Johannesburg - Porsche SA has detailed its three-strong local line-up for the third-generation Cayenne, due for release in South Africa in June 2018.

It’s a little bigger than its predecessor - 63mm longer at 4918mm overall, 44mm wider at 1983mm and just 9mm lower at 1694mm - but, thanks to lighter powertrains and revised materials, it’s up to 65 kilograms lighter.

It also looks wider, with one-inch bigger wheels emphasising the fact that the rear track is wider than the front, bigger front air intakes and the horizontal lower edges of the headlight clusters lining up with the grille. Lighting is now all-LED, available in three layers of sophistication - standard, Dynamic, with a variety of light modes such as cornering and motorway, and Dynamic Plus, with 42 LEDs a side giving infinitely variable light distribution and intensity.

Cayenne 3G has plenty of sports-car features, including mixed tyre sizes, rear-axle steering and, for the first time on an SUV, an adaptive roof spoiler on the range-topping Turbo. Active all-wheel drive is standard, as is 4D chassis control, and on-road performance can be further boosted with three-chamber air suspension and electronic roll stabilisation.

The base Cayenne has the same three-litre turbopetrol V6 as the new Panamera, rated for 250kW and 450Nm - that’s 30kW and 50Nm up on the previous generation’s non-turbo 3.6-litre V6 - and the maker quotes 6.2 seconds to 100km/h (5.9 with the optional Sport Chrono Package) and top speed of 245km/h (1.4 seconds and 15km/h quicker than before).

The Cayenne S comes with a smaller but more highly tuned 2.9-litre turbopetrol V6, set up to deliver the same 324kW and 55Nm as its 3.6-litre predecessor. It’s rated for 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds (4.9 with Sport Chrono) and 265km/h flat out, marginally better than the 3.6 could do.

But the big dog of the Cayenne pack is still a V8 - in this model a new four-litre biturbo, good for 404kW at 5750 revs and 770Nm from 1960-4500rpm, an advance of 22kW and 20Nm over the previous generation’s 4.8-litre turbo V8.

Porsche quotes 0-100km/h in a kidney-kicking 4.1 seconds (3.9 with Sport Chrono Package) and a top speed of 286km/h.

Each drives all four wheels all the time via a new eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission with quicker response times than before, shorter low gears for crawlability in the rough and kick-ass acceleration on tar, and a long-legged top gear for relaxed cruising.

The cabin takes a lot of its design cues from the new Panamera, including a central 31cm infotainment touchscreen with voice control, enabling standard online navigation with real-time traffic information, and Porsche Connect Plus for internet access. The flight deck has, in true sports-car tradition, a big central analogue rev-counter, with an 11cm liquid-crystal display on either side for driving information - including night vision, lane change assist, parking assist and adaptive cruise control, all operated from the multifunction steering wheel.

The new centre stack has analogue controls for the important stuff, with second-tier controls set in a smartphone style glass face, with audible and tactile feedback so you can still feel what you’re doing without having to take your eyes off the road.

PRICES

Cayenne R1 131 000
Cayenne S R1 272 000
Cayenne Turbo R2 064 000

These prices include a three-year or 100 000km maintenance plan.

IOL Motoring