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.
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.