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Geneva show: Porsche uncovers leaner new Cayenne

Spiced up: Next-generation Cayenne is will be vastly lighter and more frugal, but no cheaper.

Porsche confirms lighter, more efficient MkII Cayenne will be here in four months

Porsche logo26 Feb 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

PORSCHE’S larger yet lighter and quicker yet more economical new Cayenne SUV has taken a full, official bow ahead of its world debut at the Geneva motor show on March 2 and European release in May.

Australian pricing won’t be announced until closer to the vital new model’s local launch on July 24, when the redesigned Cayenne S, Cayenne S Hybrid and Cayenne Turbo will official go on sale, followed in a few months by replacements for the entry-level V6 petrol and diesel models.

As in Europe, prices will be slightly up across the range, but Porsche says a significant increase in standard specifications, as well as performance and fuel-efficiency, will result in an unprecedented value proposition for buyers of the German sportscar maker’s top-selling model.

The current Porsche Cayenne range is priced from $102,500 to $281,400, plus on-road costs.

A full range of interior, exterior, action, location and cutaway images of the all-new Cayenne S Hybrid and flagship Cayenne Turbo reveal the sleeker new five-door wagon’s more stylised rear-end, more luxurious, Panamera-style interior and more aggressive front-end for the first time.

Apart from confirming the new look previewed by an image that appeared briefly on Porsche’s German model configurator website last week, and was previewed by official photos of disguised models undergoing hot-weather testing last month, the official Cayenne launch release formally confirms many of the outstanding advances made by Porsche for its MkII Cayenne mainly in terms of efficiency.

As expected, Porsche’s first hybrid model, the Cayenne S Hybrid, will be the ‘cleanest’ vehicle in the Zuffenhausen brand’s entire model range, with an official New European Driving Cycle fuel consumption figure of just 8.2 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 193 grams per kilometre.

Thus, Porsche says the full parallel hybrid drive Cayenne, which combines Audi’s 245kW supercharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 with a 34kW electric motor to output a maximum of 279kW and 580Nm from just 1000rpm, delivers the fuel economy of a six-cylinder with performance to match the (also S-badged) Cayenne V8.

Depending on driving conditions, the Cayenne S Hybrid can travel using either or both drive units, which are connected to each other by a separator clutch that allows short-distance emissions-free electric-only driving at speeds of up to 60km/h, engineless “sailing” at up to 156km/h and improved acceleration with both the electric motor and combustion engine working together.

Porsche’s efficiency push applies to the rest of the new Cayenne range too, with a 23 per cent fuel consumption reduction claimed across the line-up, thanks in large part to the standard fitment of a new eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission and automatic idle-stop system for all variants.

25 center imageAs we’ve reported, new weight saving technologies including the latest Cayenne’s new “active and extra-light” all-wheel drive system reduce total weight on the mid-range Cayenne S by an outstanding 180kg “despite the improvement of product substance and an even higher standard of safety”, improving efficiency as well as performance and handling dynamics.

The 298kW 4.8-litre petrol V8 in the Cayenne S is also 23 per cent more frugal than before, with average fuel consumption of 10.5L/100km – despite being 11kW more powerful than the current model (283kW). Offering the same output as the outgoing Cayenne GTS, the new Cayenne S is 4kW more powerful than the similarly-engined Panamera S.

Also 23 per cent more economical at 11.5L/100km is the range-topping Cayenne Turbo, whose twin-turbocharged V8 continues to deliver 368kW (as it does in the Panamera Turbo).

While the Cayenne Diesel’s Volkswagen-sourced 3.0-litre V6 continues to produce peak figures of 176kW and 550Nm, it will be 20 per cent more economical at 7.4L/100km.

Also 20 per cent more efficient is the entry-level Cayenne, which returns 9.9L/100km from its VW-built 3.6-litre petrol V6 despite peak power increasing to 220kW – 7kW up on its (213kW) forebear and the same as the Porsche-built V6 fitted to the upcoming Panamera price-leader.

All up, three of the five new Cayenne variants return less than 10.0L/100km, while two emit less than 200g/km.

Confirmed to bring a 40mm increase in wheelbase and a 48mm hike in overall length, the new Cayenne is claimed to offer “more driving enjoyment both on-road and off-road, combined with even greater everyday driving qualities, enhanced comfort, and supreme elegance”.

The higher-quality, better packaged and more flexible interior comes with a rising centre console upright gearshifter that’s said to provide a cockpit-like driving position, while the rear bench seat slides 160mm fore-aft and has a backrest adjustable over three positions.

Every new cayenne is likely to come standard with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive, a leather interior, dual-zone automatic climate-control, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, an audio system with seven-inch touch-screen, eight-way powered front seat adjustment, 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear electric windows and a 100-litre fuel tank.

The Cayenne Turbo should add air suspension with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), bi-Xenon headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, tyre pressure monitoring, Porsche Communication Management with satellite-navigation, a Bose audio system and heated seats.

As previous reported, however, only the diesel version is expected to continue to offer off-road equipment including a rear differential lock and two-speed transfer case with low-range ratio.

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