Although the Porsche Cayenne didn't receive the warmest of welcomes from brand purists, it has since gone on to become the brand's top-selling model in the current lineup. For 2011, the sporty SUV has been completely redesigned with a lineup of engines and powertrains that are more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the current model. The 2011 Porsche Cayenne will make its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month and then its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show in April.
Initially, the 2011 Porsche Cayenne will launch with four distinct models, but this number is likely to grow to as many seven like the current offering. The base model is still the Cayenne with the V-8-powered Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo adding even more Porsche spirit, but the most anticipated model is likely to be the all-new Cayenne S Hybrid. The images released by Porsche in a press release showed off an interior that featured a tachometer with a 4,500 rpm redline which suggests that a diesel-powered Cayenne is likely to be added in the future. Each trim level of the new model will have unique design characteristics to set it apart from the other models. Porsche only showed off the more performance-oriented versions of the Cayenne ahead of Geneva, and each had an individual flair to match its intended purpose.
Even though the new Cayenne gets an all-new look, it features the same tall, wide stance as its predecessor and uses many styling traits shared with other current Porsche models. The new face of the Cayenne is improved with smaller headlamps and sleek lines on the hood and fenders. At least on the S and Turbo models, the daytime running lights are positioned horizontally like the current Porsche 911 rather than the vertical lights on the more recent Cayenne design. Another major improvement for the new Cayenne is that all trim levels get enlarged air intakes in the front fascia, but the Cayenne Turbo's intakes are the biggest to feed air to the twin turbochargers. The rear view of the new Cayenne design is also given more Porsche flair with LED taillights that give it a styling similar to the Porsche Cayman and Porsche Boxster, and the styling of the dual exhaust outlets will also help distinguish particular models. The 2011 Cayenne has grown in terms of both length and wheelbase, but this has not equated a heavier curb weight as Porsche states that the Cayenne S has actually lost a total of 400 pounds.
Similar to the exterior design, each 2011 Cayenne trim level will feature distinct powertrain choices including three different engines depending on the model with one of the important new models being the hybrid version. Known for its high-performance vehicles, Porsche teamed up with Volkswagen and Audi to create the new hybrid model that focuses on fuel economy, but still delivers Porsche-like performance. The engine used in the Cayenne S Hybrid will be the same 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 that is used in the 2010 Audi S5, and it will feature the same output of 333 horsepower. Teamed with a 47 horsepower electric motor, though, the total horsepower is rated at 380. This unique system can operate under full electric power at speeds up to 40 miles per hour and the engine can be switched off for a cruising mode at speeds of up to 97 mph. While fuel economy numbers were not released, Porsche said that the Cayenne S Hybrid will be the cleanest-running vehicle in Porsche's lineup.
Other than the new hybrid model, the other Cayenne models continue to use the same engines. In the case of the base Cayenne, the 3.6-liter V-6 is now rated at 300 horsepower which is an increase of 10 hp compared to the current Cayenne. As for the Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo, the 4.8-liter V-8 is still the engine of choice with a rating of 400 horsepower in the naturally aspirated S (up from 385 hp) and a rating of 500 in the twin-turbocharged Turbo. All engines will be paired up with the new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission which plays a key role in improving fuel economy and reducing emissions by offering the Automatic Start Stop function. Official fuel economy numbers won't be released until July, but Porsche says that overall fuel consumption is decreased by up to 23 percent across the various models due to the retuned engines, improved aerodynamics, lighter weight and the eight-speed transmission.
Fans of the all-new Porsche Panamera will love the interior of the newest Cayenne thanks to a wide center console that offers an abundance of control switches. The new layout features a much more stylish design than the current Cayenne while offering an equally luxurious atmosphere. The new three-spoke steering wheel and center stack design really help to give the SUV a sports car cabin even down to the slightest detail such as the door panel pull handles. The cockpit is finished off with Porsche's signature five-gauge instrument cluster and sleeker Tiptronic shift buttons mounted on the steering wheel.
The new Cayenne's design also continues to make it a capable off-road vehicle, and along with a handful of images, Porsche also released a video of the Cayenne going through its paces with engineers ringing it out over desert sand dunes. Although pricing has yet to be announced, the 2011 Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo will go on sale in July, while the base Cayenne and Cayenne S Hybrid will be available in the fall.