Posted by Marc Noordeloos, Automobile Magazine
Porsche chose Detroit for the worldwide debut of the new, updated Cayenne SUV.
First impressions; it looks better. The "visual lower center of gravity" look that Porsche stressed multiple times in the introduction makes for an improved, but by no means a beautiful, Cayenne.
Even though fuel prices have dropped back down towards the $2.00 per gallon range, Porsche was proud to say that a new direct injection fuel system combined with aerodynamic advances should yield up to a fifteen-percent improvement in gas mileage.
Don't be swayed too much. It will still be a thirsty beast, but at least performance improvements are also included. The top model, the Cayenne Turbo, puts out 500 hp and, according to the manufacturer, hits 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. All for the almost comical price of $93,700.
Well, maybe not too comical. The better looking, but less powerful, supercharged Range Rover costs about the same.
Prices for the base V6-powered Cayenne will start at $43,400 while the middle range Cayenne S starts at $57,900. As always, Porsche stresses that they do not discount their vehicles and this, combined with lower production numbers, historically yields excellent residual values.
At the end of the press conference, the current CEO and president of Porsche, Dr Wendelin Wiedeking, stressed two points about the company. First, other than the introduction of the 4-door Panamera sedan in 2009, there will be no new Porsche models over the next five years.
Also, Dr Wiedeking claims that Porsche will never build a modern version of a classic model like Ford did with the GT or Chevy with the Camaro. I guess building the same model since 1964, the 911, allows Porsche to keep the retro card firmly in hand.