She's Got Wheels

Utility with dispatch - 2008 Porsche Cayenne SUV

The launch of the second generation Cayenne SUV was so important to Porsche, that the go-fast automaker elected not to market a 2007 model Cayenne, choosing instead to introduce its latest creation as an early 2008. Boasting an aggressive new exterior design, the Cayenne models -â€" Cayenne, Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo feature larger, more powerful engines that are more fuel-efficient than the prime movers they replace.

The 2008 Cayenne models feature a striking new face that features a dramatic new headlight design with a wide and muscular new body, accented by broad wheel arches. Power is generated by a trio of engines that feature direct fuel injection for the first time -â€" a 3.6L V6, a normally aspirated 4.8L V8 and a twin-turbo 4.8L V8. Torque is communicated to the asphalt via a reinforced six-speed manual gearbox for the V6, while the V8 variants are bolted to Porsche’s six-speed Tiptronic S automatic.

All Cayenne models are equipped with the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) permanent four-wheel drive system. PTM’s intelligent activation of the lockable center differential improves directional stability and tracking control, increasing the degree of locking action before the wheels start to spin to further improve traction. PTM also helps overcome the understeer tendencies typical of most all-wheel drive system, by opening the lockable center differential.

Also new for 2008 across the Cayenne range is a new Sport Button. By pressing the button, the driver can choose between the Standard and Sports setup. In the Sports mode, the engine responds even more spontaneously. Cayenne models equipped with the automatic transmission, air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management also switch to more dynamic configuration for the software that controls the corresponding hardware.

On the road, the Cayenne performs just like a Porsche coupe. Handling and performance are first rate, with straight-line acceleration, that is powerful, fluid and consistent throughout the powerband.

The suspension hardware consists of a front high-strength steel subframe featuring an extra-large double track control arm configuration with extra-large rubber mounts, while the rear suspension sits on a high strength steel subframe, with an elaborate multi-arm concept resting on extra-large, hydraulically dampened rubber bearings. The lower track control arm and the tie-rod are both made of steel plate to ensure robust strength when the going gets rough. The better protected upper track control arm assembly is made of extra-light forged aluminum.

The Cayenne Turbo is equipped with a air spring suspension incorporating Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). This system does just offer adjustable damper control with three different settings, but there is the option of lowering or raising the entire vehicle body, as well.

Inside, the cabin shows the great lengths Porsche engineers went to reflect the unmistakable quality of Porsche design. Its familiar territory to most Porsche owners -- ignition lock is to the left of the three spoke steering wheel, while two large round instrument dials with a central multifunctional display dominate the instrument panel.

Seating is very comfortable front and rear. The rear seat's 60/40 split works with the wide opening hatch design of the rear access to maximize the available cargo space.

Dimensions & specifications

Wheelbase: 112.4; overall length: 188.8; width: 75.9; height: 66.7

-- all measurements in inches.

Engine: 3.6L V6 -â€" 290 hp at 6,200 rpm and 273 lbs-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm; 4.8L V8 â€"- 385 hp at 6,200 rpm and 369 lbs-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm; 4.8L turbo V8 -â€" 500 hp at 6,000 rpm and 516 lbs-ft of torque at 2,250-4,500 rpm.

Transmission: reinforced six-speed manual or six-speed Tiptronic S automatic.

Fuel economy: V6 -â€" 14 city/20 hwy; V8 -â€" 13 city/19 hwy.; V8 turbo â€"- 12 city/19 hwy.

Cargo capacity: 62.5 cu. ft.

Payload capacity: 1,598 lbs.

Towing capacity: 7,716 lbs.

Parts content â€" country of origin

Final assembly point: Leipzig, Sachsen, Germany.

US/Canada: 2 percent.

Slovakia: 13 percent.

Germany: 58 percent.

Engine: Germany; Transmission: Japan.


Basic: 4-year/50,000 mile, bumper-to-bumper.

Corrosion: 10 year/unlimited.

Roadside assistance: 4-year/50,000 mile, 24-hour.


The base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2008 Porsche Cayenne SUV starts from $43,400 for the Cayenne, $57,900 for the Cayenne S and $93,700 for the Cayenne Turbo. Destination charges add $895.


About the Author

Ken Chester, Jr.

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.

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