The Cayenne’s revamped body combines a variety of metals, with aluminium now accounting for 47% of the total. Engineers say it is 35.5kg lighter and 20% more rigid than the old car.
The chassis has been reworked with a new four-link set-up replacing the previous double wishbone arrangement up front and a new multi-link system at the rear. Porsche has also fitted different-sized tyres front and rear for the first time; the Turbo wears standard 285/40 and 315/35 profile rubber respectively.
Equipped with a 48-volt electrical system, the car also features a new three-chamber air suspension offering up to six levels of ground clearance, including a load setting, and an electronically operated anti-roll function in place of the hydraulically operated system of old. The wheelbase remains the same as before at 2895mm, but the Turbo's front track is 26mm wider, with the rear track reduced by 5mm to 1670mm.
Another development is a new brake system called the Porsche Surface Coated Brake. It employs tungsten carbide-coated steel discs measuring 415mm by 40mm up front and 365mm by 28mm at the rear, in combination with giant 10-piston and four-piston calipers respectively. Standard on the Cayenne Turbo and an option on the Cayenne and Cayenne S, the discs are claimed to provide greater resistance to fade than the standard steel discs and a 90% reduction in brake dust.
Together with the 33.5kg reduction in body weight, Porsche has pared a further 31.5kg from other areas of the new Cayenne, leading to an overall reduction of up to 65kg. The Turbo weighs 2175kg, 50kg less than before, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 249bhp per tonne.
Inside, the new Cayenne shares much with the second-generation Panamera. The dashboard features a combination of traditional analogue and digital instruments, as well as classic and more contemporary touch-sensitive controls with haptic feedback. There’s also a new range of multi-function steering wheels, including one in the Turbo that mimics that used in the earlier 918 Spyder. In keeping with the more sporting slant applied to the new model, the Turbo also receives new sport seats featuring integrated headrests.
In a bid to cut down on clutter, Porsche has grouped many of the dashboard functions within a prominent 12.3in high-definition touch-sensitive infotainment display. Boot space has improved by 100 litres to 770 litres overall, when the rear seatback is set in its most upright position.
What’s the Porsche Cayenne like in action?
Porsche laid on two driving exercises for our first ride in the new Cayenne. The first was an off-road course in a Cayenne S equipped with standard steel suspension. Setting off in Gravel mode, it handled the track with real authority, powering along at a good clip of speed and with impressive traction despite a bumpy surface strewn with loose round stones.
The next obstacle was more challenging, consisting of two steep climbs tackled in Rocks mode. The first section of the incline was dispatched with real conviction given the obvious lack of grip offered by the slippery surface and standard road tyres worn by the prototype, the reworked multi-plate clutch four-wheel-drive system apportioning drive in varying degrees and with deft efficiency to either the front or rear to boost traction and ensure our momentum remained strong.