Porsche has unveiled the all-new Cayenne ahead of next month’s Frankfurt auto show, livestreaming the launch from its Stuttgart headquarters where it showed off a vehicle with a 911-inspired chassis and an exterior design derived from… well, the old Cayenne.
Despite its longer, wider body; a flatter rear end and standard LED headlights that offer Porsche’s Dynamic Light System, the all-new Cayenne has the same long hood, same oversized air intake vents and the same bug-eyed front fascia as the second generation.
However, don’t let the familiar looks fool you, though, this SUV has been remade from the ground up with a fresh pair of powertrains, a new transmission, a three-chamber air suspension, larger tires and overhauled convenience technology.
With a higher-performance Turbo edition and a plug-in hybrid on the way, the third-generation Cayenne should keep Porsche at the forefront of the luxury crossover market for years to come.
When the all-new Cayenne arrives in the U.S. it will bring an S edition, a new 8-speed automatic transmission and two new 6-cylinder engines. The base model will be paired with a turbocharged 3.0-liter engine that makes 340 horsepower, a 40-point improvement from the current iteration, while the 2.9-liter V6 makes 440 horsepower, 20 better the current Cayenne S.
Both engines are paired to an all-new Tiptronic S transmission, which shortens up shifts in the lower gears then ranges up to an eighth gear for better fuel economy. To that end, Porsche has also shaved 143 pounds off the current Cayenne.
Part of that reduction can be attributed to a new, lightweight active chassis with a separated link front axle and rear multi-link suspension. This new platform also sports electric rear-axle steering, as previously seen in the 911 and Panamera, which is intended to improve handling at high speeds. Couple this with a new 4D Chassis Control system and it becomes clear why Porsche feels this is the crossover that best embodies its sports car lineage.
A Sport Chrono Package offers four configurable driving modes: Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and PSM Sport, each of which adjusts the suspension and other driving settings for various levels of performance driving.
For those in search of a more luxurious ride, Porsche offers adaptable ground clearance in an optional three-chamber air suspension.
While the changes might not be readily apparent, Porsche has taken steps to beef up the Cayenne for its latest generation.
Total length has been increased by roughly 2.5 inches (although the wheelbase measurement remains the same) and the rear luggage compartment has been increased by 3.5 cubic feet, to a total of more than 27 cubic feet, despite the roof being lowered slightly.
Porsche has also increased the size of the standard wheel offering by one inch to 19 inches. Wheel sizes range up to 21 inches and feature mixed tires for improved stability and driving dynamics.
Porsche’s design team also went to work on the interior of the Cayenne, removing many of the analog controls in the center stack and replacing them with an extra large 12.3-inch infotainment screen as well as an expanded set of voice controls.
Straight ahead of the driver is a traditional tachometer with a pair of seven-inch digital screens, one on each side. Through these high-definition displays, the driver has access to a wide array of driving information.
Other advanced systems include a Night Vission Assistance feature, which uses thermal imaging to detect surrounding objects as well as more commonplace systems such as lane keeping assistance, a surround view camera system, adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assistance.
Look for the all-new Cayenne to hit dealerships in mid-2018 with a base price north of $66,000.