Porsche Cayenne – the new 2010 4x4 steps out

Published: 04 December 2009

It's not long now until Porsche replaces the Cayenne SUV, its most controversial model line ever. Probably. The new Cayenne Mk2 will arrive in spring 2010 with a raft of changes to keep buyers and politicians alike happier with the idea of a hulking great sporting SUV.

Our new spy photos reveal how the new 2010 Cayenne will adopt a slightly softer form language. The back lights appear to be less upright, with a more horizontal shape, split between rear panel and tailgate; the rear of the car appears more pinched for improved aerodynamics; and the front grille is now a less fussy design.

As is the wont of designers at the turn of the decade, the Cayenne's face is dripping with LEDs – a 911 Turbo style day-running light bar bisects the outer air intakes. Prepare to be blinded.

It looks a bit like an Infiniti crossover!

Well, the front three-quarters photos certainly suggest the Cayenne has a curvier style. We can indeed see a little bit of Infiniti FX in the more rounded character lines and swoopier glasshouse. Net effect? It makes the new 2010 Cayenne look less aggressive, more crossover inspired, less brutal, which can only be a good thing.

This is exactly what Porsche is aiming for with its second-gen 4x4. The technical changes underline this: engines will be tweaked for marginal power increases but more significant CO2 and mpg gains. Not least the new hybrid.

A hybrid Porsche? It must be their first electric production car

Indeed it is (although don't forget Ferdinand Porsche's extraordinary Lohner-Porsche full EV of 1899). CAR has already driven the prototype Cayenne Hybrid several times, and the latest iteration uses the Audi 3.0-litre V6 petrol mated to sophisticated hybrid hardware twinned with the gear being readied for the new VW Touareg due at the 2010 Detroit auto show.

The new petrol-electric Cayenne will certainly be a political statement for Porsche, and signals a rush of new part-electrified models. Next up is the Panamera Hybrid.

By Tim Pollard

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