New Car Previews

Preview: 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo

FRANKFURT – Porsche cranks up the heat on its full-size SUV lineup with the Frankfurt debut of its most powerful Cayenne yet. The all-new range-topping 2019 Cayenne Turbo boasts handling prowess to match its power output thanks to a sophisticated combination of suspension and aerodynamic technologies.

The most potent Cayenne is distinguished from the standard variants by a Turbo-exclusive front end with Porsche Dynamic Light System LED headlights and double-row front running lights, plus twin tailpipes finishing up the rear. Wider wheel arches with painted fender flares house 21-inch Turbo wheels wrapped in 285/40 rubber up front and 315/35 behind, for sports-car-like longitudinal power transmission and lateral grip.

Reflecting its position at the top of the model range, the Cayenne Turbo’s new cabin includes both an increase in performance and luxuriousness with 18-way adjustable sports seats with integrated headrests, a Turbo-exclusive multifunction sport steering wheel, Bose Surround Sound System, and Porsche’s Advanced Cockpit high-resolution connectivity touchscreen display.

Thanks to reworked exhaust routing and a new central turbo layout, output from the new 4.0L twin turbo V8 jumps by 30 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque, for a total of 550 hp and 567 lb-ft. Its more compact size allows the engine a lower mounting position and better centre of gravity,

Power is channelled to the active all-wheel-drive system via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Underpinning the Cayenne Turbo is a new lightweight chassis riding on Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, and new three-chamber air suspension. The five different Drive Modes deliver six selectable height levels depending on clearance requirements on road and off.

Cayenne Turbo is the first SUV to boast an adaptive rear spoiler, which depending on its position, enhances aerodynamics with increased downforce, or works as an air brake to decrease braking distances. These, combined with additional technologies such as rear-axle steering, electronic roll stabilization, Dynamic Chassis Control, and Torque Vectoring Plus help the Cayenne achieve sports-car-like handling, decreased turning radius, and a zero to 100 km/h time of 4.1 seconds – 3.9 with the optional Sports Chrono package.

So who buys such a vehicle? Certainly, when the Cayenne debuted nearly 15 years ago, there was pushback from purists appalled at what they saw was a desecration of a performance marque. But it turned out to be a prescient move for Porsche, establishing them as a major player in the now explosive luxury SUV segment. The Cayenne, now in its third generation, not only expands the buyer range, introducing prospective SUV buyers to the brand, but also strengthens the brand loyalty of existing Porsche owners who don’t have to look elsewhere for a new family or utility vehicle. Top-spec performance variants like the Turbo have a halo effect upon the lineup by enhancing its perception.

The Cayenne is one of Porsche’s top-selling badges here in Canada, second only to the relatively new Macan.

Arriving in Canadian dealerships sometime next summer, the Cayenne Turbo will start at $139,700.