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Frankfurt show: ‘More Porsche’ Cayenne revealed

Flat battery: Porsche’s all-new Cayenne will go plug-in, but only in hybrid form.

Lighter, faster Porsche Cayenne shown off ahead of its Frankfurt show debut


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30 Aug 2017

PORSCHE’S new “more Porsche” Cayenne was unveiled at an elaborate global event in Germany last night, revealing a lighter and faster sports-luxury large SUV flagship.

Longer by 63mm at 4918mm and wider by 44mm at 1983mm, the latest Cayenne is nevertheless up to 65kg lighter than before at 1985kg in base guise.

Due to make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show on September 12, the third-generation Cayenne will be delivered into Australian customer’s hands from the middle of 2018.

Porsche says the design of the 2018 model-year Cayenne, while evolutionary, is heavily based on the iconic 911 sportscar, but its new lightweight MLB architecture constructed of a mix of steel and aluminium is shared with other Volkswagen Group vehicles such as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga.

So far, only two turbo V6 petrol powertrains have been announced for Europe, with other powertrains – including diesel, petrol V8 and petrol-electric hybrid variants – held back for another time.

Speaking at the reveal event in which a symphony orchestra serenaded the new model on to the stage at Zuffenhausen, Porsche AG chairman Oliver Blume said the Cayenne had been completely redeveloped.

“It has been visibly and tangibly improved and perfected in all respects,” he said. “The Cayenne has also been digitalised and networked throughout to give it a forward-thinking design.”

The new model replaces the second-generation Cayenne that was introduced in 2010 and facelifted in 2014.

So far, only European specifications have been announced for the new model, with the Australian line-up due to be outlined with pricing early next year.

The base Cayenne gets the same 250kW/450Nm turbo 3.0-litre V6 as the latest Porsche Panamera, providing power and torque gains of 30kW and 50Nm over the current Cayenne.

The new engine mated with an eight-speed Tiptronic close-ratio automatic transmission powers the Cayenne from zero to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds, compared with 7.6s currently.

With the optional Sports Chrono package, the sprint to 100km/h is cut to 5.9s, while top speed is now 245km/h.

The Cayenne S steps up to an all-new 2.9-litre Porsche-developed twin-turbo V6 pumping out 324kW and 550Nm – 15kW more power and the same torque as the current 3.6-litre Cayenne S.

The 0-100km/h drag now takes 5.2s (4.9s with Sports Chrono), cutting 0.2s from the elapsed time. Top speed is 265km/h.

Aluminium has been employed extensively throughout the Cayenne’s new body. The exterior skin is entirely of aluminium, while the floorpan, front section and most of the chassis components are from alloy.

Steel is still used in critical places, such as side frames, to resist crash impact.

Despite the weight-saving measures, fuel efficiency gains are marginal, with the Cayenne recording up to 9.0 litres per 100km on the Euro combined test cycle, and the Cayenne S up to 9.2L/100km.

To make the Cayenne sportier, Porsche has taken a leaf out of the 911 book by providing wider wheels at the back, compared with those at the front. Standard wheel diameter goes up one inch, to 19 inches, while 21-inch wheels are optional.

For the first time, the Cayenne gets electric-activated rear-axle steering as used on the 911 and Panamera, along with active all-wheel drive as standard, three-chamber air suspension and the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) electronic roll stabilisation system.

The heavy reliance on electric activation in the chassis is aided by the adoption of a 48-volt system, up from the standard 12-volt electrics.

Although the Cayene will rarely head off-road, Porsche has included four bush driving models – mud, gravel, sand and rocks – adjusting the transmission, chassis and differential locks accordingly.

LED headlights are now standard, but customers can opt for more levels of sophisticated lighting that have increased capabilities such as anti-glare matrix operation on motorways using up to 84 LEDs.

The luggage compartment is 100 litres bigger than before, at 770L.

A Panamera-style 12.3-inch touchscreen now sits in the middle of the dash, while the driver sits in front of a large analogue tacho flanked by two LCD screens for other gauges and functions.

In a world first, Porsche introduces a tungsten-carbide coated brake disc as an option to the standard steel discs on the Cayenne. The new brake system, with a coating over steel discs, is a half-way house to the full ceramic set-up that remains the top option.

Although Porsche is yet to reveal details of its V8 engine for its new-generation Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S variants, a Porsche-developed 4.0-litre twin-turbo unit is expected to replace the current 4.8-litre V8.

Although the outgoing Cayenne is long in the tooth, it has been powering along in the Australian showrooms, achieving 913 sales so far in 2017, up 1.8 per cent on the same seven months of last year.

It is not only the only representative in its class to have increased sales over 2016, it also is Porsche Cars Australia’s second-best seller behind its smaller sibling, the Macan (1569).

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