Porsche has updated its ever-popular Cayenne Turbo with a refresh for the 2015 model year, blessing the uber-SUV with several exterior styling tweaks, a slightly revised interior package, and a more powerful (yet somehow more fuel efficient) drivetrain.

The Cayenne first broke cover way back in 2002, much to the annoyance of Porsche purists (you know, the folks who still think liquid-cooled engines are for chumps). Despite representing a clear departure from convention, the Cayenne blended high-performance with expanded utility, and quickly became a staple of the Porsche catalog, selling more than 276,000 examples in its first generation. Not long afterwards, many high-end manufacturers followed suit, and now, the performance SUV is a hugely common sight on the road.

Porsche wants Cayenne owners to “commute to work today and drive off-road or on the racetrack tomorrow.” It’s a combination that seems contradictory, but the Turbo claims to get it done with comfort, speed, and now, a little efficiency as well.

Read on to see how Porsche pulled it off.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

  • 2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    520 @ 6000 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    553 @ 2250
  • Displacement:
    4.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    173 mph (Est.)
  • 0-100 time:
    10.3 sec.
  • Price:
    114700
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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For the 2015 model year facelift, Porsche’s designers performed several tweaks that start to add up when seen alongside the old model.

For the 2015 model year facelift, Porsche’s designers performed several tweaks that start to add up when seen alongside the old model.

In the rear, the taillights now have a flatter look. They still wrap around the car’s flanks, but do so in a more horizontal fashion. Like the LEDs up front, these are also composed of a four-part illumination element. The license plate and handle strip are now more smoothly integrated into the tailgate.

The exhaust tips are divided and are more closely integrated into the surrounding bumper. An automatic tailgate is standard. Up top, the rear brake light in the roof spoiler is smoothly aligned with the overall shape of the wing. The whole rear looks wider and sleeker, giving it an even sportier appearance than before.

In the front, Porsche did something similar, altering the lines in the fascia, bumper wings and hood to move the eye towards the sides rather than the middle. The central grille is more rectangular than trapezoidal, while the flanking intakes are squared off as well. The headlights come with standard LEDs and are equipped with Porsche’s Dynamic Lighting System.

Viewed in profile, the roofline slopes down slightly towards the rear. The side view mirrors are equipped with integrated turn signals and see a reshape. Porsche says the whole package minimizes air turbulence and improves aerodynamic efficiency.

For paint options, the 2015 model year sees the addition of Carrara White metallic and Palladium metallic. There are new aluminum wheels designs as well, with a multi-spoke design that draws inspiration from the 911 Turbo. There’s also a new generation 21-inch summer performance tires from Michelin called the Latitude Sport 3, which offer a low profile and solid high-speed cornering grip.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,855 MM (191.14 Inches)
Width 1,939 MM (76.33 Inches)
Width with door mirrors 2,165 MM (85.23 Inches)
Height 1,702 MM (67.00 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,895 MM (113.97 Inches)
Track widths front 1,643 MM (64.68 Inches)/rear 1,657 MM (65.23 Inches)

Interior

2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Interior
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2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Interior
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2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Interior
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It may go like hell, but the interior of the Cayenne is still luxurious and comfortable. Standard features include a new multifunction sports steering wheel with integrated paddle shifters, stainless steel doorsills, and an auxiliary audio interface. The steering wheel is new, drawing inspiration from the halo 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder.

The steering wheel is new, drawing inspiration from the halo 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder.

The rear bench can be equipped with an optional ventilation feature. There’s also an available “soft close” door function, particularly useful when parked in tight spaces. The windscreen has an available heating option that uses thin heater foil, which adds the side benefit of reduced interior noise.

The standard equipped air suspension (scroll down to the following section for more details) is also useful for loading and unloading luggage thanks to the on-command 52-mm (2.17-inch) drop in ride height. Complementing this, the luggage compartment cover has been simplified.

Infotainment is enhanced via Porsche Car connect, which offers quick access to vehicle information and functions via the associated smartphone app. This includes Park Assist in the front and rear with the Surround View system. Using several high-resolution cameras, the system creates a “virtual bird’s eye perspective” to help drivers maneuver in tight quarters.

Interior trim can be ordered in a two-tone color scheme, including black/luxor beige for no extra cost. Dark walnut-burr trim is a newly added option.

Drivetrain

2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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Porsche managed to improve both the fuel economy and the output of the Cayenne’s engine across the lineup. That means the venerable Turbo model uses its twin-turbo 4.8-liter V-8 to lay down 520 horsepower (a 20-horsepower gain) and 553 pound-feet of torque (a 37-pound-foot gain) while only consuming between 11.5- and 11.2-liters of fuel every 100 km (a 0.3 l/100 km reduction). Emissions look like a number between 267 and 261 g/km of CO2.

Several efficiency technologies are integrated throughout the drivetrain, including a gearbox that has also been optimized with a coasting function.

That’s not exactly Prius territory, but it’s decent for an enormous, fire-breathing sport SUV. With power routed through an 8-speed Tiptronic S gearbox, acceleration looks like 4.5 seconds to 60 (a 0.3-second reduction) with a top speed of 173 mph.

How did Porsche manage it? Several efficiency technologies are integrated throughout the drivetrain, including a gearbox that has also been optimized with a coasting function. Developed to work alongside the automatic stop/start function that shuts down the engine when at a stop, the feature will also decouple the drive gear when lifting off the throttle, preventing the transmission from soaking up excess momentum. Adaptive algorithms adapt this feature to individual driving styles. This function can be deactivated on the center console if desired, and is automatically deactivated when the Sport and Sport-Plus driving modes are engaged.

