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The renewal of the Porsche line-up continues apace with the unveiling of the new third-generation Cayenne at the company's Zuffenhausen headquarters on the outskirts of Stuttgart in Germany.
Set to make its public premiere at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show, prior to a planned start to New Zealand deliveries by the middle of next year, the upmarket SUV has been thoroughly redesigned and re-engineered in a program aimed at improving its competitiveness against a long list of luxury class rivals, including the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Sport and Mercedes-Benz GLE.
At its unveiling, Porsche chairman Oliver Blume confirmed the 2018-model-year Cayenne line-up will initially consist of just two models, the Cayenne and Cayenne S. Both run newly developed V6 petrol engines already introduced to the Panamera in combination with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox from German specialist ZF and a standard four-wheel drive system.
While its exterior represents a clear evolution of the outgoing model, the interior of the new Cayenne has been completely revamped with a newly styled dashboard with a combination of traditional analogue and digital instruments, as well as a centre console featuring the same touch sensitive controls as the Panamera, helping to provide it with a much more luxurious look than before.
The centrepiece of the new interior is a 12.3-inch touch screen – as used by the Panamera. It controls the latest generation of the Porsche Communication Management system. Although Porsche is not making any solid claims about interior accommodation, it confirms luggage space has been increased by an impressive 100 litres over the old Cayenne at a generous 770 litres.
As with all Porsche models, there is an optional sport Chrono Package. It is activated by a rotary button on the new Cayenne's redesign steering wheel, offering four driving modes: normal, sport and sport plus, as well as an individually configurable setting. A Sport Response function instantly sets the mapping for the engine and transmission into their most performance orientated settings.
Every seat in the house is comfortable and spacious, even the back row, which can easily accommodate three adults. There’s as much as 60.4 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded, and no third row of chairs on offer. The Cayenne is as comfortable and as beautifully finished as ever – Porsche is as much a luxury carmaker as a performance brand, after all.