The new Porsche Cayenne has been spied testing virtually undisguised ahead of its launch at the Geneva show in March.
Like the current model, the new Cayenne shares much of its mechanical make-up and chassis with the Volkswagen Touareg. We’ll see the new Touareg at the Detroit show next month.
The Cayenne in our pictures has nothing more than some tape around the lights and covering the badges to hide its identity.
Despite the overall similarity to the current car, it’s clear that Porsche has toned down the Cayenne’s controversial styling. The front end is less aggressive, with smaller, thinner air intakes and more elegant headlamps. The bulges in the bonnet are less prominent, too, contributing to the Porsche’s lighter, more delicate look.
It’s not just the styling that has been toned down. Despite a longer wheelbase, the new Cayenne is significantly lighter than the current model; the weight reduction is said to be around 170kg, which should help to bring the kerb weight of the entry-level V6 model down to around 2000kg.
Some of this weight loss can be attributed to the increased use of aluminium in the Cayenne’s bodyshell and for panels such as the doors. But Porsche has also trimmed the Cayenne’s mechanicals, ditching much of the car’s standard off-road kit such as the low-range gearbox and locking rear differential.
The car’s off-road ability should be helped by the reduced weight, along with more advanced traction control and four-wheel drive systems.
The Cayenne’s interior is all-new, too, and is heavily influenced by that of the Panamera saloon. The Cayenne will get the saloon’s steering wheel and high centre console with rows of switches arranged on either side of the gear selector, plus its instrument cluster and central screen flanked by two tall air vents. Expect higher levels of luxury and significantly better materials, too.