All-New 2011 Porsche Cayenne Revealed

Staff - CAP staff
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If you weren't quite sure about the styling of the last Cayenne, Porsche made sure that its all-new 2011 replacement would be unique enough and attractive enough to woo all of its current owners as well as potential buyers who might have been turned off by the old model's unorthodox design. 

The new model features an obvious nod to the recently introduced Panamera four-door in its headlight design, while a new front fascia depicts a closer link to the storied brand's sports car lineup.  The rear end design complements the front as it is much more appealing than the outgoing model, with a more defined and original look, and one that's less bulbous overall. 

Like with past Cayennes, the top-level Turbo gets a more assertive front end design with a deeper grille opening plus unique turn signals, as well as a pronounced aluminum skid plate front and centre. 

The 2011 Cayenne looks lower and leaner than the outgoing model due to the fact that it's 48 mm (1.9 inches) longer overall, with a much-needed 40-mm (1.6-inch) longer wheelbase.  

Under the skin is the same totally revised 3.6-litre V6 as just announced for the base Panamera, pushing out a V8-like 300hp via an all-new 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission.  The Cayenne S will get the same transmission mated to a 400hp 4.8-litre V8, and when considering that the new model is a full 181 kilos (400 lbs) lighter than the current model it should be plenty quick.  This new lightness will benefit the new Turbo as well, good for 500hp in non-S trim.  Porsche hasn't announced a Turbo S yet, but expect it in the near future. 

The 2011 Cayenne might be seen as Porsche's most important new model in recent years because it will underpin the brand's first hybrid electric model, the Cayenne S Hybrid.  Don't let the name fool you, as it doesn't sport the S model's 4.8-litre V8, but rather a special 3.0-litre V6 conjoined to a 47hp electric motor for a total output that rivals the V8-powered S thanks to 380hp and 427 lb-ft of torque, the latter coming on in full force at a mere 1,000 rpm.  The Cayenne S Hybrid can manage speeds of 60 km/h (40 mph) under electric power alone, and while cruising at speeds of up to 156 km/h (97 mph) the gasoline engine can actually be switched off – a built-in hypermiling system.  

If the current Cayenne had a weakness beyond its controversial styling, it was an interior that never quite raised itself above the Volkswagen Touareg it shared its architecture with.  The 2011 model will remedy this problem with an interior that will make Porschephiles proud, both in design and in execution.   The Cayenne benefits from the Panamera in this respect, as Porsche spared little expense when delivering the first four-door in its history.  A particularly attractive and thick steering wheel looks as sporty as that in any 911, but oddly Porsche continues forward with the thumb switches used in other Tiptronic equipped models instead of paddles.  

Expect European pricing at its Geneva introduction and other details, with Canadian pricing and model specifics when the 2011 Cayenne becomes available here later this year.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: SUV, Porsche, 2011, Cayenne, $75,000 - $99,999, $99,999+,

Organizations: Porsche

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