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By Jonathan Crouch
The improved version of Porsche's third generation Cayenne aims to re-establish itself as the driver's choice amongst large models in the luxury SUV sector. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 46
Porsche has rejuvenated the third generation version of its large luxury Cayenne SUV. The enhanced styling represents a mere gradual evolution. But the engineering changes and the improvements to cabin design are genuinely far-reaching. If you're buying in this segment, you have to consider this model.
Backgroundword count: 174
The 911 sportscar may be the model Porsche is known for but it's the Cayenne large luxury SUV that has established the company in his modern era. And made it one of the world's most successful car manufacturers. This model line dates back to 2002, with a second generation 'E2' design arriving in 2010 and this current MK3 'E3' version launched back in 2017. Porsche wants this third generation design to remain on sale for most of the rest of this decade (alongside the completely different all-electric Cayenne due in 2025). For the combustion-powered 'E3' design, that's meant the need for what the brand describes as one of the most extensive product upgrades in its history. The Cayenne is still Porsche's best seller, with over 1.25 million examples of this model sold this century, so this upgrade was crucial for the brand and is extremely far-reaching, with significant engineering changes and a completely fresh feel for the cabin. As before, there are both standard SUV and Coupe body styles. Let's take a closer look.
Driving Experienceword count: 336
Lots is new with this updated model. The entry-level Cayenne's previous 2.9-litre V6 gets replaced by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 generating 353PS. That engine also forms the basis for two Plug-in Hybrid models, where it's boosted by an electric motor powered by a 25.9kWh battery that's larger than the unit fitted previously. The Cayenne E-Hybrid puts out 470PS, while the alternative Cayenne S E-Hybrid puts out 519PS: both offer around 46 miles of EV driving range. On to the V8 models. The conventional Cayenne S, which previously used a V6, now adopts the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 unit familiar from Porsche's Panamera and the Lamborghini Urus. With the Cayenne S, this puts out 474PS, powering the car to 62mph in just 4.8s en route to a top speed of 167mph. That same V8 is also used in the flagship Plug-in Hybrid model, the Cayenne Turbo E-Hybrid, which puts out 739PS with 950Nm of torque. It's the most powerful Cayenne of all time, making 62mph in 3.7s en route to 183mph. Across the range, the engineering changes here aren't just about extra power. Special two-valve shock absorbers have been developed to work in conjunction with the (optional) two-chamber air suspension system. These have separate compression and rebound stages to improve cornering agility, reduce roll and pitch and enhance ride comfort at urban speeds. This improved Cayenne also gets bigger tyres which can run at lower pressure, enhancing grip. As a result, the handling of this Porsche even more emphatically sets the class standard. As previously, you can also add an active anti-roll system and rear-wheel steering, but some enthusiasts might feel that these features detract a little from the purity of the driving experience. Otherwise, things are much as before. So there's 4WD of course and a ZF eight-speed auto gearbox. It's also worth mentioning that this Cayenne is just as happy as its predecessor off the beaten track. A spare set of off-road wheels and tyres might prevent some costly refurbishment work to the standard alloys though.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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