Porsche has revealed its third-generation Cayenne SUV at a media event held at the company’s Zuffenhausen headquarters in Germany overnight ahead of a public reveal set to take place at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The new model moves to a more fluent styling language, reflecting changes beneath the skin that result in a lighter overall package with contemporary an aluminium body structure, 48-volt electrical system and a revised interior with added connectivity options among a raft of other developments.
Porsche chairman Oliver Blume detailed a launch range that includes just two models initially: the Cayenne and Cayenne S, both powered by newly developed V6 petrol engines taken from the Panamera and matched to a new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive system.
The Cayenne once again takes its underpinnings from within the Volkswagen Group, this time using the latest modular MLB architecture as used by the latest Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga.
Porsche credits a 65kg overall weight reduction for the base-model Cayenne to features including a new floorpan structure that makes greater use of aluminium and hot-formed high-strength steel, a new all-aluminium body, and a lighter lithium-ion starter battery
The conservative evolutionary styling is credited to the Cayenne’s sales success in markets like China where the German automaker was unwilling to risk disrupting sales momentum. Stylistic links to the smaller Macan and the Panamera hatch and wagon are also visible.
A small increase in dimensions sees the new Cayenne grow by 63mm in length to 4918mm, width increases by 44mm to 1983mm, while height reduces slightly by 9mm to 1694mm. Despite the larger dimensions and new platform, the wheelbase remains at 2895mm, endowing the new model with longer front and rear overhangs.
Changes to the interior are more dramatic than those outside thanks to a high-tech new dashboard that blends traditional analogue and digital instruments, with the same touch-sensitive console controls as the Panamera for a more up-to-the-minute look.
The centrepiece of the new interior is a 12.3-inch touch screen which plays host to an extensive list of connectivity options, including an optional LTE telephone module and WiFi hotspot. There is also a new range of driver assistance systems, including Night Vision Assist with a thermal imaging camera, Lane Change Assist, Lane Keeping Assist including traffic sign recognition, Traffic Jam Assist, Park Assist with Surround View and Porsche’s new InnoDrive system with adaptive radar controlled cruise control.
With time the model range will expand beyond the two introductory models which start with the 250kW/450Nm turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 Cayenne, boosting outputs by 30kW and 50Nm compared with the previous Cayenne’s naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 allowing for a 6.2 second 0-100 km/h sprint, and dropping to 5.9sec with the optional Sport Chrono Package.
The Cayenne S receives a more powerful turbocharged 2.9-litre V6. With 324kW and 550Nm, Porsche claims 0-100km/h in 5.2sec (4.9sec with the Sport Chrono Package).
A look at some of the Panamera’s existing models points to a future set to include a pair of plug-in hybrid models based on the 340kW Panamera E-Hybrid and 500kW Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid as well as a range topping Cayenne Turbo sporting a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 with 404kW, set to arrive before the end of 2018.
With the current Cayenne diesel under examination relating to emissions issues, no mention has yet been made of diesel-powered models for the new generation, however the sales success of existing diesels suggest there will be will be successors to the outgoing Cayenne Diesel and Cayenne Diesel S with the the 310kW turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine of the Panamera Diesel S likely to find its way into the new Cayenne Diesel S.
As well as a lighter platform, Porsche has developed a new double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension coupled with revised elastokinematic properties all round. It comes with a so-called Porsche 4D Chassis Control system and, on the Cayenne S model, Porsche Active Suspension Management with variable rate dampers.
For the first time, Porsche has made available a new wheel and tyre package with rear tyres wider than the fronts, which the automaker claims has allowed more drive from the all-wheel drive system to be sent rearwards.
Buyers can option the new SUV with a new air suspension featuring three chamber plungers, as available on the Panamera. Porsche says the new set-up provides a greater spread between comfort and sport modes as well as greater adjustment and faster reaction times in ground clearance when running in off-road mode.
Changes to the optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) sees the adjustable roll bars stabilisation move from hydraulic control to a new electrically operated system for faster response times, improving both urban manoeuvrability and open road agility.
A new optional rear-wheel steering system, already available on various 911 and Panamera models will also be made available for the Cayenne.
The third-generation Cayenne will also introduce a new Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) which consists of a cast iron disc featuring a tungsten-carbide coating. The new combination is claimed to increase friction for improved stopping ability while reducing wear and brake dust compared to conventional cast iron discs.
To prove the point PSCB discs can be identified by their white callipers. As before, buyers can also specify Porsche Carbon Ceramic brakes.
Local launch timing and pricing for the 2018 Cayenne range is still to be confirmed by Porsche Australia.
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