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Driven: All-new Porsche Cayenne touches down

Cayenne pepper: In its most potent Turbo form, the Cayenne punches out 404kW of power and 770Nm of torque from a 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine.

Porsche expects E-Hybrid plug-in to account for larger Cayenne sales volume


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8 Jun 2018

PORSCHE Cars Australia (PCA) has set high sales expectations for the third-generation Cayenne large SUV, particularly in plug-in hybrid form, ahead of its showroom arrival on June 23.


Speaking to GoAuto at the Cayenne national media launch this week in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, PCA head of public relations Chris Jordan confirmed that demand for plug-in hybrids, such as the Cayenne E-Hybrid, is increasing.


“Across the board, there’s definitely more interest from consumers on hybrid overall,” he said. “Within Porsche, we’re seeing an increase in hybrid, and Panamera’s the best example of that – over 25 per cent of the sales mix for Panamera is hybrids.


“In some parts of the world, particularly Europe, it’s well over 50 per cent to 70 per cent. That has shown that the demand for hybrid is increasing.


“Where we’ve positioned Hybrid within the (Cayenne) range has changed too. It’s not the Cayenne S E-Hybrid, it’s the Cayenne E-Hybrid, so it sits below the S.”


The Cayenne is currently offered in four grades, with the regular variant opening the range from $116,300 before on-road costs, up $6200 over the previous version, while the E-Hybrid will sit directly above at $135,600, down $9900, when it arrives in the third quarter this year.


Further up the all-petrol Cayenne line-up, the S is $10,600 dearer than before, at $155,100, while the flagship Turbo is up $1900, to $239,400.


As such, Mr Jordan revealed that PCA has a stronger sales projection for the Cayenne E-Hybrid than its predecessor.


“The (new) price point should attract more customers, (and) the car’s a really compelling offering. We expect it to be more of the mix this time around,” he said.


“As part of us pushing E-Performance, we are really promoting hybrid more and more, and customers are more interested in hybrid, as well, so it is growing.”


Given the aforementioned Panamera is offered in 4 E-Hybrid and Turbo S E-Hybrid forms, it is expected that the latter’s 500kW/850Nm powertrain will eventually be added to the Cayenne line-up. A Diesel variant has already been confirmed to join the line-up at a later date.


While Mr Jordan was not able to reveal the number of pre-orders PCA currently holds for the Cayenne, he said it was “pretty healthy”.


“They’ve been on order from the first of March, but the enquiry and people putting down expressions of interest was well before that,” he said.


“Our dealers know their customers very well. They’re often communicating with them well in advance, getting them ready, warmed up.”


When questioned if there was a waiting list for the Cayenne, Mr Jordan explained that delays were typically due to customisation requests while regular stock was a non-issue.


“I wouldn’t say waiting list, but a lot of customers – particularly on Turbo – might want to build their own, which means their car takes a few months to come along,” he said.


“A lot of customers like to customise their cars, so that’s where the waiting list comes in. If you wanted to buy one out of stock, it’s going to be okay.”


Despite conceding that the previous model’s sales in recent months were “hardly any across 14 dealers”, Mr Jordan was not able to reveal PCA’s monthly or annual forecast for the new Cayenne.


“It was a very small number, but that’s just because the run-out’s been strong,” he said.


“(It is) a nice position to be in – that we’re not having to have a run-out campaign crossover with the launch, so our dealers are 100 per cent focused on the launch.”


Ahead of the new model’s release, sales of the Cayenne have taken a hit this year, with 355 examples sold to the end of May, representing a 46.3 per cent decrease over the 661 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.


As such, the Porsche currently places ninth in the $70,000-plus large-SUV segment this year, trailing the BMW X5 (1189 units), Range Rover Sport (1152), Audi Q7 (931), Mercedes-Benz GLE (782) and Land Rover Discovery (771), among others.


As previously reported, the entry-level Cayenne is powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 engine that produces 250kW of power from 5300 to 6400rpm and 450Nm of torque from 1340rpm to 5300rpm, up 30kW and 50Nm.


