It’s really growing into its looks now, isn’t it?
When it comes to cars that divide option, not many were quite as divisive as the Porsche Cayenne. Not only did people take offence with the fact that Porsche was producing a four-door (this was before the Panamera, remember), but it was an SUV at that. And to top it all off, the first-generation Cayenne looked bloody awful.
The second-generation introduced a more coherent design that got refined continually through its lifetime, but this third-generation model really comes into its own. Like the Panamera (which received a full model refresh before the Cayenne, oddly), the Cayenne looks more grown up, its various Porsche design elements working better together in greater harmony than any of the previous generations. After having been launched in Zuffenhausen, Germany in August last year, it’s time for the big Porker to make its Australian debut.
That, is still a little way off, with the Cayenne expected to make Aussie landfall in the middle of this year. However, Porsche Australia has at least detailed the upcoming three models for us, letting us know what’s in store for the Cayenne, the Cayenne S, and Cayenne Turbo. Prices will begin at $116,300 for the base-model Cayenne, before rising to $155,100 for the mid-range twin-turbo Cayenne S, before capping off (for now) with the manic Cayenne Turbo that commands no less than $239,400.
The ‘entry-level’ Cayenne sees motivation from a 3.0-litre V6, carried over from the 2nd-gen model, producing 250kW and 450Nm, with power being sent through an eight-speed Tiptronic S gearbox. The century sprint is completed in as little as 5.9-seconds, but only if you opt for the $2690 SportsChrono package. Standard cayennes will take 0.2-seconds more.
Standard kit includes a 12.3-inch widescreen Porsche infotainment system that looks absolutely gorgeous. Working with that are a pair of 7-inch displays flanking the centrally-mounted speedo in the instrument binnacle, dubbed ‘Advanced Cockpit.’ Further standard kit include a 360º surround-view camera system, all-round parking sensors, intelligent cruise control with lane-keeping aid, LED headlights, autonomous emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring.
Step up to the Cayenne S and most notably, you gain a new engine. In the Cayenne S you’ll find a slightly-smaller 2.9-litre V6 under the bonnet, though it comes fitted with two turbos, which help it produce a meaty 324kW and 550Nm. The century sprint time now drops to 4.9-seconds (with SportChrono; 5.1-seconds without), with the top speed set at 265km/h.
The Cayenne S gets all the standard kit from the base Cayenne, though it ups the luxury bar by adding… a panoramic sunroof. That’s all.
At least the Cayenne Turbo really justifies its price. It gets 4-zone climate control, seat ventilation, a 710W BOSE audio system, 18-way electrically-adjustable sports seats (up front) and 21-inch alloys. And there’s very pretty ambient lighting too.
And that’s even before we mention the 4.0-litre biturbo V8 under the bonnet. That powerplant puts out an astonishing 404kW and 770Nm, and can do the century sprint in just 3.9-seconds, though again, only if you opt for the SportChrono pack. If you’re a cheapskate, 100km/h only arrives in a portly 4.1-seconds. Yawn.