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Porsche warming up to plug-in Cayenne reveal

Power plus: Porsche’s Cayenne will be tested by the world’s motoring media this week.

Cayenne set to get mind-warping Porsche PHEV powertrain from Panamera

24 Oct 2017


PORSCHE Cayenne buyers should only have to wait until early 2018 to find out full details of the latest hybrid version of the German sportscar manufacturer’s all-new flagship SUV – potentially the fastest-accelerating vehicle in its class.

Sources at the company have confirmed that the plug-in petrol-electric Cayenne will be the next variant of the third-generation large sports-luxury SUV to be revealed by the company, probably about the same time as Australian pricing is announced for the initial-release petrol variants – the V6 turbo Cayenne, V6 twin-turbo Cayenne S and bi-turbo V8 Cayenne Turbo.

The only debate is whether the company bothers to release another mild hybrid Cayenne or jump straight to a plug-in version employing the stonking 500kW plug-in hybrid powertrain poached from the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.

In Panamera, the all-wheel-drive Turbo S E-Hybrid powertrain combines a 404kW 4.0-litre biturbo petrol V8 from the Panamera Turbo S with a 100kW electric motor. The combined output is 500kW/850Nm and acceleration from from zero to 100km/h is a 911-like 3.4 seconds.

At the global launch of the new-generation Cayenne in Crete this week, nobody from Porsche is denying this scenario for the SUV.

It does not come cheap, though, with the PHEV Panamera price topping more than $400,000.

Diesel Cayenne variants are expected to follow, even though diesel is on the nose in Europe.

However, when parent company Volkswagen Group has a 310kW/900Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel floating about in vehicles such as the Audi SQ7 and Bentley Bentayga, only a total pessimist would expect Porsche not to take advantage.

First deliveries of the slightly bigger, slightly lighter and more powerful Cayenne are expected in Australia in mid-2018.

The new Cayenne sits on the same VW Group MLB platform as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, although all three are designed with their own attributes. In Porsche’s case, it is sporty all the way.

More than 60mm longer and 44mm wider than before, the new Cayenne is said to steer the big SUV closer to the Porsche ideal than before, with designers and engineers focusing on sportier handling and 911 styling traits.

The Cayenne is pivotal to Porsche success, both globally and in Australia. Now the second-best-selling Porsche model after the Macan, the Cayenne is a cash cow that helps to fund other Porsche flights of fancy.

In Australia, the Cayenne and Macan account for a whopping 80 per cent of Porsche sales. Because of this, Porsche Cars Australia has enjoyed seven years of unbroken sales growth, with volumes rising to 4434 units in 2016.

However, this year, as Cayenne enters run-out, Cayenne sales are down 15.4 per cent, taking overall Porsche sales in Australia down 2.5 per cent to the end of September.

Potentially, the new Cayenne can reverse that slide, with a lot of technology poached from other Porsche models, especially the Panamera sedan.

So far, there is no sign of an all-electric Cayenne, but Porsche is committed to electrified powertrains. With the wickedly fast Porsche Mission E battery-electric sports sedan just around the corner, an all-electric Cayenne is a distinct possibility.

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