These outputs enable a claimed sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 6.2 seconds, or 5.9s with the optional Sports Chrono package – 1.5s quicker than its predecessor – while on the way to a top speed of 245km/h, up 15km/h.


While the S employs a smaller 2.9-litre unit, it picks up a second turbocharger that boosts outputs to 324kW from 5700 to 6700rpm and 550Nm from 1800 to 5500rpm, up 15kW over its 3.6-litre forebear, resulting in a 0.3s quicker triple-figure sprint, at 5.2s – or 4.9s with Sports Chrono. Its terminal velocity is 265km/h, up 6km/h.


The Turbo ups the ante further with its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that pumps out 404kW from 5750 to 6000rpm and 770Nm from 1960 to 4500rpm, up 22kW and 20Nm despite conceding about 800cc in displacement between generations.


As a result, the Turbo can dash to 100km/h in 4.1s – or 3.9s with Sports Chrono – which is 0.4s quicker than the second-generation model could muster. It maxes out at 286km/h, up 7km/h.


Meanwhile, the E-Hybrid powertrain combines the regular variant’s bent six with a 100kW/400Nm electric motor for combined outputs of 340kW from 5250 to 6400rpm and 700Nm from 1000 to 3750rpm, up 31kW and 150Nm.


The plug-in hybrid can hit triple figures in 5.0s – 0.9s quicker than the incumbent – while moving towards its top speed of 253km/h, up 10km/h.


All four powertrains are exclusively paired with an eight-speed ZF torque-convertor automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring.


Claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test ranges from 9.0 litres per 100 kilometres in the regular variant to 11.7L/100km in the Turbo, while the S and E-Hybrid check in at 9.2L/100km and 3.4L/100km respectively.


The Cayenne has four off-road – Mud, Gravel, Sand and Rocks – and three on-road – Individual, Normal and Sport – driving modes, while Sport Plus is added to the latter when the Sports Chrono package is optioned.


Standard equipment in all Cayennes includes dusk-sensing LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, front foglights, LED tail-lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, rear privacy glass, a power-operated tailgate, and power-folding and heated side mirrors.


Inside, a 12.3-inch PCM touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay support, satellite navigation, digital radio, voice control, a Wi-Fi hotspot, dual multi-information displays, keyless start, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED ambient lighting and leather upholstery feature.


Advanced driver-assist systems extend to forward collision warning, partial autonomous emergency braking, multi-collision brake, blind-spot monitoring, surround-view cameras, front and rear parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, cruise control and a speed limiter.


The regular variant also includes a 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a 150W 10-speaker sound system, 14-way power-adjustable front comfort seats with memory functionality, while the E-Hybrid adds a digital and analogue stopwatch.


Stepping up to the S increases specification to 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive headlights, quad exhaust tailpipes, a 710W 14-speaker Bose sound system, heated front seats, stainless-steel sports pedals, a power-operated panoramic sunroof, and an active three-chamber air suspension.


The range-topping Turbo is further punctuated by its 21-inch alloy wheels, cornering lights, an active roof-mounted rear spoiler, four-zone climate control, keyless entry, heated rear seats, 18-way power-adjustable front sports seats with ventilation functionality, a heated steering wheel and an Alcantara roofliner plus the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) electronic roll stabilisation system.


Measuring in at 4918mm long, 1983mm wide and 1696mm tall, the range-opening Cayenne is 63mm longer, 44mm wider and 6mm shorter than before, while its 2895mm wheelbase is 100mm shorter.


In the regular variant and S, cargo capacity is up 100L, to 770L, but can expand to 1710L with the 40:20:40 split-fold second row stowed.


Thanks to the addition of the new modular MLB Evo platform shared with other Volkswagen Group products, such as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, the Cayenne is 65 kilograms lighter in entry-level form due to the stringent use of aluminium and lightweight steel.


2018 Porsche Cayenne pricing*

Cayenne (a) $116,300 (+6200)
Cayenne E-Hybrid (a) $135,600 (-9900)
Cayenne S (a) $155,100 (+10,600)
Cayenne Turbo (a) $239,400 (+1900)

*Excludes on-road costs

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