The Cayenne's challenging looks haven’t stopped it from becoming Porsche’s biggest seller, but now it has been given a mid-life facelift aimed at making it look better. There are more powerful engines, too, the Turbo now producing 500bhp.
The new car needs to resurrect the Cayenne’s popularity in the US, where sales have slumped since last year. Production is down, too, and there won’t be an all-new Cayenne for at least three years.
Although the exterior changes are relatively light, Porsche’s designers have managed to sharpen up the original car’s dumpy looks. Slimmer, sharper-looking headlamps help to reduce the heavy, ungainly appearance of the front end, and the grille and front bumper have been simplified.
At the back, the lights are more angular and the wheelarches have been reshaped. All Cayennes now have a roof spoiler as standard.
All of the engines have been enlarged and are more powerful. They are all equipped with direct injection — the first time Porsche has used this system. The company claims fuel consumption is lower by an average of eight per cent across the range.
The V6 now has a capacity of 3.6 litres and develops 290bhp and 283lb ft of torque. The V8 has grown to 4.8 litres, with 385bhp and 368lb ft, but it’s the Turbo that has the biggest increase — from 450bhp to 500bhp, putting it very close to the old Turbo S. Torque is up to 516lb ft, and it will now hit 60mph in 5.1sec, making it as fast as a 3.6-litre 911 Targa.
Porsche has also added a new active roll-bar system, called Dynamic Chassis Control, which counteracts body roll in corners. In an off-road situation, DCC in effect decouples the roll bar to increase axle articulation.
Inside, the Cayenne is largely unchanged, although there are a few material upgrades.
Prices of all models will increase when the new version goes on sale on 24 February. The V6 will start at £37,100 (£1540 more), the S at £46,610 (£1710 more) and the Turbo £74,650 (£3780 more).