Second Generation Porsche Cayenne — A Good Thing, Improved

2011PorscheCayenneThe new Cayenne is more mature, with crisper styling, more luxury, significantly better fuel economy – and even a hybrid engine option. New York is one of Porsche’s biggest markets so it makes a natural venue for the global debut of the company’s latest version of its mega family hauler. As a nod toward locals’ environmental concerns, the company rolled out a new hybrid-electric version of its SUV in addition to the expected V-6, V-8 and Turbo models.

Die-hard Porsche purists have always regarded the Cayenne SUV warily, as its size seemed contrary to the company’s minimalist roots. But the denizens of suburban Long Island and Connecticut who longed for a family Porsche alongside their sports car in the garage have driven the popularity of the Cayenne, and the profit the Cayenne provides the company gives Porsche the financial security needed to ensure the future of its familiar sports cars.

For version 2.0 of the Cayenne, Porsche tightened some of the vehicle’s lines, with a crisper, more aggressive front end and tauter overall styling that makes the Cayenne look smaller even though it is actually two inches longer than before. While the new model is slightly stretched, it is about 10 percent lighter, trimming a whopping 400 lbs. in Turbo trim.

Among the conventional models gas mileage is improved about 20 percent, and the new hybrid version will be better still. This parallel hybrid system gives the Cayenne the ability to sneak around town on electric power only at speeds up to 37 mph, and it also lets the vehicle switch off the gas engine at highway speeds up to 99 mph, letting the Cayenne coast along consuming no gas for brief periods.

Naturally the Cayenne’s interior is even more opulently outfitted than before, borrowing design and materials from the Panamera sedan, which has recently been a hot seller for the company. Connecticut’s garages await.

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