Technology: testing Porsche Cayenne facelift: cling film

The man next to him in the passenger seat is absolutely delighted.

Technology: testing Porsche Cayenne facelift: cling film

The man next to him in the passenger seat is absolutely delighted. "The chassis was good up until now, but now our colleagues have upped the ante," says Stefan Fegg. It is not particularly surprising that the series manager does not hit his colleagues in the pan. We acknowledge the eulogy with a friendly smile and concentrate on the next corner. After all, the current Cayenne is anything but a denier of agility. We sit behind the wheel of a prototype during the test drives of the facelift model. Just slow it down! Around 2.1 tons of live weight push, the brakes grip as energetically and predictably as usual, and the steering also tells us in a binding way how the traction of the wheels is determined.

Now it's around the corner and it remains to be seen whether the engineer's optimism is justified. After all, a four-liter eight-cylinder powers the new Cayenne S through the area, that's two pots more than before and the good 60 extra kilos on the front axle are noticeable with a slight urge to the edge of the road. The driving activists among the SUV fans can still sit back and relax. The load on the front axle is identical to that of the current Cayenne GTS, which is definitely not a curve nihilist. Basically, the technicians based themselves on the parameters of this vote. With success. That's why this Cayenne exhausts the laws of physics quite well and carves elatedly around corners, even the cracked asphalt doesn't faze the SUV. So the model line leader didn't promise too much.

The changes to the chassis are extensive: Instead of a three-chamber air spring with a one-valve damper, there is now a semi-active chassis with a two-chamber air spring with an adaptive two-valve damper, in which the rebound and compression stages are changed separately can be. This results in a more direct connection to the body, which helps with agility. But the spread of driving modes is also more pronounced than before. "We received feedback from customers that the Cayenne was too tight," says chassis specialist Martin Werner. The struggle for comfort without diluting the Porsche DNA can be felt during the test drives. The wheel diameter of the 21-inch tires, which has increased by 30 millimeters to 790 millimeters, and the associated higher rubber flank also contribute to this.

Time to deal with the drive. Because it's exciting that the Zuffenhausen-based company packs more cylinders under the bonnet in the S version, when downsizing is hip. In addition, there is still the threat of the EU 7 emissions standard. For this reason, the engineers have extensively revised the eighth-ender. Instead of a twin-scroll turbocharger, the mono-scroll variant is now used. So that the response does not suffer, the turbine is designed smaller than before. A refined software application and an injection pressure increased from 250 bar to 350 bar complete the package of measures. The bottom line is that the Cayenne S has 349 kW / 475 hp and a maximum torque of 650 Newton meters, which is 26 kW / 35 hp and 50 Nm more than before with the V6. This is retained in the basic model with 260 kW / 354 hp and 500 Nm (previously 250 kW / 340 hp, 450 Nm) and is of course completely sufficient to be on the road quickly. However, we noticed a weakness in the start-up of the pre-series model. The Cayenne top model Turbo GT also gets a vitamin injection with 15 kW / 20 hp more to 485 kW / 660 hp with the same torque of 850 Nm. However, this top-of-the-range Cayenne will no longer be available in Europe, since EU emission regulations put a spanner in the works for Porsche. If you want that extra power, you have to look at Lamborghini.

Of course, an electrified variant should not be missing from the jazzed-up Cayenne. The technicians also lent a hand with the basic plug-in hybrid. Less in the drive train, which has been spiced up with 6 kW / 8 PS to 346 kW / 470 PS and a maximum torque of 650 Nm, which is 50 Nm less than before. It gets exciting when you look at the power distribution of the two drive units. The V6 petrol engine in the current model has 250 kW / 340 hp and the electric motor 100 kW / 136 hp, the facelift has 224 kW / 304 hp and 130 kW / 177 hp. Presumably, Porsche still has some room for improvement in order to add more later.

If the e-machine has more power, the battery also has to increase, otherwise the whole thing is counterproductive. So the battery capacity increases from 17.9 kilowatt hours to 25.9 kWh and the bottom line is a maximum electric range of 80 kilometers. The reason for this is 102 larger cells (still prismatic, previously 104) and thus the battery is slightly larger than before, weighs 35 kilograms more than before at 165 kilograms, but still fits into the rear end of the E3 II without any changes to the shell (internal code of the Cayenne facelift). However, the designers had to raise the trunk floor by ten millimeters, which is likely to be at the expense of the trunk volume. The optimized six-cylinder combustion engine is likely to be due to the new emission standard and also reduce consumption.

Since this Cayenne has to stay fresh until 2030, some work has to be done on the infotainment and the cockpit. The automatic gear selector has moved to the dashboard, allowing for a more airy feel in the center console. A proper Taycan breeze blows through the interior of the Cayenne: the instrument cluster is curved and now measures 12.65 inches, the center touchscreen remains at 12.3 inches and the passenger screen is 10.9 inches. Little things like a 15 watt inductive charging cradle and laptop-compatible 61 watt charging via USB-C socket complete the entertainment program. In addition, with all the Porsche driving dynamics, there are also a few driving assistants, such as a turning assistant and an evasion assistant. "We got everything out of the MLB evo architecture," says Stefan Fegg. They had to, too, so that the Cayenne would stay fresh for another seven years.

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