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Porsche unveils third-generation Cayenne SUV

31 August 2017

It has five driving modes: on-road, mud, gravel, sand and rocks.

Much of the vehicle can be operated from this display - including several different driving modes.

Helping to transmit all that power to the road is a new eight-speed Tiptronic S gearbox which benefits from a wide spread of gear ratios. The third generation Cayenne has been thoroughly revamped and re-engineered despite only receiving a mild exterior design revamp. The exterior is made nearly entirely of aluminum as are the floorpan assembly, front section, and virtually all the chassis components. Up to 143 pounds of weight, specifically, part of which comes from a new lithium-polymer starter battery that saves 22 pounds over the old power cell. An active chassis control system will keep the vehicle flat and stop it from rocking and rolling in the corners, and a new eight-speed dual clutch transmission will eke the most out of the Cayenne, regardless of which engine is under the hood. There are some elements of muscle around the wheel arches to help it relate to Porsche's sports auto history as well.

One of the biggest changes is Porsche's incorporation of the rear-axle steering technology. It rides on active air suspension with a third air chamber, for more options when fiddling with the ride settings. While it is similar to rear-steer systems on the 911 and Panamera, it has been calibrated specifically for the Cayenne. The driver is given various drive modes to select from to optimise driving dynamics, via Porsche 4D Chassis Control and Dynamic Chassis Control. Beyond Porsche, the Cayenne has been a driver of change throughout the luxury industry.

Replaced by this new version, the second-generation Cayenne was introduced in 2010 before being facelifted in 2014.

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From a design perspective it is hard to tell this is a new vehicle. The first model is simply badged as the Cayenne, while the second is the Cayenne S. Both are more powerful than their predecessors - by 39bhp and 20bhp respectively. The large Porsche logo spans the redesigned rear lights with a three-dimensional light design and an end-to-end narrow strip of LEDs. "Despite its significantly extended standard equipment, the Cayenne weighs up to 65 kilograms less than its predecessor and remains perfectly suited to off-road use".

The first-gen Porsche Cayenne was introduced back in 2003, while the second-gen made its debut in 2010. Friction values, and thus braking performance, are increased while reducing wear and brake dust. The brakes will take on a visually glossy appearance complemented by white painted calipers. The PSCB system is only available in combination with 20-inch and 21-inch wheels. It will run the quarter mile in 13.3 seconds standard, or 13.2 seconds with the Sport Chrono package. Pressing the Sport Response button in the centre activates the engine and transmission maps, which are tweaked for "maximum performance".

Thanks to sharing underpinnings with models from sister brands Audi and Bentley, the Cayenne helps boosts Porsche's profits, which are vital for Volkswagen to stem an unprecedented financial hit from the diesel-cheating scandal that erupted two years ago.

The interior of the new Cayenne borrows from the launch of the Panamera a year ago and gets the same 12.3-inch infotainment screen. Voice control, online services, the Internet and online navigation with real-time traffic information are all available.

Porsche unveils third-generation Cayenne SUV