Porsche is dropping base Cayenne

Porsche is dropping -- at least for now -- its base-model Cayenne, which had started at $50,595. That had put starting prices for Porsche's large crossover right in line with the brand's new mid-sized crossover, the 2015 Macan, which went on sale in May at a base price of $50,895.

When the freshened 2015 Porsche Cayenne goes on sale Nov. 1 in the United States, the lineup will encompass four variants, starting with the Cayenne Diesel at $62,695 and going up to the Cayenne Turbo at $114,595. All prices include shipping.

That new lineup will include a twin-turbo engine, a plug-in hybrid model and prices that range from 3 to 11 percent higher.

Even with more price separation, Porsche executives expect some Cayenne buyers to switch to the Macan. But since Cayenne demand has outstripped supply in recent years, Cayenne sales shouldn't suffer overall, Porsche's U.S. sales chief told Automotive News in June.

Porsche expects the substitution rate between the Cayenne and Macan to be no more than 10 to 15 percent, said Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars North America.

"We are absolutely overwhelmed with what we have seen with the Cayenne the last four or five years," von Platen said. "It seems like the Cayenne doesn't have any life cycle at the moment. Demand is there."

Porsche sold 18,507 Cayennes in 2013, up 19 percent. Through June, Cayenne sales were 8,713, down 9 percent. Overall, Porsche's U.S. deliveries rose 8 percent to 22,918 through June.

Two highlights for 2015 are the new plug-in hybrid, which replaces a conventional hybrid, and the new 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine for the Cayenne S.

In the plug-in, named the Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Porsche has more than doubled the electric motor's output to 95 hp from 47 hp, resulting in an all-electric top speed of 78 mph. In combination with its 333-hp, 3.0-liter supercharged V-6, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid produces total output of 416 hp at 5,500 rpm. It can go from 0 to 62 mph in 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 151 mph. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid starts at $77,395, including shipping.

Porsche is dropping the naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V-8 in the Cayenne S in favor of the new twin-turbo V-6, which was developed entirely at Porsche. It produces maximum power of 420 hp at 6,000 rpm, a gain of 20 hp over the outgoing V-8 engine. The Cayenne S accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds and has a top speed of 160 mph. It starts at $75,095.

You can reach Amy Wilson at awilson@crain.com -- Follow Amy on Twitter: @theamywilson

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