2007 Detroit Auto Show: Porsche Cayenne Has A New Face for the New Year
2008 Porsche Cayenne Revealed in Detroit
Among the many introductions expected at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week is that of an updated Porsche Cayenne. The first real sports-car-meets-SUV gets new engines to go with minor styling changes that improve aerodynamic efficiency. The new Cayenne arrives in U.S. dealers in March 2007 for the 2008 model year. I, for one, am looking forward to driving these new, sleeker, more powerful versions of the Cayenne. While it’s been several years since I’ve been behind the wheel of one, it took only one afternoon driving the Cayenne S and Turbo for me to appreciate the impulse that could lead to buying a $90,000 SUV. Adding horsepower and beefing up the available features list should make for an even nicer product.
Even with these changes, Cayenne is not likely to see its peak sales year again. Back in 2004, Porsche sold just over 18,000 Cayennes. Since then, sales have settled in the low teens. Though sales around 12,000 units annually is perhaps not so bad for a high-priced, niche vehicle, this facelift will do more to hold volumes than to increase Cayenne’s overall sales.
The new engines are the most interesting elements of this change, as exterior tweaks don’t go beyond new headlights, more heavily contoured wheel arches, a new diffuser-style apron and roof spoiler, and revised front air intakes. The new intakes improve air cooling and engine efficiency, of course. The air intakes are still different for each model and the new headlights are a smoother. These changes give each version of the Cayenne a better-integrated and less clumsy look between headlights and front fascia. Changes to the rear are more subtle, but the new taillamps and bigger rear spoiler make for a more purposeful look. For comparison, here are a couple of photos of the first Cayenne.
All three models, Cayenne, Cayenne S, and Cayenne Turbo, get more power and efficiency thanks to direct injection engines. Porsche’s European press material estimates as much as 15 percent fuel savings in real-world driving. While Porsche’s North American arm is holding U.S. specifications for the show itself, they will be similar to the European versions.
The base Cayenne gets a much-needed power boost, going to a 3.6L DOHC 24v direct-injection V6 that will deliver about 290HP, versus the prior 247HP 3.2L V6 offered. The S gets a similar power boost, from 340HP from the original 4.5L V8 to about 385HP from the new direct-injection 4.8L V8. Adding twin turbos to that 4.8L takes the Cayenne Turbo to an even 500HP, up from the first Turbo’s 450HP.
Other new features are adaptive headlights, standard on the Turbo and optional on the other models, and Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control system. The PDCC roll stabilizer system, an option for all Cayenne models, reduces body roll during cornering for improved handling and agility, better directional stability, and improved ride comfort. Off road, a situation most Cayennes never see, axle articulation is increased for better traction.