The 2011 edition of the Porsche Cayenne marks the second generation for this luxury sport SUV and it is a beautiful, comfortable and capable piece of automotive machinery.
There are substantial changes in the new Cayenne, including the addition of V-6 and Hybrid models to augment the existing V-8 and turbocharged V-8 models. Cayenne also has an all-new look, with two inches more length and new styling to the front, sides and rear. At the same time, Porsche designers have shaved 400 pounds from the overall weight by adding some new technology and using aluminum for the hood, doors and decklid.
This year’s Cayenne is better equipped than the previous generation. There’s a new lightweight All Wheel Drive system with a multi-plate clutch to manage torque between the front and rear axles, eliminating the need for a reduction gearbox and saving another 73 pounds. Here’s brief look at the 2011 Cayenne lineup:
Cayenne V-6 for $47,600 is the entry level Cayenne and comes with a 300 hp 3.6-liter V-6 engine mated to the new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission that helps hike fuel efficiency by 20 percent.
Cayenne S for $63,700 comes with a 4.8-liter 400 hp V-8 that delivers a significant decrease in fuel consumption.
Cayenne S Hybrid for $67,700 has a supercharged 333 hp V-6 with a 47-hp electric motor; clocks 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds; hybrid system uses a 288-volt nickel metal-hydride Sanyo battery stored beneath the luggage compartment; is the cleanest, greenest vehicle ever produced by Porsche.
Cayenne Turbo for $104,800; (our test vehicle for the week) powered by a 500 hp, twin-turbo, 4.8-liter V-8; is amazingly quick and responsive. Comes with Porsche’s new eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission with wide gear ratios and more efficient heat management through engine and transmission cooling technology.
New technology on the Cayenne this year also includes Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTVP), which uses variable torque distribution on the rear wheels and an electronically controlled rear axle differential lock to increase handling and stability in turns. The system automatically brakes the inside rear wheel in corners to help the Cayenne turn.
All Cayennes (except the Turbo) come standard with steel suspension, but for the first time it can be combined with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as an option. It is a sophisticated system that provides active, infinite damper control on the front and rear axle. It has a choice of the three settings: Comfort, Normal and Sport. The Cayenne Turbo comes with a new air suspension system with PASM as standard equipment.
All 2011 Cayennes may be ordered with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), an optional system that actively stabilizes the
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.