Porsche has lifted the veil on the new Cayenne in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany – the third generation of Porsche’s first SUV, which originally came to market in 2003.
Although the exterior does not make a radical departure from the second-gen model, the latest version is more sporty looking (with redesigned, larger air intakes and lots of LED lights) and it certainly has much more sports appeal than than the original model from 14 years ago. The sport’s car maker has intentionally taken the design in this direction, with the manufacturer stating that the new Cayenne is “designed to be the sports car within its segment.”
For this reason, there is the option of staggered front and rear tyre sizes ranging from 19 to 21 inches that help to improve on-road driving dynamics – a first for the Cayenne.
Another change is optional rear-axle steering that creates ‘a virtual reduction of the wheelbase at low speeds and a virtual lengthening at high speeds for improved agility and stability’.
Although the all Cayenne models come standard with all-wheel drive and five driving modes, – the default on-road as well as modes for mud, gravel, sand, or rocks – it’s refreshing that Porsche readily admit that the last four modes are for ‘mild off-road terrain.’
Inside, many of the technologies and design cues that debuted on the 2017 Porsche Panamera have been incorporated, including the 12.3-inch full-HD touchscreen with standard Porsche Connect Plus that has the option of a new off-road precision app. This app allows rough-terrain drives ‘to be documented in detail, helping the driver to improve his or her own skills using video recordings.’
Porsche will offer two models at launch: the Cayenne and Cayenne S. Both are powered by turbocharged six-cylinder engines and come standard with all-wheel-drive. The Cayenne is fitted with a 3.0-litre single-turbo V6 producing 250kW and 450Nm of torque, it can accelerate from zero to 100kph in 6.2 seconds (or 5.9 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package). The top track speed is 245kph.
The Cayenne S has a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that makes 324kW and 550Nm of torque. It is able to accelerate to 100kph from a standstill in 5.2 seconds (or 4.9 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package) and has a top track speed of 265kph .
A newly-developed eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission is standard across the Cayenne line. It offers improved comfort and quicker response times in its lower gear range for improved performance both on- and off-road. Meanwhile, an intentionally long eighth gear allows for relaxed cruising. The long gear is designed to complement the performance-minded lower ratios with the option for comfortable highway cruising.
The wheelbase remains unchanged at 2896mm, while overall length increases slightly to 4928mm and width (with side mirrors folded) is 19812mm. Boot space increases by almost 15 percent over the previous generation to 770-litres.
Porsche Cayenne buyers can select a variety of available assistance systems including night vision assist, which uses a thermal imaging camera to detect pedestrians and animals before they are visible to the naked eye. Lane change assist, lane keep assist including traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assist, park assist including surround view, and Porsche InnoDrive including adaptive cruise control are also available.
Porsche has also developed new brakes and the Cayenne is the first model to offer new Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB), consisting of a cast-iron discs with a tungsten-carbide coating. The finish increases friction values and therefor stopping power while reducing wear and brake dust. The Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB) remain the top system available though.
The 2019 Cayenne and Cayenne S models is expected to be available in South Africa from June 2018.