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Lighter, more 911-like third generation Porsche Cayenne launched


Having teased the new third generation Cayenne in a series of testing and development images last week, Porsche officially unveiled its new luxury off-roader before the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday evening.

Claimed to be closer than the iconic 911 than ever before, the latest Cayenne, which drew ire from fans when it first debuted 15 years ago, is said to combine "typical Porsche performance with excellent everyday practicality".

Visually, the newcomer takes a number of styling cues from the Panamera with a more expansive front air intake, new LED headlights with optional Matrix Beams, a slightly lowered roofline and completely redesigned rear facia seemingly inspired by that of the Panamera Sport Turismo.

One of the biggest changes though comes underneath the skin where the previous PL72 platform makes for Volkswagen's MLB Evo architecture underpinning the forthcoming Touareg, Audi A8, Q5 and Bentley Bentayga, which makes wide scale use of aluminium to cut weight down by 65 kg.

In addition, the Cayenne now features rear wheel steering, a new lightweight chassis with a separated link front suspension design and a multi-link setup at the rear, 4D chassis control, optional three-chamber Adaptive Air Suspension, active dampers and an electric Dynamic Chassis Control system now using a 48-volt battery as opposed to hydraulics.

Debuting at the same time, the Cayenne also comes equipped with Porsche's Surface Coated Brakes (PSCB) which consists of cast-iron discs with a tungsten-carbide coating, claimed to reduce friction, wear and dispense with large quantities of brake dust. Boasting white calipers, PSCB will be offered as an option on models fitted with 20 or 21-inch alloy wheels.

Measuring 4 918 mm in overall length with wheelbase of 2 895 mm and width 1 983 mm, the Cayenne comes in at 63 mm longer overall and 45 mm wider than its predecessor, with Porsche claiming a 100-litre increase in cargo volume to 770-litres with the rear seats up.

A further change comes inside where the Cayenne adopts Porsche's Advanced Cockpit layout, made up of a 12.3-inch full-HD touchscreen display, new centre console with touch sensitive buttons, Bose or Burmester sound system and a range of new safety items such as Night Vision Assist, Park Assist with Surround View, Lane Change Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Jam Assist.

Model-wise, the Cayenne will initially be offered in base and S forms only with the former being powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 developing 250 kW and 450 Nm of torque, and the latter by a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 making 324 kW and 550 Nm.

Connected to a new eight-speed Tiptronic S gearbox, the standard Cayenne will do the 0-100 km/h dash in 6.2 seconds (5.9 with the optional Sport Chrono Package) and reach a top speed of 245 km/h, while the S will complete the benchmark sprint in 5.2 seconds (4.9 with the Sport Chrono Package) and top out at 265 km/h.

Along with the new gearbox, the Cayenne also gets a revised all-four-wheel system with four modes; Mud, Gravel, Sand and Rocks, and Porsche Traction Management that distributes power between the two axles.

Expected to arrive in South Africa next year, pricing for the Cayenne in Germany, where it is already available for order, will start at €74 828 (R1 165 685) for the base model and at €91 964 (R1 432 633) for the S.

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