Competes with: BMW X5, Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
Looks like: A Cayenne so similar to the previous generation, picking the new one out will be a challenge
Drivetrain: 340-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 332 pounds-feet of torque (Cayenne); 440-hp, twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 making 406 pounds-feet of torque (Cayenne S); eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission; standard all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Mid-2018
Porsche has unveiled the new generation of Cayenne as a 2019 model ahead of the 2017 International Motor Show Germany in Frankfurt.
Related: Our View: 2017 Porsche Panamera
This is the third generation of the five-seat SUV, and the big updates this time around are found in the powertrain and in-cabin technology. At launch, two models will be offered: Cayenne and Cayenne S.
Porsche states that "the new Cayenne retains a strong visual connection to its predecessors," a cagey way of saying "not much has changed" when it comes to styling. The redesign tweaks the look of the previous Cayenne slightly; there are larger lower air intakes up front, but the biggest changes are to the lighting elements both front and rear, which heavily feature LEDs. Wheel sizes range from 19 to 21 inches.
The Cayenne sees big changes on the inside, however, adopting the same multimedia system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display found in the new Panamera. It also replaces many of the physical buttons in the center stack with the same glossy panel found in the Panamera; in that application, we were glad that the buttons had small indentations to give feedback, but the panel is a magnet for dust and fingerprints. The instrument panel consists of a centrally mounted tachometer flanked by two 7-inch screens that can be customized to show different information.
Cargo room behind the second row has increased nearly 15 percent to 27.2 cubic feet.
Under the Hood
Both the Cayenne and Cayenne S use V-6 engines just like the previous generation, but they add turbocharging for 2019. The base Cayenne features a 340-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 332 pounds-feet of torque, a marked improvement over the 300 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque made by the V-6 in the older model. The Cayenne S makes more modest power gains; its 440-hp, twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 makes 406 pounds-feet of torque. That is a gain of 20 hp, but the torque number is the exact same.
Furthering the Cayenne performance credentials are weight savings. There is extensive use of aluminum in the body work and chassis components, helping the new model shed up to 143 pounds.
The only transmission option is an eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic and all-wheel drive with four off-road settings (Mud, Gravel, Sand or Rocks). Rear-wheel steering is now available and, for those who want the most dynamically capable Cayenne, an air suspension and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control that adds stabilizer bars are also optional. Porsche's Active Suspension Management system offers variable ride and damping settings, and is available on the Cayenne and standard on the Cayenne S.
Porsche is also introducing a new braking system with the Cayenne, called Porsche Surface Coated Brake. It covers the cast-iron discs with a tungsten-carbide coating that adds friction, which increases stopping power while reducing wear and brake dust. This system is only available for Cayennes equipped with 20- or 21-inch wheels.
Fuel-economy ratings have not yet been released.
The 2019 Cayenne offers an array of safety features, including night vision assist — which uses a thermal imaging camera to detect pedestrians and animals — lane change assist, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assist, around view monitor and adaptive cruise control.
The 2019 Cayenne will make its way to dealerships in mid-2018.