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From custom colour to massage seats, new updates on SUV market mainstay delivers dozens of personalization options

From custom colour to massage seats, new updates on the SUV market mainstay delivers dozens of personalization options

For 2024, Porsche has given its third-generation Cayenne a major refresh to elevate it in the luxury SUV segment, with more power and more battery capacity in the hybrid model. What really sets the Cayenne apart from its rivals, though, is its expanded customization options.

“When we say Cayenne is the sports car of all the SUVs out there, that’s not just a tagline,” said Primus Tien, product planning manager at Porsche Cars Canada.

"If you’re looking for a luxury vehicle with the best possible driving experience, then Porsche Cayenne is your ride. And with the customization options, you can easily build your dream vehicle.”

Online, Cayenne customers can personalize nearly every aspect of the car. They can begin by choosing from 12 standard colours — including Montego Blue, a gorgeous teal — or entirely custom paint. Then come 25 distinct wheel styles, eight interior colourways, comfort seat options and dozens of other customizable details.

Empowering customers to personalize purchases is becoming the norm in the consumer landscape, and that’s particularly true for luxury buys and big-ticket items like vehicles, said Page Moreau, a marketing professor at the Wisconsin School of Business.

“Customization provides a tremendous amount of value to the customers,” said Ms. Moreau, who recently co-authored a paper on luxury customizations in the Journal of Marketing Research. The paper describes how luxury brands can benefit when enabling customers to personalize products through online toolkits.

“Our research shows you want to give the consumers the opportunity to customize [the product] and make it their own,” she said. That comes with a caveat: a luxury product shouldn’t be so heavily customized that it becomes unrecognizable to others, because luxury buying is driven by a desire to own a status symbol, she explained.

In a separate study, researchers at South Korea’s Duksung Women’s University found that mass customization is a mutually beneficial strategy for luxury brands seeking to develop and nurture relationships with their customers.

While the new Cayenne certainly has a lot of styling options, it isn’t getting by on looks alone. Porsche’s engineering and development teams studied trends and technologies inside and out of the automotive sector to enhance safety, deliver power and refine the driving experience. Porsche also led the way on a few key innovations.

With all the options on the new Cayenne, it may take time to know where to begin. So here is a breakdown of the most exciting ones to delight any driver.

The look

Standout features on the new Cayenne include a sleek body, elegant dash layout and exclusive HD Matrix headlights — an adaptive lighting system powered by 32,000 individually controllable micro-LEDs per headlight.

But it’s the customization options that bring it home. For instance, the Paint to Sample option gives customers the freedom to pick whatever colour they want. Mr. Tien said his team loves it when customers bring in their favourite handbag or nail polish to get an exact match.

Additionally, the look of the car can also be personalized through interior trim packages, decorative stitching, different materials, wheel styles and more through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur.

Meanwhile, the SportDesign package customization means saying yes to a lower valance with additional air intakes and a rear apron, bespoke door sill guards and distinctive wheel arch extensions.

The drive

Michael Schätzle, vice-president of the Cayenne product line, recently told the room at the 2023 Shanghai Auto Show that the new Cayenne is “one of the most extensive product upgrades in the history of Porsche.”

He counted the digitalized display and control concept, dynamic chassis control technology and new air suspension among some of the key innovations. Predictive navigation detects objects on the road like approaching tunnel entrances, too.

The new Cayenne also comes with a traditional steel spring suspension including Porsche Active Suspension Management and new shock absorbers with dual-valve technology for optimized driving. Pioneering cockpit architecture, meanwhile, allows both the driver and front passenger to interact with the vehicle.

And when it comes to power, the Cayenne has it in spades. The entry model boasts 348 horsepower, while the e-hybrid clocks in at 463 and the sport model hits 468 — above and beyond many competitors in their respective classes.

car interior

The vibe

The new Cayenne’s versatile and intuitive cockpit design reflects Porsche’s obsession for elevating the driver experience. All the important controls are clustered around the revamped steering wheel.

The 12.3-inch HD display gives the driver and front-seat passenger easy control over driving and comfort functions, online navigation, and multimedia entertainment. Or, the passenger can have a screen all their own; the Cayenne comes with an optional 10.9-inch passenger display. Displays come with ScreenHits TV, an in-car portal enabling streaming from platforms like Disney+ and Amazon Prime.

The extras

The 2024 Cayenne also has wellness in mind. Massage seats, fine dust filters and an ionizer to remove airborne germs and pollutants are all options during the customization process.

And what about a little musical therapy? Customers can opt for a 21-speaker Burmester sound system operating at 1,455 watts.

And these are just some of the customizations available to Cayenne buyers, said Mr. Tien. “Porsche’s core value is all about the driving experience,” he said. “Everything comes down to that.”

Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Porsche. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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