The car that helped make Porsche rich, and so enraged those Porsche-philes capable of recounting 911 type numbers like their own birth date, has had a facelift. Since its launch in 2002, 150,000 brutish Cayenne off-roaders have left the Leipzig plant, but with sales dipping over the past year and an ever more crowded marketplace, it was time to fettle the magic formula.
What's it like?
Still easily recognisable as a Cayenne, the new car soothes away some of the stark functionalism that so polarised opinion, in favour of a more sophisticated look. That’s not to say that this still isn’t one of the most intimidating vehicles on the public road, especially in Turbo form, as driven here.
This time, the Turbo is further differentiated from its lesser siblings, with a gaping intake up front and svelte horizontal slithers of indicators from the new 911 Turbo, unlike the slightly awkward upright items on the new V8 S and the V6.
This is lot more than a cosmetic makeover, however, as underneath that still-challenging skin is a range of comprehensive updates, primarily to the engines. The V6 has grown from 3.2 to 3.6 litres - and gained 55lb ft of torque in the process – while the V8 is enlarged from 4.5 to 4.8 litres for both the S and the Turbo. All engines receive a sophisticated new direct-injection fuel system that improves economy as well as performance, in the case of the Turbo to 493bhp and 516lb ft, helped by larger turbochargers.