2008 Porsche Cayenne

The 2008 Porsche Cayenne gets a slightly different look, with new front and rear styling, including more contoured tail lamps, with LED versions to distinguish the turbo. All 2008 Porsche models retain the recognizable smooth Porsche snout and lower air dam in front and prominent dual exhausts in back.

The exterior of the 2008 Porsche Cayenne is subtly different from past models, but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com approve of the restyle. The exterior changes on the Porsche Cayenne include headlights that “are flatter, and the leading edge in front of the hood is more defined than before,” according to Cars.com. The Detroit News says “the subtle changes create a more sophisticated look,” thanks to the fact that “the turn signal indicators have been removed from the headlight assembly and lowered onto the grille.” Kelley Blue Book reviewers note that the redesign serves a “functional sense” as well as a styling one, since the new features bring “an aerodynamic benefit” as “the coefficient of drag has been lowered substantially offering potential fuel economy benefits.”

The interior of the Porsche 2008 Cayenne isn’t received quite as well as the exterior. For the Porsche Cayenne, Forbes Autos writes that “the Cayenne’s interior is identical to the outgoing model’s, which is somewhat of a disappointment” because “there are some minor annoyances that could significantly improve” the cabin. Edmund’s reviewers say that the Porsche Cayenne‘s “interior is all Porsche,” which, unfortunately, “means that the climate and audio controls are comprised of many small, look-alike buttons that take some getting used to.” On the positive side, Forbes Autos is pleased to find that “Porsche stayed away from any form of multifunction knob-controlled system as seen on virtually every new luxury vehicle from foreign manufacturers,” such as BMW’s iDrive. Also winning praise are the “large, simple toggles for climate, suspension, [and] transfer-case settings,” which Consumer Guide appreciates. One negative review comes from Motor Trend, where reviewers feel that the interior of the 2008 Porsche Cayenne is “somber,” though such strong negative sentiment is rare.

The Cayenne Turbo is fitted with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with air suspension as standard. This variant can now be augmented with the new Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) roll stabilizer system. This constant roll control, also available for the Cayenne and Cayenne S, limits vehicle roll on corners and counterbalances it completely in almost all driving situations. The Cayenne thus offers significant improvements in terms of handling, directional stability and ride comfort. When off-road, the system enables maximum axle articulation and improves traction.

Porsche Stability Management (PSM), with its brake assist function, advanced trailer stabilization system and off-road ABS, comes as standard on all Cayenne models. These functions improve the brakes’ reaction speed, markedly reduce the yawing which can affect vehicles when towing, and optimize braking performance on loose ground. What’s more, with static and, for the first time, dynamic bend lighting, the bi-xenon headlamps fitted as standard to the Cayenne Turbo increase active safety. The system, which can also be ordered for the Cayenne and Cayenne S, is activated as soon a speed of three kilometers per hour has been reached.

When the last bouquet of Cayenne spy shots made their way around the internet, many people speculated that the bigger air intakes carved out of the facelifted bumper suggested bigger power. Those people were correct. Official word out of Stuttgart is that, along with a facelift, the Porsche people hauler will be the recipient of mild gene therapy in the form of a new line of direct-injection gasoline engines, a first for Porsche.

All three engines—a base V-6 and naturally-aspirated and twin-turbo V-8s—grow slightly as well. The V-6 is upped to 3.6 liters (borrowed from VW’s Passat and Touareg) and now puts out 290 horsepower and 283 lb-ft of torque. The V-8s grow to 4.8 liters, with the naturally aspirated version in the Cayenne S good for 385 hp and 368 lb-ft, while the pressurized motor will embarrass the pony car in the next lane with a solid 500 hp and 516 lb-ft, only 20 hp and 14 lb-ft shy of the current Turbo S, a model Stuttgart isn’t talking about for 2008.

The new family of engines slot beneath front sheetmetal shrink-wrapped a little more tightly than the globular, bulging fenders of the original design. The sharper fenders follow more angular headlights than the 996 911-style ovoids of the outgoing face as well, with vertical LED turn-signal fangs set in the outer edges of the gaping air intakes. Out back, things remain largely the same, with a slight tweak to the taillights the most noticeable change.

We’ll get our first official look at the new Cayenne family at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January, with the trucks expected in showrooms in March of 2007 as 2008 models. Pricing for the V-6 will start at $43,400, with the S and Turbo going for $57,900 and $93,700, respectively.

Scribbled on September 23rd 2008 in Porsche, Porsche Cayenne
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