2019 Porsche Cayenne Preview
- Redesigned, 5-passenger, luxury performance SUV
- Larger cargo area, lighter curb weight
- Initially offered as the Cayenne and Cayenne S
- Performance and plug-in hybrid versions to follow
- Offers the latest Porsche infotainment, driver-assistance, and collision-avoidance systems
- Available with new features that improve driving dynamics
- On sale in summer of 2018, priced from below $67,000
Porsche executives call the Cayenne SUV the company’s main pillar of business and driver of growth. Therefore, plenty is riding on the expected success of the third-generation version of this, the redesigned 2019 Porsche Cayenne.
Eventually, the lineup will expand beyond the Cayenne and Cayenne S versions that debuted in advance of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany. Porsche confirmed that performance-tuned models and a plug-in hybrid variant will also join the lineup shortly after the SUV’s arrival in the United States next summer.
Immediately familiar yet clearly different, the aluminum-bodied 2019 Cayenne looks a bit like a swollen Porsche Macan, the company’s entry-level SUV. This is especially true up front, where the low hood line, broad grille, integrated turn signal indicators, and protective underbody trim reveals undeniably shared bloodlines.
Porsche designer Peter Varga admitted during the Cayenne’s unveiling that styling the rear of the SUV was the biggest challenge. With thin taillights connected by an LED light strip and bold lettering spelling out the brand name, there is a visual tie to the latest Panamera. However, applied to this SUV, elements of the result resemble other models ranging from the Kia Sportage and Lincoln MKX to the Mazda CX-9.
Hey, nobody said designing a unique-looking SUV was easy.
Drawing inspiration from the Panamera, the new Cayenne’s dashboard mixes traditional analog instrumentation with futuristic touch-sensing screens with audible and haptic feedback just like smartphones.
As is tradition, a large tachometer takes center stage within the gauge cluster, flanked by digital instruments on both sides. The engine start switch is on the left side of the steering wheel, as is Porsche tradition. Glass surfaces, metallic accents, a towering electric gear selector, and a 12.3-in. widescreen infotainment system dominate a clean and contemporary cabin complete with “oh crap” grab handles on the sides of the center console.
Outfitted to carry 5 passengers, the new Cayenne can carry 27.2 cu. ft. of cargo behind the rear seat. Fold the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat to obtain 60.4 cu. ft. of maximum volume.
The 2019 Cayenne includes LED headlights as standard equipment, and an available Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) offers additional lighting modes, including cornering lights.
An upgrade to this system, called PDLS Plus, installs 84 individually activated LEDs supplying fully variable light distribution and intensity. In turn this allows the driver to keep the high-beam headlights activated without blinding oncoming drivers, and can even help to reduce glare reflecting from road signs.
A Sport Chrono package returns, enhancing the Cayenne’s performance with multiple driving modes.
Under the Hood
The 2019 Cayenne comes standard with a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine producing 340 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. An 8-speed sport automatic transmission is standard, funneling power to an active all-wheel-drive (AWD) system with fully variable Porsche Traction Management. Multiple driving modes tailor the drivetrain to specific requirements. Porsche says 60 mph arrives in about 6 seconds and that the Cayenne will tow 7,700 lbs.
Infused with a twin-turbocharged, 2.9-liter V-6 engine, the Cayenne S benefits from 440 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. Naturally, this version of the SUV is quicker, getting to 60 mph in fewer than 5 seconds with the Sport Chrono package, according to Porsche. It shares its transmission and AWD system with the standard Cayenne, and tows the same amount of weight.
Though Porsche provided no details, the company confirmed that higher powered and more efficient variants would be available. Expect a “Turbo” as well as a plug-in hybrid to flesh out the lineup.
Lighter in weight and equipped with larger, standard staggered-width wheels and tires, the new Cayenne promises improved driving dynamics. An adaptive damping suspension is standard for the Cayenne S. Options include new rear-axle steering, a 3-chamber air suspension with roll stabilization, and carbon ceramic brakes. Wheel sizes range up to 21 ins. in diameter.
Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) is another upgrade, slotting between the standard system and the carbon ceramic option. Essentially, Porsche coats cast-iron brake discs with tungsten carbide to increase friction and performance while reducing brake dust.
All in, Porsche claims that the 2019 Cayenne sets a new standard for driving dynamics.
Rightly, you might ask yourself who might buy a Porsche equipped with autonomous self-driving technology. After all, the company slogan for the new Cayenne is “Sportscar Together.” Nevertheless, this SUV can be fitted with a range of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies that help to pave the way to boredom behind the wheel.
InnoDrive is a precursor to this autonomously ferried future. An adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go capability and a traffic jam assist function, it uses this functionality in combination with a lane-keeping assist system and traffic sign recognition to ease stress in heavy traffic.
Porsche also offers a Night Vision Assist system for the new Cayenne, with thermal imaging technology. Pedestrian detection, a surround-view camera system, and other key safety features are also along for the ride.
Porsche Advanced Cockpit, first offered in the latest Panamera, brings the new Cayenne well into the modern instrumentation age. The concept includes the digital displays on either side of the tachometer, as well as the 12.3-in. touch-screen infotainment display and the glass surfaces on the center console, which include controls that provide audible and haptic feedback when used, just like a smartphone.
Porsche Connect services allow the driver to issue verbal commands for a variety of features and functions using the sophisticated natural language voice-recognition system. The new Cayenne also offers a Wi-Fi hotspot connection with Porsche Connect Plus service, which includes online navigation and real-time traffic information.
A standard Off-Road Precision App is designed to video record off-road trips and to help drivers improve their off-roading skills. Front and rear park-assist sensors are also standard for the new Cayenne, along with a Bose audio system. As an upgrade, Porsche offers a Burmeister premium surround-sound audio system.