Porsche is applying the finishing touches to its third-generation Cayenne for 2018. It’s the next chapter in the German marque’s short but important SUV history. The firm’s efforts in the 4×4 market have been controversial for fans of the brand, but have provided the sports car maker with vital cash flow. The smaller Macan is now Porsche’s biggest seller, but the Cayenne still represents a huge chunk of total sales. By the firm’s own count, just over 70,000 units were shifted in 2016, around 30 per cent of Porsche’s total output.
Flagship Turbo and Turbo S models will be priced from around £100,000 and will offer class-leading performance.
Our exclusive image previews how the Cayenne Mk3 will shape up when it appears in showrooms at the start of next year. We expect Porsche to update the looks of its large SUV with design traits taken from the smaller Macan. A clamshell bonnet with embedded headlights should make its way onto the front end of the car, while at the back the LED tail-lights will be connected by a thin lighting strip running the width of the tailgate. Overall, though, the design will be evolutionary rather than a completely fresh start, and the silhouette of the SUV will remain largely unchanged.
The next Cayenne will make use of the Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo architecture, like other premium SUVs from the group, such as the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. It will also underpin the next VW Touareg and all-new Lamborghini Urus.
The new platform is lighter than the one used on the current Cayenne, and if Porsche combines it with new, lightweight materials such as aluminium, it could shave up to 100kg off the current car’s kerbweight, making it better to drive and improving fuel economy in the process.
Unlike the exterior, changes in the cabin will be revolutionary. We can expect to see the digital dash and centre console design from the new Panamera feature in the Cayenne. High-resolution displays, haptic feedback controls and improved connected services should all feature.
Porsche will keep the Cayenne’s engine range much the same, sticking with six and eight-cylinder diesel and petrol units. They’ll be developments of the engines used in the current model, tweaked for more power and better economy.
Again, the entry-level model will be a V6-powered Cayenne diesel, likely to start from around £55,000. Flagship Turbo and Turbo S models will be priced from around £100,000 and will offer class-leading performance.
Hybrid technology will remain part of the SUV range, too, and we could see the 671bhp turbocharged powertrain from the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid make an appearance when the new Cayenne hits the road in 2018.