Thermal management has also been addressed. Active cooling flaps behind the central air inlet open and close depending on the driving situation and engine temperature, either keeping the engine cool or improving aerodynamics up front to reduce drag and improve fuel economy. The thermal management system also ensures the engine and gearbox quickly warm up to optimum temperatures to reduce losses from friction. This improves fuel consumption as well and ensures the interior quickly warms to comfortable temps in cooler environments.

To ensure a nice balance between comfort when you want it and performance when you need it, the Cayenne Turbo is equipped with standard air suspension that Porsche says is suitable for both “off-road and everyday use,” blending comfort and performance into one easily adjustable package.

The suspension mounting points are optimized for enhanced comfort. Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system comes complete with three different driving modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type Engine: Eight-cylinder V engine
Bore 96.0 mm
Stroke 83.0 mm
Displacement 4,806 cm3
Compression ratio 10.5:1
Engine power 520 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Max. torque 553 LB-FT @ 2,250 – 4,000 RPM
Power output per liter 108.1 hp/l (79.5 kW/l)
Max. engine speed 6,700 rpm
Top speed 279 km/h (173 MPH)
0 – 60 mph 4.2 seconds/with Sport Chrono package 4.1 seconds
0 - 100 mph 10.3 seconds

Prices

2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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The Porsche Cayenne Turbo starts at $114,700.

Customers can choose from a plethora of options for the car’s interior, exterior and performance, like a panoramic roof ($660), SportDesign body kit ($5,655), and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes kit ($8,840).

There’s also the popular Sport Chrono package ($770), which comes with the Performance Start feature. Appropriately activated by pressing the brake and the throttle at the same time, this feature increases engine speed and prepares the transmission for maximum off-the-line traction, while optimizing the gear change profile as well.

Competitors

2015 BMW X6 M

2015 BMW X6 M High Resolution Exterior
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We’ve already seen the new 2015 X5 M and now for its cousin to bow. Meet the 2015 X6 M.

When it comes to physics-defying performance SUVs, BMW comes packing the heat with the X6 M. The exterior is shaped with a coupe-like roofline, while under the hood is a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 laying down 567 horsepower at all four wheels via an 8-speed transmission and Bimmer’s xDrive AWD system. It may weight as much as a country, but it’ll still somehow manage a 0-to-60 time under four seconds. Pricing starts at $103,095.

Read our full review here.

2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63

2016 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 High Resolution Exterior
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Unsurprisingly, Mercedes is also taking part in the tap-dancing elephant insanity with its own performance SUV. Like the Bimmer and the Porsche, a twin-turbo V-8 provides the muscle, with 5.5-liters of displacement available in the Merc. Output is measured at 550 horsepower at all four wheels in top spec. Inside you’ll find heaps of high-end luxury and materials. It’s more SUV-esque than the Porsche or BMW, but it’s definitely just as quick. Pricing starts at just under $100,000.

Read our full review here.

History

2004 Porsche Cayenne S
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Porsche Cayenne S

Through all of the whining and boo-hooing of the Porsche faithful, the German sports car builder moved forward with the Cayenne SUV in 2003. The Cayenne debuted with a base, 4.5-liter V-8 with 340 horsepower and had an optional, turbocharged 4.5-liter with 450 horses. The following year a 3.2-liter engine with 247 horsepower debuted as the Cayenne’s entry-level powerplant.

2008 Porsche Cayenne GTS
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In 2008, Porsche revamped the Cayenne with a facelift and a bunch of new variants. The base Cayenne got a new, 290-horsepower V-6, the new Cayenne S got a 4.8-liter V-8 with 385, the new GTS model got a 405-horsepower V-8 and the Turbo model got a 500-horsepower V-8.

2011 Porsche Cayenne
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In 2011, the second-gen Cayenne debuted 400 pounds lighter, and with a new nose to go with revised D-pillars. In 2011, the base Cayenne had a 3.6-liter V-6 with 300 horsepower, the S model had 400 horsepower from a 4.8-liter V-8, the S Hybrid model churned out 380 horses and the Turbo model continued with 500 horses.

Conclusion

2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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Five seats, well over 500 horsepower, and enough tire and engineering tricks to stick a whale to a wall – that’s the combination that the Cayenne boasts. And for the 2015 model year Turbo, it’s all that but turned up to 11. The exterior looks good, the interior is as plush as ever, and the go just keeps going.

It’s hard to best Porsche when it comes to sporty SUVs. Many have tried, but inevitably, the result is pretty much the original idea from Stuttgart but with new gloss. If you’re in the market for an SUV that has the goods to embarrass well-established sports cars while still bringing enough space and comfort to keep a family happy, the Cayenne is the way to go. Just expect to pay for all those physics cheat codes.

  • Leave it
    • * Expensive
    • * Could buy a sports car and an SUV that do both jobs better than the one Porsche (and for less money)

Spy Shots

March 17, 2014 - Porsche Cayenne Turbo reveals its front fascia

2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Exterior Spyshots
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2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Exterior Spyshots
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2015 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Exterior Spyshots
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Up front, we can see that the differences between the standard Cayenne and the Turbo model are very slight, and they include longer fog lights, and a more aggressive lower lip on the front and rear apron. I suspect the differences will be far more obvious by time Porsche rolls the 2015 Cayenne lineup into showrooms.

What do you think?
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