Look, the only reason I pay attention to Porsche Cayennes is because they are the profit centers that allow the Zuffenhausen company to make sports cars. I largely look upon them as necessary evils, so, what . . . am I supposed to get all excited over the new 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo?
Let’s see here . . . the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 puts out 550 horsepower, 567 lb-ft. of torque; that’s nice. They say it’s quicker and faster than the previous gen, okay, duh! And, um, it’s got a top speed of 177 mph and does 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds? Holy sh-!
Man, that is one fast truck. Yeah, I know, “fast” is kind of what Porsche is famous for, but still, that’s pretty impressive for something that weighs – huh, that’s funny, they don’t mention weight. Probably a couple of tons, at least, which is both understandable and sad, but also impressive that Porsche can make this thing haul that fast.
The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is the third-generation of the Cayenne range and, in addition to that twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that dispenses 550 horsepower, there’s a host of other goodies. There’s a three-chamber air suspension, staggered tire sizes, and this new, high-performance Porsche Surface Coated Brake technology. The ’19 Cayenne Turbo also features rear-axle steering and electric roll stabilization.
The front and rear wheel sizes fall into the “frickin huge” arena with 285/40 at the front and 315/35 out back.
Now, about that 4.0-liter V8! As I said, it puts out 550 horsepower and 567 lb-ft. of torque, which works out to be an additional 30 ponies and 14 lb-ft. on the previous Cayenne Turbo. Porsche Traction Management is, thankfully, standard, and the all-wheel drive system is hooked to a new, eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission. The plant’s turbochargers are nestled inside the V of the cylinders, which sounds like a thermodynamic and maintenance nightmare to me, but I ain’t a German engineer, so what do I know?
Yes, this arrangement gets you lots of benefits, like shortened exhaust paths to the turbochargers and improved handling characteristics thanks to a lower center of gravity. But still, that’s an awful lot of heat generators wadded into a small space!
Design-wise – both exterior and interior – it’s more a case of refinement and sharpening, than heading in any new directions. The front end shows off the LED main headlights of the Porsche Dynamic Light System; and the new Turbo further sets itself apart from lesser Cayennes with double-row front light modules. The wheel arches are wider to house the special 21-inch wheels.
The twin tailpipes differentiate the Cayenne Turbo from its six-cylinder brethren.
On the inside, you’ll find interior design elements like center-mounted grab handles (a Cayenne motif), a high-definition 12.3-inch dashboard mounted screen, and an analog tachometer bracketed by two 7-inch HD screens. There’s a standard 710 watt Bose system, which is probably capable of seriously damaging your Organ of Corti. There are also 18-way sport seats, integrated headrests, and standard heating functions for all outboard seats and the steering wheel.
Suspension & Aerodynamics
The three-chamber air suspension works with Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system. The active shock absorbers allow for a wider range of spring rates versus the previous setup. As a result, drivers should see an improvement in ride and handling. There are six selectable ride heights and the ground clearance can be manually adjusted to suit the off-road terrain.
There are also five new driving programs to fit a variety of conditions, the default being the on-road program; the four other modes are Mud, Gravel, Sand, or Rocks. All of the power delivery stuff, the drive modes, chassis settings, and differential locks can be selected and adjusted accordingly.
Even though the new Cayenne Turbo is relatively box-like, Porsche has seen to the aerodynamics. In fact, things like the adaptive roof spoiler actually help shorten braking distances. The aforementioned Porsche Surface Coated Brake technology helps too. The design has a tungsten carbide layer applied to the otherwise-normal cast-iron discs for better braking performance and wear resistance.
Pricing & Availability
The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is available now for a starting MSRP of $124,600. The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe will arrive this fall with a starting price of $75,300. The Cayenne Turbo Coupe starts at $130,100. Which, let’s face it, is all really, really expensive.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.