Leaner Porker

New third-gen Cayenne sheds fl ab; arrives fi tter, faster and smarter

JOHN CAREY

THOUGH based on the same platform and built in the same plant, Porsche’s new Cayenne and Audi’s Q7 aren’t that closely related. These two big SUVs, one already on sale and the other just going into production, are more cousins than siblings.

Both utilise the VW Group’s MLB Evo, a flexible modular architecture that provides the basis for everything from the Audi A4 to the Bentley Bentayga. And both are assembled in the VW Group’s plant in Bratislava, capital city of Slovakia. The new Cayenne will reach Australia early in 2018.

At a recent tech briefing on the new Cayenne, Porsche body-inwhite engineering leader Rudiger Jahn explained that the Cayenne uses three modules from the MLB Evo kit. The front engine box and centre floorpan modules are shared with the Q7, but the Porsche’s rear module is different, he said.

The body Porsche’s engineers built on the platform is a multimaterial masterpiece, combining aluminium extrusions, castings and stampings with hot- and cold-pressed steels. Holding it all together are 6800 joins, made using punch rivets, screws, clinches,

Sprung

Top-line Turbo gets a fast-reacting, three-chamber air suspension system similar to that in the equivalent new Panamera, plus active anti-roll bars and electric rear-wheel steering. All this is likely to be optional in several less costly Cayenne models.

Thrum

Base Cayenne’s 250kW single-turbo 3.0-litre V6 and the S’s 324kW twinturbo 2.9-litre V6 deliver less power than they do in Audi’s new S5 and RS5.

New Cayenne Turbo’s 404kW twinturbo 4.0-litre V8 is the same engine as found in the new Panamera Turbo.

Stagger

To improve handling, all new Cayenne models feature wider tyres at the rear than the front (unlike the Audi Q7, which runs same-size in all four corners.) The minimum wheel diameter on the Porsche also has been increased to 19 inches.

crimps, roll-hemming, adhesives and eight different types of weld.

“The internal price for this body has gone up substantially,” said Jahn. The payoff is a bodyshell weight reduction of up to 135kg. Extra standard equipment chews up around half this impressive feat of flab reduction. Still, the lightest version now weighs in at just under two-tonnes, a bar no earlier Cayenne could slip under.

Along with the incremental weight loss come incremental increases in power. At least for the three models so far confirmed; basic Cayenne, S and Turbo. All three are powered by products of the Audi-Porsche petrolengine program known internally as KoVoMo (see below). Porsche engineers confirmed the engine line-up will grow in future to include two plug-in hybrid models and a diesel. New Cayenne’s standard-across-the-range eightspeed automatic is designed to allow easy installation of a hybrid system electric motor. The auto also neatly incorporates the Cayenne’s all-wheeldrive hardware.

While the Cayenne Turbo gets air springs (see below), the basic Cayenne and S will come standard with steel springs, but the S will have adaptive dampers instead of the less-powerful model’s passive dampers, according to a chassis engineer.

But perhaps the most important advantage the new Cayenne will have over the Q7 is also one of the most intangible. The Porsche is equipped with the VW Group’s most advanced electrical architecture, and incorporates a central control unit for the car’s driver-assistance systems (the new Audi A8 will use the same tech).

Called zFAS, it uses four highperformance processors to fuse data from the Cayenne’s tailor-made sensor array and to deliver features that rely on them. One is the animated 3D 360-degree surround view on the luscious 12.3-inch central screen, an aid for parking and manoeuvring in tight areas. While this is wow-worthy right now, Porsche engineers point out that zFAS is expandable, and so capable of much more, making it an investment in future-proofing.

Advanced automated driving tech will arrive during the life of this thirdgeneration Cayenne, and the big SUV will be ready for it.

Surface Tension

New Cayenne introduces a significant brake innovation, something not seen before; surface-coated discs. Tougher and prettier than cast iron, the new brakes will be standard on Turbo and optional on lesser models. Tungsten carbide is what gives Porsche’s new surface-coated discs their mirror-like sheen. The super-hard compound is applied in a thin layer (0.1mm) on the friction area of specially prepared castiron discs. Benefits include superior fade resistance, 30 percent longer disc life and much less dust. Their crushing effectiveness was convincingly demonstrated during a chauffeur ride in a Cayenne Turbo round a small circuit outside Dusseldorf. Porsche engineers confirm the technology will spread gradually across the company’s range.

A stop to that

@wheelsaustralia 17 The most impressive thing about new Cayenne Turbo’s active roof spoiler isn’t something any Australian customer is likely to experience. When flipped to its maximum 28-degree Airbrake angle, the panel can cut up to two metres from the stopping distance … if you’re doing 250km/h.

The rear-axle downforce it generates also improves stability during hard, high-speed braking. The spoiler panel is flush-fitting and almost invisible in its normal ‘Eco’ position. At 160km/h and beyond it will move to one of three positions, depending on driving mode selected and whether the sunroof is open or closed. The electrically powered spoiler can go from Eco to Airbrake in 0.9sec, according to Porsche. maximu ca rear improve braki posi wilwill de an sp 0.0.