by Adam Lynton
The latest Cayenne improves upon a formula that has kept this performance SUV at the top of a very competitive segment since its inception.
The redesigned Turbo derivatives promise even more dynamic ability and offer increased technological features and performance over the outgoing models.
The new Cayenne features a dashboard and interior design that follows the latest Porsche design trends and shares key features with the new Panamera models. The most noticeable change over the old Cayenne is a large central touchscreen and updated center console with fewer buttons surrounding the gear selector.
The seats both front and rear feature a different design too but are still as comfortable as before and, in the Turbo, offer multiple power settings for the front pair to ensure that just about anyone will find a comfortable seating position.
The rear offers seating for three although passengers in the middle get a narrower seat base. The 10-way adjustable backrest and flat-folding facility provide more comfort and load-lugging capacity although the cargo area trails the other offerings in the compact luxury SUV class.
The redesigned Cayenne is now based on the VW group's MLB platform which it shares with the Q7 and Bentayga. In this application it has been honed to offer sporty and responsive handling and the already high grip levels and superb balance of the old model have been subtly improved upon with the aid of even more advanced drivetrain and electronic systems.
The Turbo rides on large 21-inch wheels and the ride is firm but the standard fitment air suspension absorbs most road irregularities well and keeps the big Cayenne level during hard cornering and braking.
The latest Porsche Cayenne Turbo is powered by a 550 horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 which produces an equally impressive 567 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic Tiptronic transmission.
Despite the decrease in capacity, the old 4.8-liter motor is down 30hp and 14 lb-ft on the new engine and the 0-60 mph time has also been cut down to a class-leading 3.9-seconds (3.7 if launch control is used).
This kind of performance eclipses just about every other sporty SUV and number of sports cars, including some within Porsche's own stable. This rapid SUV really gets going at higher velocities and only runs out of steam at a ridiculous 178mph.
An improvement in overall fuel consumption is claimed over the old model however EPA figures have not yet been released, don't expect it to sip fuel though if you decide to test those performance claims.
The Cayenne Turbo is currently the top model in the range and comes in one comprehensively equipped trim level that can be added to form a list of packages and individually available options.
Noteworthy standard features include adaptive air suspension, Porsche chassis control, 21-inch alloy wheels, upgraded brake discs and calipers, panoramic sunroof, adaptive rear spoiler, LED lighting, multi-display instrument cluster and 18-way power front seats with full leather interior.
A 14-speaker Bose audio system, park assist with reversing camera, navigation system and 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system are also included.
The huge range of available options include rear axle steering, Porsche Torque Vectoring, Carbon ceramic brakes, LED dynamic lighting system and a Sports Chrono Pack which offers an additional driving mode, launch control feature and sportier stability management settings.
Available safety systems offered include adaptive cruise control, lane change assist and night vision assist. Numerous inlays, paint colors and interior materials are available too.
The latest edition of the successful Porsche Cayenne Turbo continues to offer class-beating levels of power and handling. A smaller yet more powerful engine also promises increased efficiency over the outgoing Turbo model.
The latest technological updates further increase the safety and luxury on offer, although some of the more desirable items have to be chosen as optional extras which can add significantly to the already lofty pricing.