I remember when people thought it was the END TIMES back in 2003 when the first Porsche Cayenne came out. “An SUV, from Porsche?” they cried. “Surely we are doomed!” Well, the apocalypse never came, and the Cayenne earned its respect for being very quick and engaging to drive. Now a new 2019 Porsche Cayenne is here, and it will do what that SUV does best: go fast, and print money for Porsche.
After all, the Cayenne’s success is a big reason we keep getting crazier, faster, more ridiculous 911s and Boxsters and Caymans. This is the Porsche that pays the bills, kids. It’s the one that writes the checks. And it’s good at what it does.
Like the 718 Boxster and Cayman, visual differences between this car and the outgoing one are hard to spot, but they are there, and this is a different car. It’s on a new platform and is wider and longer than the last generation. This one boasts larger air intakes in the front fascia and a thin horizontal light bar in the rear. That’s how you can tell the difference.
Under the skin, a new, lighter aluminum chassis cuts 143 pounds from the old Cayenne, even with all the new standard equipment. For the first time ever, the Cayenne uses staggered front and rear tire sizes, a new air suspension, and the Volkswagen Group’s trick 48-volt electrical system to run everything.
At launch, two models are available: the Cayenne, with a single-turbo 3.0-liter V6, and the Cayenne S, with a twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6. The former puts out 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque and does zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds; the latter puts out 440 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque and does the same dash in just 4.9 seconds, or 4.6 seconds with the Sport Chrono package. I told you it’s fast!
A new eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission is standard across the line, and there are four off-roading modes for all the hardcore rock crawling you’ll be inclined to do in it. Much to Stef Schrader’s chagrin, towing specs—particularly for a trailer and Lemons-grade 944—were not immediately available.
The 2019 Cayenne and Cayenne S start at $65,700 and $82,900 respectively. Please go out and buy one immediately so they keep making 911s.