What is it? The new second-generation Cayenne is roomier, lighter, and available in more configurations than the previous model. Its been trimmed by 400 pounds, which is definitely a step in the right direction. And its overall length has been stretched by two inches, providing more legroom for rear passengers. The rear bench seat also adjusts over a six-inch range, allowing more flexibility between passenger and cargo space. The overall interior is patterned after that in the Panamera luxury sedan and includes a multifunction touch-screen display.
The 2011 Cayenne will be available in four versions: base Cayenne with a 300-hp V6, Cayenne with 400-hp V8, Cayenne Turbo with 500-hp twin-turbo V8, and S Hybrid with 380-hp full gas-electric hybrid powertrain, including a supercharged V6 engine. All are mated with an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission with a start/stop feature. The new Cayenne S is claimed to get 20 percent better fuel economy than the current S, and the hybrid is said to get 20 percent better gas mileage than the new turbo S, while still accelerating from 0-60 mph in just over 6 seconds. The hybrid can also run in all-electric mode up to 35 mph. Plus, it has what Porsche calls a sailing feature, which allows the gas engine to turn off at any speed up to 97 mph to improve highway fuel economy. Starting pricing is as follows: V6: $46,700, V8: $63,700, Hybrid: $67,700, Turbo V8: $104,800.
What's new or notable? Porsche says its adaptive cruise control system can brake to a complete stop from 20 to 100 mph, depending on the conditions. Porsche says its first hybrid model was built in 1899, but that it's taken a little time to develop their second. Also, according to Porsche, floor mats are now standard on the Cayenne.
CR's take: By trimming weight and improving fuel economy, the new Cayenne addresses two of our criticisms of the current model. Overall, the Cayenne is one of the sportiest SUVs weve tested, although the ride is stiff. The new Hybrid version promises a good balance between fun-to-drive performance and reasonable gas mileage.
When will it be available? The V8 models will go on sale on July 10, 2010, with the V6 and Hybrid models following in the fall.