THE world’s most controversial SUV over the past 15 years is about to be reinvented, with all-new lightweight architecture.
Sprung undergoing winter testing in Europe, the 2017 Porsche Cayenne gently morphs the design language set by the 2002 original, with heavy hints of the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept that starred at the 2012 Paris Show. And it blends in a bit of the Audi Q5-based Porsche Macan for good measure.
The result should be a sleeker and more attractive vehicle than what’s come before.
Not surprisingly, the Stuttgart SUV switches to the tech-heavy MLB Evo platform first seen beneath the latest Audi Q7 and just-released Audi A4, to improve both dynamics and efficiency.
Performance, of course, has never been an issue with the Porsche Cayenne. However, a circa-100kg cull thanks to more extensive deployment of aluminium in the bodywork, combined with reworked versions of the 3.6-litre V6 and all-new 4.0-litre V8 petrol units, in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged varieties, ought to slice more than a few tenths off the speedy SUV’s sprint times.
For fans of frugality, expect to see turbo-diesel offshoots to eventually surface (Volkswagen’s emissions scandal may have a bearing on exactly when they appear), to replace the existing 3.0-litre V6 and 4.2-litre V8 TDIs.
We hear that an S E-Hybrid AWD will once again lob in, though which petrol engine that includes remains a secret.
Additionally, like the Mk2 Panamera due out later this year, the Cayenne’s button-festooned interior will give way to a crisper and cleaner layout, featuring a massive central touchscreen and the possibility of this year’s favourite new cabin gadget, gesture control.
The 2017 Porsche Cayenne will be one of four high-end luxury SUV offerings from Wolfsburg Inc., joining the closely related third-generation Volkswagen Touareg, the Bentley Bentayga, and the long-awaited Lamborghini Urus.
Currently, the Mk2 Cayenne kicks off with the base atmo V6 AWD from a tad over $107,000 in Australia, topping out at nearly $285,000 in flagship Turbo S AWD guise. Don’t expect much deviation from that.
Sources suggest that the 2018 Cayenne will debut by the next IAA Frankfurt motor show in September 2017. An earlier unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017 is also possible.
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