It’s a smart move from Porsche when hot rivals are closing in from the most desirable names in 4x4s. The 390bhp Range Rover Sport hits showrooms soon, and the all-new BMW X5 surfaces next year, along with the AMG M-class, which runs a 500bhp 6.3-litre engine.
The flagship Cayenne hits back with revisions to its V8 turbo engine. Displacement increases from 4.5 to 5.0 litres, cranking up peak power output from 450bhp to 550bhp. That will lower the Cayenne’s mind-blowing 5.6sec 0-62mph sprint. The entry level V6 also gets uprated. It will grow from 3.2 to 3.6 litres, boosting power from 250 to 275bhp.
The Turbo gets a new bodykit, with deeper front and rear bumpers, a bigger rear spoiler and revised rear lamps. The most obvious change is to the headlamps. Today’s fried egg look is modernised, with a more angular unit integrated into new wings. The air scoops now line up to make the Cayenne look neater and for revised engine breathing.
It’s unclear if Porsche will upgrade the naturally aspirated V8. Engineers are said to be working on all-new bent eight to meet future emissions regulations and power the long rumoured fourth model line. This 375bhp V8 could be introduced during the MkI’s life cycle, in a rear-drive Clubsport edition.
Cayenne sales continue to grow – up 13% in the first half of the financial year to January 31, with Porsche shifting 19,200 SUVs. It is exceeding initial targets, and the experiment, to retain 911 customers with family commitments, is a success.
The Cayenne MkII is a foregone conclusion: it’s scheduled for 2009. Before then, another bodystyle might be added to today’s range: twin-cab pick-up, long-wheelbase version and a sportier two-door have all been on the drawing board for some time.
The facelifted Turbo gets more angular headlamps, a deeper bodykit and neater looking air intakes
Turbo V8 grows from 4.5 to 5.0 litres, with a100bhp boost. Bigger 3.6-litre V6 with 10% power upgrade
Stripped out, rear-wheel drive Clubsport could follow in 2007; Porsche also considering pick-up, stretch, two-door