Porsche is finally launching a cut-price Cayenne powered by a tuned version of VW's 3.2-litre V6 engine – as used in the Golf R32 and new Audi A3.
The unlikely combination comes after disappointing sales in Europe, where buyers have shied away from the powerful but thirsty V8-powered Cayenne S and Turbo in favour of more economical luxury off-roaders.
Due in the UK early next year at £34,350, the new Cayenne is the first production Porsche to be powered by a V6 engine. It will also become the first Cayenne available with a manual gearbox. The same 3.2-litre V6 delivers 217bhp in the 29,340 VW Touareg. Changes to the engine management and exhaust system liberate an extra 30bhp, boosting the entry-level Cayenne's output to 247bhp at 6000rpm – down 88bhp on the Cayenne S and a whopping 197bhp short of the Turbo.
Torque peaks at 228lb ft between 2500 and 5500rpm. Standing-start performance is mediocre by Porsche standards with the 0-62mph sprint taking a leisurely 9.1sec, while top speed is 133mph. The new V6 model will first be offered with the same six-speed auto as the Cayenne S and Turbo, but a six-speed manual will be available shortly afterwards. It boasts Porsche Drive Off Assistant (PDOA), which prevents the car rolling backwards on steep inclines by automatically applying the brakes.