Porsche Cayenne (2010): this one's getting sleeker

Published: 13 August 2009

Now the proposal for a smaller Roxster SUV has been canned, Porsche is putting all its engineering nous into the next-generation Cayenne. The Porsche Cayenne II will gain plenty of the advanced tech from the Panamera – including stop-start systems, to bring Zuffenhausen's 4x4 bang up to date after its launch in 2003.

Pay attention to the new VW Touareg we scooped earlier in the week; Volkswagen's iteration of the shared SUV project will be seen first, and is expected to make its debut at an autumn 2009 motor show in Frankfurt or one of the American exhibits. It'll give us plenty  of engineering clues to what'll be on the new Cayenne.

Cayenne II looks swoopier, curvier...

It does indeed. These mildly disguised spyshots caught the new Cayenne testing at the Nurburgring. And judging by those angles of lean, the test drivers aren't exactly hanging around. Thing is, we've always admired the way Porsche's 4x4 drove – our main criticisms were of a more aesthetic bent. And it looks as if Michael Mauer and his design team have softened off the Cayenne's edgier perpendicular tendencies.

We also hear there will be engineering changes under the skin. Talk in Germany is of a weight saving in the order of 200kg on the Cayenne/Touareg project. If achieved, such a weight saving will yield useful benefits in economy, emissions, performance and handling. Not to mention the green car stakes.

Apparently, extra use of aluminium in the doors, boot and bonnet has helped trim those kilos. And most models will ditch the serious mud-plugging gear which will be reserved for those speccing it as a requirement.

And inside the new Porsche Cayenne?

Today's scoop photos don't peek inside the SUV's cabin, but we expect it to be influenced by the innards of the Panamera. Expect the centre console, in particular, to doff its hat to Porsche's super saloon.

Engines will include iterations of the direct-injection 4.8-litre V8 in nat-asp and turbo forms, plus petrol and diesel V6s. We've recently tested a late engineering prototype of the new Cayenne S Hybrid – which twins the Audi S4's 3.0-litre supercharged V6 with electric gubbins. It could be the Cayenne of choice in these carbon-obsessed times...

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet