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2020 Porsche Cayenne: We Drive Zuffenhausen’s Sportiest SUV

With the current COVID-19 pandemic and the government-mandated lockdown to curb the spread of the Corona virus, we at Power Wheels Magazine initially found it a bit inappropriate to publish our pending test drive reports. But after 36 days in Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), some of our regular readers have been asking us to post stories that they can enjoy while they themselves are quarantined at home. Thus, for the benefit of those who miss driving freely around the great outdoors, here’s our take on the 2020 Porsche Cayenne.

All-New Third Generation

We can dare say that this all-new third-generation Cayenne is faster, lighter, longer, lower and wider than the previous generations because we’ve driven them all. Compared to the previous models, this latest Porsche sport utility vehicle (SUV) looks more muscular, more integrated, and more stylish from all angles.

The front of the 2020 Cayenne looks sportier with the lower hood, LED headlamps, daytime running lights (DRL), and large air intakes that go all the way around the front bumper. It’s as if it was going to gobble up all the air in front to give more power to the engine. It’s as if the Cayenne was also smiling while saying, “Get out of my way or else I’m going to eat you up!” You can’t make a statement more powerful than that.

Viewed from the side, one would be hard pressed to see that it’s a third-generation Cayenne because it looks similar to the previous two. However, the longer, lower, and wider profile, plus the 20-inch 10-spoke wheels shod in meaty Pirelli P-Zero tires – 275/45ZR20 in front and 305/40ZR20 at the rear – take this new Cayenne further into a sportier level.

At the back, the new rear lights are smoothly integrated with the body. There’s a full-width LED light bar between the rear lights that features the Porsche script rendered with a 3-dimensional effect. We found the styling updates smart enough to win our inner Porschephile over.

It’s a Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing

Porsche offers the Cayenne with several engine choices starting with the already potent 335-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that we have in our media test drive unit. There’s a 434-hp 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 in Cayenne S, a 542-hp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in the Cayenne Turbo, and a 456-hp V6 hybrid in the Cayenne E-Hybrid and the top-of-the-line 671-hp V8 hybrid in the Cayenne S E-Hybrid. Once you’ve made your choice, all you have to do is order the variants you like from the Porsche Center Philippines. Anyhow, we found the turbo V6 is sufficient for Philippine roads. There’s no way to describe the drive and the ride in the Cayenne other than “sporty and Porsche-like” because we can only compare it with another Porsche, albeit with its smaller brother – the Macan.

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All Cayenne variants come with Porsche’s robust and smooth-shifting 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive (AWD) that has several algorithms programmed in its system to help the driver when driving on slippery surfaces or on off-road conditions. The German engineers included an alphabet soup of vehicle stability programs including the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) with Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Automatic Brake Differential (ABD), MSR engine drag force control, and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). And they even included a trailer stability management for those Cayenne owners who want to tow a trailer behind their prized SUV.

A new three-chamber air suspension system working with the front and rear aluminum multi-link suspension has improved the comfort and sportiness of the ride to make the two-ton Cayenne drive like a Porsche. The air suspension can provide the Cayenne with 245 mm of ground clearance for off-road driving or lower the rear from the standard 190 mm height to help loading or unloading stuff from the trunk.

Like A Sports Car Inside

Inside, the Cayenne shares its cockpit with the new Porsche Panamera. Behind the thick 3-spoke wheel is a tachometer prominently mounted in the center of the dash and flanked by two screens. The left one shows two round simulated gauges that display the speedometer and a digital readout of fuel range and the like. The right one shows a round display for engine operation (temperature, voltage, fuel gauge, etc.) and a smaller circle for the clock. At a touch of a button, the both screens can change their displays, including a change to satellite navigation.

At the center of the dash is a high-definition widescreen that looks bigger than the flat screen TV in our bedroom. This infotainment touch screen controls the audio/video entertainment system, the climate control system, the nav-sat, the height of the suspension, and more. It also acts as the monitor for the rear view camera.

A glass-finished panel with illuminated icons surrounds the gear lever and the icons give a little haptic buzz through your fingertip when you touch them. It proved entertaining in Metro Manila’s crawling traffic but on the highway, it feels a bit difficult to operate the controls without taking your eyes off the road.

The front seats are low, supportive, and feel very similar to those in a 911. The front and rear legroom has increased compared to previous models, and the materials, quality and attention-to-detail have all improved as well.

The rear seats are comfortable as well and their backrests fold down 60/20/60 to increase the capacity of the trunk from 770 liters to a whopping 1,770 liters! Couple that feature with the air suspension that lowers the loading height and you’ve got a great SUV to carry big, bulky and expensive items.

The Cayenne has always been considered as a driver-friendly SUV but the new chassis makes it feel more like a performance sedan. Even with the “base” turbocharged V6, the Cayenne makes no pretenses that it’s a Porsche and you can feel the urgency in its acceleration and stopping power. It’s a very good SUV with a prestigious badge adorning its flanks and it’s a thrifty one to boot. We averaged around 9 kilometers per liter pussyfooting it in traffic (with the auto engine on/off engaged) and around 12 km/l on the toll ways. We’d like to have one if only we can afford to buy and maintain one. If only…

When Porsche ventured into the SUV market with the first Cayenne in 2002, rabid fans immediately dismissed it as sacrilege. Little did they know at the time that the SUV market would grow by leaps and bounds and save the company from a financial meltdown. After the Cayenne opened a new breed of customers for Porsche, they added more with the Macan. We’re pretty sure that this new third-generation Cayenne will add more loyalists to the fold. After all, more than 700,000 Cayenne owners around the world can’t be wrong.

Specifications

Vehicle type : Front-engine, AWD, 5 passenger, 5-door SUV

Price : POA

Engine type : Liquid-cooled DOHC 24V V6 turbo

Displacement : 2995 cm³

Power : 335 [email protected] rpm

Torque : 450 [email protected] rpm

Fuel Mileage : 8.85 km/l (city), 11.02 km/l (highway)
CO2 Emissions : 210-207 g/km

Transmission : 8-speed Tiptronic S

Driveline : Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive (AWD) with electronically variable, map-controlled
multi-plate clutch, automatic brake differential (ABD) and anti-slip regulation (ASR)

Suspension : Front and rear aluminum multi-link front axle

Brakes : Ventilated discs, 4-piston front calipers, 2-piston rear calipers

Wheelbase : 2,895 mm

Length : 4,918 mm

Width : 1,983 mm

Height : 1,696 mm

Curb weight : 2060 kg

Fuel capacity : 75 liters

Wheels & tires : 20×8.5 alloy wheels with 275/45R-20 tires (front)

20×9.5 alloy wheels with 305/40R-20 tires (rear)

Contact Details

Porsche Center Philippines
PGA Cars, 201 EDSA, Mandaluyong City 1554, Philippines
Tel. No.: (632) 727-0381 to 85
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.porsche.com