Porsche Cayenne review - Remarkably capable, the Cayenne is still the benchmark SUV - Engine and gearbox

It might be big and ugly, but the Cayenne is amazingly agile and truly involving to drive

Evo rating
Price
from £53,875
  • Incredible poise across the entire range, blistering performance from the powerful petrol models
  • Interior and structure feels dated, not a looker

Engine and gearbox

There’s a choice of two diesels: the 258bhp 3.0-litre V6 and the 380bhp 4.2-litre V8, which delivers its huge 627lb ft of torque from 2000 to 2750rpm. 

Slightly less potent but is the E-Hybrid that uses a lithium-ion traction battery with an energy capacity of 10.9 kWh which permits a maximum electric-only range of 22 miles. Compared to the previous (non-plug in) Cayenne Hybrid, the output of the electric motor has more than doubled from 46 to 94bhp which, added to the supercharged 3-litre V6 petrol engine, gives a system total of 410bhp.

The purely petrol motors start with the 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 in the Cayenne S, which develops 414bhp. But it’s the 4.2-litre V8 in the Turbo that hits the largest numbers delivering an extremely generous 513bhp, or a somewhat unhinged 562bhp if you go for the range-topping Turbo S. All models have superbly smooth and fast 8-speed Tiptronic auto transmissions with steering wheel paddle shifters. There is no manual gearbox option.

The driver focused GTS no longer has a naturally aspirated V8, instead it shares the same V6 as the Cayenne S, although it has 22bhp more to make a total of 436bhp. This means GTS looses the distinctive V8 roar, one of the old version’s greatest attributes, but is more powerful and more economical.

evo Tip

The V6 engine in the Cayenne S sounds rather frenetic and harsh when worked hard. With a little more power and the services of the standard-fit sports exhaust on GTS it sounds far nicer, encouraging you to exploit every one of its 434 horses. No, it doesn’t sound like the old naturally aspirated V8, and that’s a huge shame, but its growl at full chat and deep burble at lower revs is still appealing.

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