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2019 Porsche Cayenne: First Look and Details

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne is the all-new, next-generation version of the fabled German sports-car brand’s once-maligned but massive-selling midsize SUV. In true Porsche tradition, it doesn’t look terribly different from the car it replaces, but things have been streamlined and tidied up to make the new Cayenne look even more like an actual Porsche as opposed to an SUV that’s had Porsche styling cues attached. Should you think it looks like an enlarged Macan with some Panamera taillights, you wouldn’t be alone.

Although the exterior dimensions remain roughly the same, there’s a bit more cargo room, the tire widths are staggered (like on a 911), and there’s been a 143-pound weight loss thanks to the increased use of aluminum and a substantially lighter battery. Mechanical updates include major updates to the chassis and suspension, the latter of which comes standard with adaptive damping (Porsche Active Suspension Management) and can be enhanced with an upgraded air suspension that improves both ride and handling. The new option of rear-wheel steering is a rarity for an SUV and migrates from the 911 and Panamera to provide superior turning capability through tight corners and increased stability at high speeds.

How Fast and How Much Stuff?

At launch, there will be two versions available. The base 2019 Cayenne will have a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that produces 340 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. Porsche says it’ll reach 60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, or 5.6 when the Sport Chrono package and its launch control feature are specified. The Cayenne S has a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 good for 440 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. It’ll hit 60 in 4.9 seconds, or 4.6 with Sport Chrono. All Cayennes are all-wheel-drive and come with a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Look for Turbo (with a capital T), Turbo S, E-Hybrid and GTS versions to roll out eventually.

Inside, the driver is greeted by a design that’ll be awfully familiar to anyone who’s seen or spent time in the new Panamera. It too is dominated by an enormous 12.3-inch central touchscreen atop touch-sensitive "buttons" and an air vent electronically controlled by that touchscreen (it’s a bit gimmicky and overly complicated). The gauges feature a central tachometer surrounded by a pair of 7-in digital displays that serve as secondary gauges and infotainment readouts. The Cayenne does, however, differ from the Panamera stylistically in two key ways: the outer rectangular air vents and chunky central grab handles that carry over from the last Cayenne.

Judging by the pair of Cayennes we sat in during its unveil, interior quality remains impeccable. Back seat space still won’t wow anyone, although its sporting selection of driver seats should keep you happy during long road trips.

All of Porsche’s latest electronic driving aids will also be available on the 2019 Cayenne, including lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warning and automatic braking, and the InnoDrive enhanced adaptive cruise control system, which pulls data from the navigation system to better tackle curvy roads.

What Does It Cost and When Can I Get It?

Pricing for a base 2019 Cayenne model starts at $66,750, including destination. The Cayenne S starts at $83,950. However, we’ve never heard of anyone getting a bone-stock Porsche. The ample options list that allows for customization should be similar to what you’d find on the current Cayenne, with some of the more recent updates introduced for the new Panamera. Pricing for those options should be similar or equal.

Look for the 2019 Porsche Cayenne to reach U.S. dealers midway through 2018. Should you be interested in getting one, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to contact the dealer soon and start to think about the options and color scheme you’d prefer. You might as well take advantage of the wait.

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