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Next Cayenne surfaces as Roxster, sub-Boxster firmed up

Desert dueller: Autocar was given an exclusive first ride of Porsche's MkII Cayenne during hot-weather testing in the UAE.

Porsche puts sub-Cayenne and Boxster models on drawing board as new Cayenne surfaces

1 Feb 2010

PORSCHE has confirmed it is developing smaller siblings for its Cayenne SUV and Boxster sportscar just a week after the appearance of first official images of its second-generation luxury off-roader.

While spy shots of the redesigned Cayenne have been doing the rounds for months, GoAuto understands a clutch of official testing images of the vital new model virtually undisguised – revealed by Autocar on January 22 – will be formally issued as part of the Cayenne MkII’s pre-reveal campaign on February 25.

Confirmed to go on sale in Australia this year, the all-new Cayenne – including a hybrid variant as Porsche’s first petrol-electric model – will make its global debut at the Geneva motor show on March 2.

Now, however, Volkswagen Group chairman Dr Martin Winterkorn has confirmed the company is investigating a new entry-level sportscar to be positioned below the mid-engine Boxster convertible and Cayman coupe twins, and a new mid-size SUV to slot under the new Cayenne.

“The Porsche model range is firmly based on the 911, Boxster, Cayenne and Cayman, and it will stay that way,” Dr Winterkorn told Autocar at Volkswagen’s HQ in Wolfsburg.

“(However) We are also investigating opportunities for a smaller sportscar and a smaller SUV - but I cannot say more at the moment.”

Asked how likely the new models were to make production, the VW chief said: “Let’s just say we do not usually waste our effort ...”

As Porsche’s most senior executive following the German sportscar maker’s takeover by Volkswagen last year, Dr Winterkorn has previously indicated both all-new models – as well as an expanded Panamera model family – will play integral parts in Porsche’s drive to double its sales to 150,000 globally under VW ownership by as early as 2012.

Dr Winterkorn has now stated the Volkswagen group is on target to overtake Toyota as the world’s biggest car-maker by 2018, when its eight vehicle marques - VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti and Porsche – are expected to attract more than 10 million vehicle sales a year.

The Volkswagen boss said that including unique models for export markets like China, India and South America, the European auto giant would release 60 “new models and new model revisions” this year alone.

Dr Winterkorn said half of these would wear VW badges, including new Passat and Jetta models and revised Phaeton and Touran models, while all-new model introductions from Audi in 2010 will include the A1 and A7, plus a redesigned A6.

As for Porsche, which registered the model name ‘Roxster’ in 2007 but has previously denied it would produce an SUV smaller than the Cayenne, Volkswagen ownership now appears certain to deliver a mid-size luxury SUV based on Audi’s Q5.

25 center imageApart from two-door coupe and convertible derivatives of the four-door Panamera grand tourer, the Porsche pipeline should deliver a mid-engined sportscar inspired by Volkswagen’s BlueSport roadster concept and based on Audi’s forthcoming R4, which reports say will be launched in Europe in June 2011.

Dubbed by some as the “new 356” but not expected before late 2012, Autocar says the all-new Porsche is unlikely to significantly the undercut the price of the Boxster or Cayman, which are expected to move upmarket in their next-generation guises.

Along with different interior and exterior styling to the R4, Porsche’s new entry-level model could debut an all-new turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine currently being developed.

Matched to transmissions shared with Audi, it is expected to deliver almost as much performance as the 2.9-litre flat six in the entry-level Boxster (188kW/290Nm) and Cayman (195kW/300Nm), but with lower fuel consumption.

Meantime, Autocar says the next Cayenne will have vastly improved off-road ability compared with the model it replaces, following an exclusive first development ride in the 2010 Cayenne Turbo in the United Arab Emirates.

Again designed and developed in conjunction with Volkswagen’s Touareg, the second-generation Cayenne is said to offer enhanced off-road ability due to improvements to its front and rear locking differentials, air suspension, traction control and torque vectoring system.

Head of development Rolf French told Autocar the current Cayenne Turbo would be unable to replicate its successor’s ability to crest the summit of a 100-metre sand dune in the UAE known as Big Red - four times.

“You couldn’t do that in the current Turbo,” said Mr Frech. “It would have got stuck, worn out or both.”

Despite its rear differential overheating and refusing to lock at its fifth attempt, Mr Frech said he was happy with the strides made in development of the next Cayenne.

“These are extreme conditions and eventually something had to give,” he said. “I’m confident few owners will subject their cars to such punishment.

“The car is a big improvement from the last one. It’s more finely honed – more of a Porsche than before.”

According to Autocar, Porsche’s new five-seat wagon is 45mm longer overall than the outgoing model, thanks mainly to a 40mm-longer (2895mm) wheelbase that liberates more rear legroom, but around 200kg lighter due to more extensive use of aluminium components like the bonnet, doors, tailgate and axles. The next Cayenne S is claimed to have a kerb weight of 2065kg – down from 2300kg – despite a claimed 70kg of extra standard equipment.

The British website says the new Cayenne Turbo will hit 100km/h in 4.6 seconds – half a second quicker than before and one-tenth better than BMW’s new X5 and X6 M models.

It said the current Cayenne’s variable-height air suspension would be retained but, despite its claimed increase in off-road ability, its (now Aisin-supplied eight-speed) automatic transmission will no longer come with a low-range transfer case.

Porsche suggested to Autocar that the new Cayenne would offer better on-road dynamics than the X6, against which it was benchmarked in the final test phase.

The next Cayenne is also said to offer more luggage space behind the rear seat, which will fold and slide unlike its predecessor’s, despite a more steeply raked rear windscreen that will no longer open separately with the tailgate. Cargo space is reported to be up by 120 litres, to 670 litres, with total space increasing to 1780 litres.

As before, the Cayenne will comprise 3.6-litre petrol V6, 4.8-litre petrol V8 (S) and force-fed V8 (Turbo) variants, with V6 diesel and hybrid versions to follow the release of the all-new model in Europe in May.

The latter has already been confirmed as part of the redesigned range in Australia this year. As we’ve previously reported, the petrol-electric version is forecast to attract up to 25 per cent of Cayenne sales in Australia, and features Audi’s 245kW 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6 mated to a 34kW electric motor.

Mr Frech told Autocar the Cayenne Hybrid was a necessary addition to its range because as Porsche’s biggest seller the Cayenne was a significant contributor to its fleet-average CO2 output, but he stressed that CO2 emissions across the range were down 23 per cent, with three of the five variants capable of achieving fuel consumption of almost 30mpg (9.4L/100km).

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