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31 Jul 2018

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Fancy options such as the Sport Chrono Package and PSCB will set you back by $4,456 and $12,106 respectively

The new Porsche Cayenne S is a performance SUV capable of sporty driving and comfortable cruising in equal measure.

While Porsche wasn't the inventor of the performance Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), it made the world sit up and take notice when it launched the Cayenne in 2002, it's first ever attempt at an SUV.

The Cayenne was the Porsche for every road and the past two generation models became one of the performance-dedicated automaker's best sellers. Porsche sold a total of 770,000 Cayennes in 15 years, while it took 53 years to sell a million 911s.

Now in its third iteration, the Cayenne is offered in three variants. The one you see here is badged the Cayenne S, which sits between the base Cayenne and range-topping Cayenne Turbo.

The latest Cayenne is slightly larger than before - at 4,918mm long and 1,983mm wide

Okay, give me some quick figures

The new Cayenne range weighs an average of 60kg less than their predecessors, although the Cayenne S is still quite the portly beast, weighing just over two tonnes.

But that's excusable considering the fact that at 4,918mm long and 1,983mm wide, this is also the largest Cayenne ever.

It's also backed by more power from its new twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6, which replaces the 3.6-litre unit of old. The Cayenne S now makes 434bhp (+20bhp) but torque remains the same at 550Nm.

The new twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 makes 20bhp more power than the predecessor's 3.6-litre

Paired to a new eight-speed Tiptronic S (no longer the dual-clutch PDK), the Cayenne S will go from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds. But it's the way that power is delivered that makes the Cayenne the performance SUV to have.

How so?

It responds to all of your inputs with remarkable immediacy, while its acceleration is both seamless and linear. Fitted with the optional Porsche Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB), which are brake discs coated in tungsten carbide, stopping the Cayenne is as effortless as getting it to go.

Despite being a $12,106 option, the hard-biting PSCB is, in our opinion, a must-tick

For the full-on experience, flip the also optional steering wheel-mounted Sport Chrono switch into Sport Plus and all of the car's senses are heightened, accompanied by an exhaust note that's aurally pleasing.
With the Porsche Active Suspension Management set to the sportiest, the Cayenne S' confidence in its corner-carving abilities is no less apparent, with little roll considering its size and weight.

Together with its communicative and positively-weighted steering, the Cayenne is easy to place on the road and easy to drive fast. You point the car to where you want to go, and it will obey.

The meaty steering offers a good amount communication with the front tyres

How's life on the inside?

The cabin of the Cayenne S is similar to the Panamera, with a little bit of 911 infused into the mix. As expected, there are sumptuous materials, seamlessly integrated technology and a lot of style.

Taking centre stage is a crisp, new 12.3-inch touch display, which includes enough menus and configurations to make even Tesla's tablet-like interface seem inadequate.

Cabin is high-tech, with touch-sensitive centre console pads, and is finished in the best materials

Elsewhere, the Cayenne S remains practical for families, with comfortable seating for five. The boot is expandable from 770 litres to 1,710 litres with a flat and wide load entrance.

Should I buy one?

For anyone considering a luxurious performance SUV, there's little reason to want any other after a go in the Cayenne S. It's well built outside and in, offers the performance of a coupe, the luxury of the sedan, and the utility of an SUV all in one.

New levels of practicality with an added 100 litres of boot space over the outgoing model

More importantly, its composure and capability don't come at the cost of refinement or comfort, whether you're in the city or out tearing up the tarmac. It may not have been the pioneer in its segment but with this new Cayenne, Porsche proves again that it sure is the last word on performance SUVs.

Car Information

Porsche Cayenne S 2.9 (A)
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Engine Type


V6 Twin-Turbocharged

Engine Cap





328kW (440 bhp) / 6600 rpm



550 Nm / 5500 rpm



8-speed (A) Tiptronic S

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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