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The third-gen Cayenne hasn’t strayed too far in terms of styling from its predecessor. Mechanically, the car is pretty much all new. This car is built on the company’s MLB-Evo platform, which also underpins cars like the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus. There’s a new set of engines form the Panamera, a 48V electromechanical anti-roll bar system and electric rear-wheel steering. On the inside, there’s the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system that debuted with the new Panamera. In India, the Cayenne is Porsche’s best-seller, so there’s a lot riding on it.
There’s Porsche lettering that stretched out with space for the number plate below. The rear glass is raked steeply and hooded by a large spoiler. On the Turbo there’s an active rear spoiler as well. The front, the short and wide grille is flanked by air intakes that are similar to it in height. There are those familiar-shaped 4 dot headlamps which come in three grades. All these cars will come with LEDs as standard, the second grade includes the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS). From the side, it looks familiar, but the standard wheels are an inch larger in diameter, with fatter rubber at the rear.
On the inside, the dash features a new design and has Porsche’s new touchscreen and touch-surface-intensive communications system. The car offers voice control as well. On the centre of the dash sits a large 12.3-inch full-HD touchscreen, with Porsche-typical instruments, a large central tachometer flanked by two 7.0-inch full-HD displays. This car isn’t spacious by SUV standards though. Seating at the back is great but just about comfortable for two. The car has a fairly large boot, at 770 litres, and you get a space saver spare which sits below the floor.
There are three versions of the Cayenne on sale – the Cayenne, the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo. The base Cayenne uses a new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 from the Panamera that makes 40hp and 50Nm. The new Cayenne can hit 100kph in 6.2sec (5.9sec with the optional Sport Chrono Package) and can hit a top-speed of 244kph.
The S uses a more powerful 2.9-litre turbo V6, which puts out a healthy 440hp and 550Nm. Porsche claims a 0-100 time of 5.2sec (4.9sec with the Sport Chrono Package) and a top speed of 265kph. The Turbo version has a 4.0-litre V8 under the hood, which belts out 550hp and 770Nm. Porsche says it can hit 100kph in 4.1sec (3.9 with the Sport Chrono Package) and a top speed of 286kph.
The engines are responsive and the gearbox, in typical Porsche manner, is lightning quick. The Cayenne never feels like it’s working hard, on most terrain. You have a Sport Chrono Package that’s an optional extra, with four modes – Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and an individually configurable setting. The steering felt nicely weighted and the car felt quite composed and sure-footed through most areas. The Turbo version comes with an active spoiler that automatically rises up by 20mm to increase downforce when you’re driving over 160kph; in Sport Plus mode, it rises to 40mm, and if the sunroof is open it rises to 60mm. When braking from speeds of above 170kph, it raises to 80mm.
In India, Porsche will sell the base model, the Turbo and the hybrid, while the S may not come here. Prices will start over ₹1 crore and while the styling won’t scream ‘all-new’, unless, you look at it from the back, the old car’s styling was very well-appreciated and is still very much with the times.
The flagship SUV is Porsche’s largest selling model in India and, the new model could continue on the shoulders of its predecessor and continue to be the company’s best seller here.
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