Filed under: Luxury Cars & Autos
The Porsche Cayenene might just be one of Porsche's most brilliant ideas in the last decade. Launched in 2003 at a time when Americans were desperately in love with sport utility vehicles, the Cayenne was largely responsible for helping Porsche keep sales up in America, even after September 11 when only the hardiest of automakers reported improved sales figures in the U.S.
That's why the 2008 Porsche Cayenne is such an important redesign for Porsche. On the performance side, direct fuel injection increases power while improving efficiency (a must on Porsche's monster, which now gets 14 mpg in the city, 20 highway vs. the 2003 versions 13/18), and optional chassis control and air suspension systems make the Cayenne the preferred weekend grocery/kid/dog hauler of sports car owners. These systems don't come cheap ($3,000 for the chassis control and $3,500 for the air suspension), but finding a vehicle that is as at home on the racetrack as it is off-road is a tough charge indeed. Both systems allow for better performance in almost any driving condition.
The styling changes are minimal, but then again, that has been Porsche's secret to success with other vehicles such as the Porsche 911. If it ain't broke, as they say... For 2008, Porsche designers stretched the headlights to give the impression of a wider hood, and also to exaggerate the lines of the fender flares, which give the vehicle a beastlier stance and better emulate the sports car bretheren of the Cayenne. Besides that, though, Porsche seems to have taken the winner they introduced back in 2003 and put their engineering budget toward what matters most for Porsche owners: performance.