the 3D Porsche LED lights extend across the entire rear hatch with 3D elements, a design that debuted on the 2017 Porsche Panamera. Those LED lights are now standard on all Cayenne models for head lights and tail lights.
There are 11 different exterior paint palettes and 17 different wheel designs to choose from. The wheel wells are staggered this year and can accommodate up to 22-inch wheels on the rear axle.
Base model Cayennes will put most luxury vehicles to shame. The Turbo models have full panoramic glass rooftops, sweet-gum wood paneling and truffle-brown leather seats that cool and massage. You can customize the interior fabrics and paneling to nearly any configuration you’d like, but it’s hard to find fault with the Cayenne Turbo’s default offering.
The interior layout of the 2019 Porsche Cayenne, almost entirely geared toward the driver, is conspicuously absent of buttons, switches, and knobs. The instrument cluster has two 7-inch TFT displays and a tachometer in the center. You can adjust the instrument cluster to show driving information, navigational maps, and infotainment controls.
To the right of the steering wheel, your hand will uncontrollably want to interact with the 12.3-inch full HD touchscreen. It has acoustic and haptic feedback. It controls the newly updated Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system.
The PCM allows you to retain up to six individual profile settings that cover audio, lighting and drive preferences. There’s plenty of space inside the 2019 Cayenne. The stretched body frame results in a 15-percent increase in cargo capacity and the rear seats fold flat individually to accommodate your skis and luggage.
Now, it’s time to look under the hood and gaze beneath the wall of acoustic glass that encases the Cayenne’s powertrain. The base model Cayenne comes with a 3.0 Liter, turbo V6 engine that achieves 340 horsepower and 332-pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to send the Cayenne from 0 to 60 mph in just under six seconds.
The updated Cayenne S features a twin-turbo, 2.9-liter, V6 engine that travels at a top speed of 164 mph and produces 440 hp and 406 pound-feet of torque. The Cayenne Turbo roars to a place of dominance with a rowdy 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8 that leaps from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
It produces 550 hp and 567 pound-feet of torque. Surprisingly, it’s one of the fastest SUVs on the market. The E-Hybrid isn’t your average eco-friendly mover either. It’s still a Porsche and can move with the effectiveness of 455 horsepower. An eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission with paddle shifters and all-wheel-drive manages all of the powertrains.
Performance updates galore are the highlight of the new 2019 Porsche Cayenne. For starters, the 2019 Cayenne features a world-first Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) with cast-iron disks coated with a layer of tungsten-carbide. That might not mean anything to less-savvy drivers, but the bottom line is that you get reduced wear and tear while simultaneously increasing the braking performance of the vehicle.
The aluminum and steel chassis has lost about 143 pounds to offset the vehicle’s size and girth with a lighter, more agile frame. Other new performance features include an available rear axle steering system and the new Sport Chrono package. Sport Chrono isn’t that new. It’s a feature from the 918 Spyder that delivers a 20-second burst of adrenaline through a driving mode button in the cabin.
It automatically gives you the best performance capabilities and settings for a short period, like hitting a turbo button on a vehicle that’s already designated – a Turbo.
Advanced technology is the boon of the 2019 Cayenne’s safety department. The Porsche Cayenne has a front-facing camera with infrared capabilities. It scans the road ahead and with Night Vision Assist, it can even detect pedestrians and animals before your head lights can illuminate them. That same frontal camera is used for the collision assist system which delivers visual and auditory warnings.
If that’s not enough, the Cayenne can automatically apply the brakes to keep you safe. The 2019 Cayenne also has a frontal radar detector which helps to control the adaptive cruise control. It doesn’t just maintain your course and speed when activated, the ACC senses driving patterns of other vehicles to react without driver input.
A combination of sensors control the lane keeping system by gathering information from your driving habits, road signs and traffic conditions to keep your vehicle in its own lane. Another advanced safety feature employs the LED head lights. The Porsche Dynamic Light System has auto high beam activation and electronically cornering lights.
You can also upgrade the vehicle with a Heads-up Display that projects vital information about your vehicle and your journey directly into the driver’s field of vision.
There’s no such thing as a slow Porsche Cayenne. Maybe that’s why the 2019 Cayenne has three hand grips for the passenger seat occupant. This performance-first vehicle refuses to settle for excellent, even in a sea of good. The 2019 Porsche Cayenne has never-before-seen, tungsten-carbide coated brakes, a lighter chassis, new turbo engines, and improved driving dynamics.
The exterior design is even more aggressive than before, and the interior is forward-thinking, yet comfortable to master. Porsche engineers continue to evolve the platform and driving enthusiasts are the beneficiaries of their efforts.
Now, the price can get a bit exorbitant with all the customization options that are available. If you approach the Cayenne like a kid with a Christmas catalog, then you’re sure to blow your budget. Fully equipped Cayenne Turbos can top $200,000.
So, keep your wallet in check when selecting additional equipment. Otherwise, this vehicle represents the ideal marriage of sports car performance and luxury SUV versatility. The 2019 Cayenne is not an entry-level luxury vehicle nor is it a sports car for beginners, especially not the Cayenne Turbo.
All that power under the hood and all the high-tech gadgets in the cabin can get overwhelming. The best way to decide if this vehicle is right for you is to visit a dealer and ask lots of questions.
Test drive as many of the new models as you can and enjoy the process of building a driving machine that’s all yours. Are you thinking about getting one?