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Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

Now and at last fully fledged, the Cayenne range offers a simple step-through menu of models, each distinguished not by some trim-related model badge, but a bespoke powertrain specification.

The range starts with the diesel models, with the entry-level Cayenne Diesel powered by an oilburning 3.0-litre V6 churning out 258bhp while the Cayenne S Diesel gets a 4.2-litre V8 producing 379bhp.

The current Cayenne’s platform is a heavily modified version of the previous one

The middle of the range is punctuated by a 3.6-litre V6 petrol motor and a petrol-hybrid known as the S E-Hybrid powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine paired to an electric motor and punching out 410bhp combined.

The most sporting Cayenne comes next in the form of the 434bhp GTS but if it’s real steam you’re after, Porsche completes the range with a couple of Turbos, a standard 512bhp model and a ridiculous 562bhp Turbo S fast enough to blow various Boxsters, Panameras and Caymans clean off the road.

Interestingly, while 80 percent of Cayennes sold in the UK are diesel powered, that means 20 percent are not, an impressive statistic when you consider all other rivals only offer petrol power as tiny volume flagship models.

These engines, all driven through eight speed automatic gearboxes with either steering wheel mounted buttons or paddle shifters, all direct their urge in four different directions via an electro-mechanical centre diff capable of directing up to 100 percent of the power to either axle.

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A torque vectoring electronic rear diff that actively varies the power split between the rear wheels is an option. Otherwise it’s down to the ESP sensors and their ability to individually brake a wheel that’s lost traction to ensure smooth progress in bad conditions. Even since the second generation was introduced in 2010, no low range transfer box has been available.

Structurally the Cayenne is now what it has always been: closely related to the Volkswagen Touareg and, more distantly, to the Audi Q7. Double wishbone suspension looks after wheel articulation at the front while a multi-link arrangement provides dependable location for the rear axle.

Visually the Cayenne is one of few cars that’s got prettier over time, which is as well given the highly challenging style of the original. Perhaps it has been most successful in using softer, more sculpted lines to make a car that’s grown substantially in every direction in the latest generation look substantially smaller than its predecessor.