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Porsche Cayenne goes designer

Earning its stripes: Porsche's limited-edition Cayenne GTS Porsche Design Edition 3.

Last hurrah for Cayenne SUV as Porsche applies design-edition treatment to GTS

27 Mar 2009

A SWANSONG for the first generation of Porsche’s much maligned but super-successful luxury off-roader has emerged in the form of the Cayenne GTS Porsche Design Edition 3.

As the name suggests, the latest design-edition Porker is based on the most road-focussed variant of the German brand’s full-size SUV, which will be replaced by an all-new model comprising Porsche’s first hybrid vehicle in 2010.

In a fitting send-off for the Stuttgart sportscar-maker’s first five-door, the 250,000th example of which was produced at Leipzig on March 6 after a seven-year model life that shocked Porsche purists when it began in 2002, just 1000 versions of the exclusive Porsche Design Cayenne will be available globally.

A “strictly limited” number will go on sale in Australia from September, priced at $199,700 – a cool $37,800 more than the ‘regular’ 298kW/500Nm 4.8-litre V8-powered GTS ($161,900).

As previously reported, Porsche’s first oil-burning model, the 176kW/550Nm 3.0-litre Cayenne Diesel joins the line-up in late April at $101,900, while the 213kW/385Nm 3.6-litre petrol V6-powered ‘Cayenne’ continues to open the range at $100,500.

Meantime, the 283kW/500Nm Cayenne S ($144,500) and the 368kW/700Nm Cayenne Turbo ($234,000) bookend both GTS models, with the flagship 404kW/750Nm Turbo S topping the Cayenne family. The Cayenne S-based Transsyberia brings the number of Cayenne variants to seven.

25 center imageHowever, the designer Cayenne’s hefty price premium does not bring brisker acceleration than the standard GTS, which in six-speed Tiptronic S automatic guise is already the quickest and fastest non-turbo Cayenne, with claimed 0-100km/h acceleration of 6.5 seconds and a 251km/h top speed.

However, like previous design-edition models, the most unique Cayenne comes with the slightly smelly lure of free Porsche Design accessories, in this case a unique watch and travel bags.

Said to exclusively match the Cayenne GTS Porsche Design Edition 3, the Porsche Design Chronograph watch features a light titanium casing and metal strap with a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating claimed to be similar to that on racing engines, plus an exclusive chronograph face with design cues from the Cayenne’s interior.

But wait, there’s more – not in the shape of kitchen knives but a four-piece luggage set comprising three various-size trolley cases and a briefcase, each bearing the Porsche Design Edition 3 logo.

All Cayenne PDE3s will be wear ‘Lava Grey’ metallic exterior paint with Porsche Design badges and decals – spanning the full length of the bonnet and doors - while the “Porsche Design Edition 3” moniker also appears on the car’s tachometer, front door entries and glovebox.

As far as we can see, there’s no other actual equipment from the Porsche Design Studio at Zell am See in Austria, but DPE3 buyers do get the same booming 410-Watt, 14-speaker Bose 5.1 Surround Sound System as seen in the Cadillac CTS sedan.

Not that the GTS lacks equipment, since the designer version also features black leather-trimmed power-adjustable front sports seats with red contrasting seams, memory package, high-rise side bolstering, Porsche-embossed head restraints and, both front and rear, non-slip Alcantara in the centre sections.

The latter is matched with the door and centre console trims, plus the door-pulls, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and the entire headlining.

There are also colour co-ordinated 21-inch SportPlus alloy wheels, bi-Xenon headlights and tinted rear windows, plus an extended roof spoiler with a double wing profile as a no-cost option.

In line with the global automotive industry as a whole, Porsche sales slumped 27 per cent in the six months to the end of January, but also fell 41 per cent in the US and 51 per cent in Australia in February.

Worldwide Cayenne sales stayed relatively strong despite downturns in the US and Germany, thanks to emerging markets like China, Russia, Latin America and the Middle East, with 45,478 Cayennes sold in the recently expired 2007/08 fiscal year – about half of Porsche’s total global sales volume.

Clever investment in Volkswagen has helped insulate Porsche from the global economic downturn. However, the SUV that helped “recession-proof” the Zuffenhausen marque will allow it to bring to market not only the second-generation Cayenne and all-new Panamera four-door grand tourer in 2010, but redesigned versions of the 911, Boxster and Cayman within the next two years too.

Read more:

Melbourne show: Porsche goes diesel

Porsche gives Cayenne the 911 treatment

First drive: Cayenne GTS drives to new extremes


The Road to Recovery podcast series


GoAuto can help you buy a new Cayenne

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