The third generation Porsche Cayenne is even closer to the iconic 911 than its predecessors. Dieter Losskarn took the new S on a road trip through his homeland.
When you love cars, you want to wake up to the sound and smell of the most exciting ones of them. No better place to do so as the V8 Hotel in Stuttgart. Not only does the new addition share the lobby with a McLaren dealership and an upmarket purveyor of classic chrome jewels, it also features more motor-themed bedrooms. Definitely the best place to start a Porsche road trip through Germany. After a lekker breakfast in the new airy restaurant – and a stroll through the adjacent Stuttgart Motorworld, where I spot one of the first Cayennes, with its rather bulky appearance.
And I remember the outcry in the fan community, when the first Porsche SUV was introduced in 2002. Sportscar lovers feared the end of the company was near. The opposite happened. Porsche sold over 770 000 units since. A huge success for the German sportscar builder.
Strictly speaking the new Porsche Cayenne waiting for me in the basement of the V8 Hotel is not entirely ‘Made in Germany’ anymore. Bodywork with driving mechanisms are produced in Bratislava, Slovakia. Then delivered to Leipzig for final assembly.
But Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen is still where Porsche’s heart beats. The glorious Porsche Museum is a must. And that is where I finally start my road trip with the new, third-generation Cayenne S.
Currently there are three models available, all petrol. A powerful hybrid, the Turbo SE e-hybrid, with an incredible output of 507kW will soon top the range. It is eerily quiet around any diesel options though. Despite sister company Bentley having recently launched a mighty (their first ever) tri-turbo V8 diesel with 320kW and 900Nm. The top Cayenne model is named the Turbo, but funny enough all three models are in actual fact turbos. The Cayenne features a V6 single-turbo, the Cayenne S a V6 twin-turbo and the Turbo-Turbo a potent V8.
In the almost perfect studio lighting of the V8 Hotel parking garage the third generation looks at first glance much like the previous one. Until you come closer. The 2018 Cayenne is 6cm longer and 1cm lower. The new hyper-cool uninterrupted light band at the rear is already known from the four-wheel driven 911 4s. Wheels grew from 19inch to 20/21inch. The wings are now more pronounced with large vents in front, featuring beautiful fins. A flatter roofline enhances the overall sportscar appearance. And the typical Porsche shoulders are clearly visible from the rear. This SUV looks more 911 than ever, like the hi-performance allrounder it is. Pairing genuine Porsche driving pleasure with luxurious comfort.
And everything that has been introduced in the new Panamera recently is also featured in the new Cayenne. Including the digital landscape in the cockpit with a crystal clear large, touch sensitive centre screen. The upwards sliding centre console results in a much cleaner look. And there is so much more space inside. For passengers and luggage. The storage space grew by 100 litres.
And it not only looks, but drives like a proper sportscar as well. impressively demonstrated on those narrow and windy German country roads. The sun is shining and I am thundering through medieval villages, thanks to the exhaust button,enhancing the aural pleasure.
The new chassis is designed from scratch, just like the 911. New air suspension and rear-axle steering from the 911 add comfort and agility at the same time. You never feel like you’re moving a five-seater through the countryside. Besides the e-hybrid, what could be next in the SUV segment? I think Porsche will join the former niche market that BMW created a couple of years ago with the X6 and Mercedes perfected with the GLE. A Cayenne Coupé version would be a killer addition to Porsche’s SUV line-up.
Porsche Cayenne/Cayenne S/Cayenne Turbo
Engine 3.0-l. V6 turbo/2.9-l. V6 twin-turbo/4.0-l. V8 turbo, paired with a 8-speed tiptronic auto
Power 250/330/404kW and 450/550/770Nm
Top Speed 245/265/286km/h
0-100km/h 6.2/5.2/4.1 (5.9/4.9/3.9) seconds (with Sport Chrono package)
Price R1 131 000/R1 272 000/R2 064 000