It seemed that world turned upside down in 2002 when Porsche introduced Cayenne to the public. One of the most stubborn car makers, that previously stick with air cooling way too long, and that still clings to rear engine placement with 911, decided to offer an SUV (heavily based on VW’s product!) despite history filled exclusively with sports cars. Foolish or not at the time, Cayenne outsold the brand’s best selling 911, and as time passed we kind of adjusted to the fact that this is one of better mid-size luxury SUVs out there. And now brand new one arrived in form of 2018 Porsche Cayenne.
2018 PORSCHE CAYENNE EXTERIOR
We are accustomed to Stuttgart car maker’s reluctance to offer big visual changes over the years. Yet, the second generation of Cayenne brought significant ones, but with the arrival of third one, it’s back to the usual. Still, that doesn’t come as bad at all, as the outgoing model is still decent looking one. Anyway, changes are more in the realm of a mid-life refresh with certain tweaks to the lights and bumpers.
Deep dark theme with front and rear lights are prevailing in Porsche’s lineup currently, and it plagues new Cayenne as well whether you like or not. Front bumper intakes are just mildly tweaked with different slats and new day time lights in form of thinner LED strips as seen with 911 and Boxter/Cayman deal. Hood received additional mild and wide dynamic bump, but side profile remained purely curvaceous without sharp carvings. Rear has new Panamera-style tail lights making back end appear less plump, while bumper has more plastic cladding for an unknown reason to us.
2018 PORSCHE CAYENNE INTERIOR
If exterior changes are questionable ones, interior ones are mostly not. We have usually deal of taking Panamera’s recipe again and we can witness once more demise of the ocean of buttons. Lower console is now more touch-sensitive oriented and above it seats sleek 12.3-inch screen.
Center vents are significantly smaller and repositioned below infotainments screen which doesn’t come as more visually alluring to us, as much as less wavy or more squared shape of the whole dash. Still, whole cabin deal appears freshly modern and practical side has not been left aside with three extra cubic inches in the boot area.
2018 PORSCHE CAYENNE SPECS
As much as Porsche designers are resisting big visual revamps, engineers always act on the opposite. New Cayenne switches to the new platform used by Q7 and Bentayga, meaning 48V electricity become available with active anti-roll bars as well, while weight is down by 143 pounds. Brand additionally sweetens the deal with all-wheel steering, staggered tires wider at the rear (when do we see that in an SUV!?) and first ever Surface Coated Brakes coating the usual iron rotors with a layer of tungsten-carbide (also known as “hard metal”) improving performance, duration of the brakes and eliminating pesky pad’s dust. All meaning that already best driving SUV in its class is about to get even better!
2018 PORSCHE CAYENNE ENGINES
Engine lineup is also heavily revised. Base offer is now turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, previously was 3.6-liter, rated at 340 hp (40 hp more), meaning that 0-60 now takes 5.8 seconds or whole one and half a second less. Cayenne S use new twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 delivering 440 hp, instead of mentioned turbo 3.6-liter one producing 420 hp, but 0-60 time remains at same 5.2 seconds. Expect introduction of mandatory Turbo and Turbo S versions in future with new twin-turbo V8, along with “sweet middle” GTS model. And that is not all, as two hybrids will arrive, one utilizing mentioned 2.9-liter V6, other twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 from Panamera which in its case boost (with help of AC motor off course) tremendous 680 hp as range topping model. Europe should also get turbocharged 3.0 and 4.0-liter diesel options, for the US? We are about to see.
2018 PORSCHE CAYENNE RELEASE DATE AND PRICE
2018 Porsche Cayenne is about to hit the US dealer’s lots in the middle of next year, and if you are amazed with the under the skin progress beware as it comes with hefty price rise. Cayenne was already on the pricier spectrum in its segment and now base model starts at $66,750, while S is steep $83,950. That is more than six grand extra in case of both models and we’ll leave it to your judgment whether it is justified.