2011 Cayenne Lineup at Geneva Next Week

The cars look better. The Cayenne was always a good performer, but the design, in the opinion of many, was less than successful. Now Porsche has made the car look tougher, slicker, meaner. And there are a host of new features and new trims. Fuel economy is better across the board, and the cars have lightened up, weighing some 400 pounds less.

The Cayenne S Hybrid will produce some 380 combined (gas and electric) hp and 427 lb-ft of torque, equivalent to a V8, says Porsche, with a combined fuel economy of 29 mpg. It will cruise on electric power alone at speeds up to 97 mph: “sailing,” according to Porsche. The hybrid has a long string of impressive features.

The lineup for 2011 offers, in addition to the Hybrid, gas and diesel power, naturally, and the eight-speed Tiptronic. The base car gets a 300-hp V6, the Cayenne S goes with the Panamera’s 400-hp V8, and the Turbo puts out 500 horses. A 3.0-liter diesel produces 240 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque.

These babies are going to make Porsche lots of money; some say they may well save the company, which is going to be faced with tough new CAFE standards in the U.S. Maybe Cayenne will do for Porsche what the big SUVs did for the Big Three: be the profit center that funds the more interesting—and less saleable—stuff.

If this happens and the word gets out, will it silence the Cayenne naysayers still groaning over the sullying of Porsche’s image? Of course not, but it’s one way to keep the company alive.

And the Cayenne in its current incarnations has turned out to be a very good vehicle.

Would the Cayenne appeal to you as an all-purpose vehicle—assuming you could afford it? The new Turbo will likely top $100,000.


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  1. What would be “really” cool is if they put the PDK clutchless manual in the cayenne. Now that would make for some snappy shifts and better control of the rpms at the appropriate time. Not sure the pdk transmission could handle a car that heavy.

  2. You can overcome the lousy transmission by simply shifting to the tiptronic “manual”, but that is a bit ridiculous for a car that costs as much at the turbo. For that kind of money the transmission should read your mind.

  3. @lstein
    That sounds terrible. Would you consider the car a lemon? And why couldn’t the dealer recalibrate the transmission? It sure isn’t supposed to shift that way, although I’ve read other complaints about Tiptronic.

  4. I think the design is vastly improved. Of course the proof is in the pudding. Will have to wait and see how it drives. As a owner of a 2005 cayenne turbo I can tell you that the tiptronic shift software is horrible. The car always shifts up to lower the rpms as quickly as it can so the car won’t stay in the sweet spot for RPMS and as a result the car “lags” on acceleration. Hoping they’ve update the shift patterns to fix this.

  5. I’d buy one these in a second if I had the cash. Even the 300-hp V6 would be plenty for me! Lots of room for the family, practical for Costco and road trips, and lots of fun for the driver. Count me in. Someday!

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