LOS ANGELES — Porsche has put the combustion engine Cayenne on the path to retirement, but first, the automaker is giving the workhorse midsize crossover a midcycle freshening that feels more like a redesign.
To elevate the driving experience, Porsche has dialed up engine output across the Cayenne lineup.
While the industry steers away from thirsty V-8 engines to meet ever-tightening emissions regulations, Porsche is returning the big engine to the Cayenne S for the U.S. after ditching it nearly a decade ago.
The 2024 Cayenne S swaps its V-6 for a V-8 that makes an additional 34 hp and delivers a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.4 seconds. Porsche mechanically adapted the eight-cylinder to make it "at least as fuel-efficient" as the V-6, said Mike DePetro, product manager for Porsche Cars North America.
The V-8 also helps differentiate the S trim from the base Cayenne.
"The V-8 is a very important American need and want in an automobile," he told Automotive News on the sidelines of a media event here. "We were losing consideration because we didn't have a V-8."
But it took some convincing at Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart.
"We're a global company, and to have an offer for just our market sometimes doesn't make sense," DePetro said. "But there was a business case behind it, so we made it happen."
DePetro expects the S trim to account for about 30 percent of Cayenne sales.