MUCH of Porsche’s current status as the world’s most profitable car company can be attributed to the success of the Cayenne SUV, which infuriated purists when it was unveiled in 2003, but has since brought thousands of customers to the brand. Now the German company is preparing to launch the third generation of the car, which has been revealed ahead of its public debut at the forthcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Porsche’s latest large SUV takes cues from its smaller brother, the Macan, plus the recently updated Panamera saloon.
It gets an evolution of the outgoing car’s headlight design – with a matrix beam that can adjust so as not to dazzle on coming motorists – as well as a front grille that features more unbroken horizontal lines. The car’s wheelbase remains the same, but its overall length increases by 63mm and the roof is 9mm lower. Coupled with the increased use of horizontal lines at the front end, this gives the Cayenne a slightly wider-looking stance. Its profile remains largely the same, though, albeit with a marginally longer rear overhang that helps to increase boot capacity by 100 litres, to 770 litres.
Inside, the Cayenne’s facia is totally overhauled and has much in common with the Panamera’s dashboard. The front cabin is still dominated by the large centre console – and the Cayenne’s distinctive grab-handles remain, too – but there are far fewer buttons because Porsche’s engineers have moved many of the functions to the 12.3-inch touchscreen.
The newcomer sits on the same MLB architecture as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, so it gets access to 48V electrics. Porsche is using this to offer an active antiroll barset-up on the options list. At launch, the engine line-up will be restricted to a pair of new petrol units. The first, a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6, will feature in the car badged simply Cayenne. It produces 335bhp and 450Nm of torque, which is enough to take the car from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 152mph.
There’s also a more potent twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6, with 434bhp and 550Nm. It’ll power the Cayennes and offer punchier performance, with 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds (4.9 seconds if Porsche’s Sport Chrono option is fitted) and a 165mph top speed. Diesel editions – as well as range topping Turbo and Turbo S petrol models, and a plug-in hybrid – are likely to follow in the first half of next year.
The new Cayenne is available to order now at Porsche dealerships, although first deliveries of the car aren’t expected until April. The single-turbo V6 petrol version costs £55,965, while the twin-turbocharged Cayenne S is priced from £68,330, which represents a small increase over the outgoing model.