Porsche Drops 2019 Cayenne Turbo in Frankfurt
Zuffenhausen’s Super SUV Makes 550 hp from Twin-Turbo V-8
Hot on the heels of the recently introduced third-generation Porsche Cayenne, the company gave one of its bestselling models a new range topper, the Turbo. Slated for the 2019 model year, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo will feature 550 hp and 567 lb-ft, courtesy of its twin-turbocharged 4.0L V-8.
In spite of its 0.8L smaller engine, the new Porsche’s engine output neatly splits the difference between the outgoing Cayenne Turbo (520 hp, 553 lb-ft) and Turbo S (570 hp, 590 lb-ft), but in terms of acceleration, the 2019 model will blow them both away. Porsche claims the new Turbo will hit 60 mph in as little as 3.7 seconds when equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package, eclipsing the old Turbo by 0.4 second and the Turbo S by 0.1 second. Even without Sport Chrono, the new Turbo will be faster than the old one by 0.3 second due to its lighter body structure—Porsche didn’t give specifics, but we expect a similar slimming from the Turbo as the standard Cayenne, which drops 150 pounds from its predecessor.
Also improving performance is the new Cayenne Turbo’s engine design. Porsche situated both turbochargers in the V-8’s valley, the space between either bank of cylinders. This shortens the path between the turbos and the combustion chambers, helping reduce lag and allowing engineers to position the engine lower in the chassis for better handling.
Porsche capitalizes on the new Turbo’s weight loss and lower center of gravity through a number of advanced suspension technologies. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) uses air springs to provide a wide range of adaptable spring rates. Porsche claims the new suspension’s design, which features three air chambers per spring, allows the company to expand both comfort and performance across the spectrum. PASM also features six selectable ride heights, which work in concert with five off-road driving programs to help provide good performance in the muck.
Optional suspension systems include rear-axle steering, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), the latter of which uses power from a 48-volt electrical system to actively vary the amount of tension in the front and rear antiroll bars. Using similar technology as the 48-volt–zapped Bentley Bentayga, which shares a platform with the Cayenne, PDCC helps eliminate body roll in fast driving while still allowing enough up-and-down motion in the suspension to soak up bumps. Standard active aerodynamics via an adjustable roof spoiler will maximize efficiency and rear-axle downforce.
Available as an option on the Cayenne and Cayenne S, the Turbo will come standard with Porsche’s new Surface Coated Brake system. A layer of tungsten carbide, applied to conventional cast-iron brake discs, helps provide better stopping performance and increased wear resistance, reducing brake dust at the same time. The company’s signature Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes will be an optional upgrade.
Porsche will open the 2019 Cayenne Turbo’s order books later this year, with SUVs expected on dealer lots by Fall 2018. The new Turbo will start at $124,600 plus $1,050 for delivery. That number represents a not-insignificant $6,500 increase over the 2018 Cayenne Turbo; Porsche will justify the price increase by citing the new Turbo’s added standard equipment, improved performance, and greater efficiency.
Further complicating the value proposition is the Porsche's diverse competitive set, ranging from the much cheaper, much more powerful Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to the similarly priced, Nurburgring-veteran Range Rover Sport SVR. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo's platform is brand new, compared to those vehicles' aging bones. Furthermore, the cheaper Jeep doesn't offer the snoot factor found in European super-SUVs, even if it is faster. Still, even with a long list of qualified competitors, there are some for whom there is no substitute for a Porsche. For those folks, the Turbo will be the only way to travel.