This is the next-generation Porsche Cayenne, which the German car maker hopes will remain its best-selling and most profitable model when it goes on sale next year.
Porsche engineers are believed to have led the work on the new Cayenne, which is the sister vehicle to the VW Touareg and Audi Q7.
On the outside, Michael Mauer’s design team has given the Cayenne a much more curvaceous and fluid exterior, as well as trying to relate the big SUV to the 911’s classic design language.
Aside from the distinct ‘hip’ over the rear wheel, the car’s sides are heavily pinched inwards to try to reduce the car’s visual bulk. The remodelled front also gets a 911-shaped bonnet, which tapers to a narrow opening between the headlights.
These pictures show that the lozenge-shaped tail-lights wrap right around into the rear wings, again hinting at the 911.
Inside, the interior is all new and expected to be of much higher perceived quality. Sources say it will use some of the interior sub-assemblies used in the Panamera.
Under the skin, the biggest changes will be the reworked direct-injection V8 engines first seen in the Panamera. The normally aspirated V8 will offer 395bhp and an expected 0-62mph time of around 5.0sec, while the turbocharged V8 will offer 493bhp and a 0-62mph time of around 4.3sec. The range-topping Turbo S will again offer 550bhp.
A hybrid Cayenne was signed off for production in early 2008 and it is expected to be unveiled at the launch of the new model.
The company says the car will use a “full parallel hybrid system”. The hybrid module, consisting of an additional clutch and electric motor, will be between the engine and transmission. The battery is stored under the boot floor.
Depending on driving conditions, the hybrid module can disengage either the engine or the electric motor, or combine both to act as “one joint power unit”.
Aside from the ability to run the car for a short distance in ‘zero emissions’ mode, Porsche is claiming fuel economy improvements of up to 30 per cent and impressive performance when the car is being driven by both the engine and electric motor.