These days, a car gaining a fully digital gauge cluster is hardly news, yet it's a little different in the case of the new Porsche Cayenne. The updated version of the SUV, set to debut next month, loses its analog tachometer, a longtime Porsche hallmark. Instead, the tachometer is digitally rendered on a curved, 12.6-inch display similar to what's used on the Taycan.
The Taycan was the first Porsche to do without an analog tachometer, but that's because being fully electric, it doesn't need a tachometer at all. We're still a few years away from an all-electric Cayenne, so this is the first internal-combustion Porsche to represent engine speed on a screen. Previously on the Cayenne, an analog tachometer was flanked by two displays on either side.
Porsche's central tachometer has long been a hallmark of the brand, appearing on most examples of the 356, every 911/912, Boxster/Cayman, the Macan, the Panamera, and the most recent two generations of the Cayenne. (The 924/944/968 and 928 always had tach and speedometer side by side.) In this digital age, an analog tachometer in the middle of the gauge cluster certainly isn't a necessity, but it was always a nice thing to have. It separated Porsche from other luxury-car companies, and brought a bit of old-school feel to the interior. It was a little romantic. Now, that little connection to the past will slowly disappear. Though we're holding out hope that it'll remain in the 911, which unlike the rest of the Porsche lineup, is not going all-electric.
Of course, the digital cluster will allow for a lot more configurability, and the system works well in the Taycan. Plus, Porsche will still have an analog clock atop the Cayenne's dash.
The rest of the interior is getting a significant makeover, with a huge infotainment screen in the middle running Porsche's latest software, and much-simplified climate controls on the center console. There's also a bit more storage space in the center console, a previous weak point of the Cayenne, thanks to the new HVAC panel and the relocation of the shifter to the dashboard. The steering wheel is now shared with the 911, and optional is a new passenger display that can stream video. There's a coating on the display, so the driver can't see what the passenger is watching.
Our colleagues at Car and Driver got a chance to preview the new Cayenne earlier this year, and report that this is no minor facelift. The base engine gets more power, and the Cayenne S will once again receive V-8 power in place of a V-6. There are a number of chassis tweaks aimed at improving what was already one of the nicest-driving SUVs on the market.
So there will be much gained with the new 2024 Cayenne, but some of us—your author included—will mourn the loss of the analog tachometer.
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