Inside, the Cayenne uses the Panamera sedan's striking center console and its small-diameter steering wheel. The seats are sportier and more supportive than those in the 2010 model. The big news lies in the rear seat and cargo hold, where the 2011 boasts over an inch of additional rear legroom (the back seat also slides fore and aft 6.3 inches and reclines) and 4.6 cubic feet of extra cargo room. Safety junkies will appreciate such technologies as a dynamic bi-Xenon light system, lane-change assist (blind-spot monitor), and adaptive cruise control.
For an in-depth look at the lineup, here's a rundown of the four models destined for the U.S. Both the S and Turbo go on sale in July, with the V-6 and S Hybrid arriving at dealerships in October.
The base model was the only variant we didn't sample. The lightest (roughly 4400 pounds) and least expensive ($47,275 to start), the Cayenne will no doubt deliver a lot of bang for the buck, thanks to a 3.6-liter direct-injected 24-valve V-6 that pumps out 300 horsepower at 6300 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 3000 -- welcome spikes over the 2010's 290 horsepower at 6200 and 273 pound-feet at 3000. Available transmissions include a six-speed manual as before (the only Cayenne to offer a manual) and the all-new eight-speed automatic, which replaces the previous six-speed. Porsche estimates 0-to-60 times of 7.1 seconds with the manual and 7.4 with the automatic. Fuel economy numbers aren't available yet, but expect the 2010's numbers of 14/20 to jump up to around 16/22. An air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management, which offers Comfort, Sport, and Normal damper settings, is available as an option, standard only on the top-tier Turbo.
Grip should be plentiful, what with standard 18-inch alloys, 255/55 tires, and a control-arm front/multilink rear suspension with steel springs. An air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is available as an option, standard only on the top-tier Turbo. It's worth noting, however, that PASM, which offers Comfort, Sport, and Normal damper settings, can be paired for the first time as a standalone option with the steel-spring suspension.