Since its debut in 2002 as the 2003 model, the Cayenne has sold more than 770,000 units, which is no small feat considering its price. In 2011, a brand new Cayenne was born, with a style very similar to that of the first. That brings us to the present and the third-generation 2019 Cayenne.
The basic Cayenne gets a turbocharged, 3.0-litre V6 developing 340 horsepower, promising a 0-100 km/h time of 5.9 seconds. As for the Cayenne S, it features a twin-turbo V6 generating 440 horsepower, good for a 4.9-second 0-100 km/h time. The Turbo is in another category altogether with its twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 and 550 horsepower. The 0 to 100 km/h dash takes 3.9 seconds.
No matter which engine you choose, there’s a brand-new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission. It goes without saying that it’s equipped with standard all-wheel drive. The Cayenne, be it the Turbo, S or base version, can tow up to 3500 kilograms (7716 lbs.) if the trailer is braked.
As with the 911 and Panamera, the Cayenne equipped with the Sport Chrono Package has the fantastic Sport Response feature, activated by a discrete button on the steering wheel. It gives the vehicle a phenomenal power thrust that lasts 20 seconds, which is useful for passing slowpokes. When Sport Response is engaged, the transmission shifts into the ideal gear, the accelerator becomes more sensitive and a countdown is displayed in front of the driver. Having tried it a few times, I can tell you that it’s really something.
The engineers also focused on the chassis. In addition to using more aluminum as a means of reducing the overall weight—which remains substantial—they tacked on rear-wheel steering, tungsten-carbide coated brakes and a three-chamber adaptive air suspension.
The most pleasant Cayenne to drive remains the S, at least until a GTS version is introduced. The V6 is never short of juice, the turbos spool up instantaneously and the suspension is softer than in the Turbo. Note that even in the Turbo, it’s not unpleasant. It’s just a little more firm, that’s all. During our test drive, we weren’t able to do any serious off-roading, but with its adaptive air suspension, five modes and four preselected heights, there’s no question that a Cayenne will suit the needs of those wanting to go to the cottage on a rainy day.
The third-generation Cayenne is an undisputed success and sales of the current model prove it. However, Porsche must never rest on its laurels, as the competition is closing in. The Cayenne ($75,500) and Cayenne S ($92,600) will arrive at Canadian dealerships in the summer of 2018. You’ll have to wait an additional few months before being able to get the Cayenne Turbo ($139,700).