The camouflage on the 2019 911 gives little way with the major changes beneath the skin.   Picture: BRIAN WILLIAMS
The camouflage on the 2019 911 gives little way with the major changes beneath the skin. Picture: BRIAN WILLIAMS

According to our sources, the next generation Porsche Cayenne should become available early in 2018 and it’s likely it will be officially presented at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The exact details are unknown for now, but we have found out that the manufacturer is preparing some exciting changes for the stylish and luxurious SUV.

It is known that the 2018 Cayenne will get a new underpinning. This will be the Volkswagen Group’s MLB SUV platform or, more precisely, the shortened version.

The platform already exists in the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, so we know some specific details. The architecture involves a combination of aluminium, carbon fibre and ultra-high-strength steel, which will make the 2018 Cayenne lighter and more rigid and agile.

Our new spy shots also confirm that the car maker plans to involve lots of details from Porsche’s Panamera Sport Turismo concept (which will be in SA later in 2017) and some cues from the smaller Macan crossover.

The rear of the 911 gives some clues of the styling revisions we expect to see in the production models.   Picture: BRIAN WILLIAMS
The rear of the 911 gives some clues of the styling revisions we expect to see in the production models. Picture: BRIAN WILLIAMS

This way, the future design will get an amazing clamshell bonnet, though without the concept’s C-shaped fender vent. The interior will receive a complete redesign and there should be some infotainment and safety changes.

Porsche’s engine department will provide several interesting engines. There will be a 4.0l V8 and 3.6l V8, as well as a turbocharged 2.9l V6. The Cayenne will also get a plug-in hybrid system with a 3.0l engine as part of the powertrain. There will be a diesel engine too.

It is not just the Cayenne that is undergoing testing. Porsche is working on the replacement for its biggest icon, the 911. Coming up with a replacement of the current 911 is no mean feat. But replace it Porsche must, and here are the first shots of a prototype undergoing cold-climate tests in northern Scandinavia.

The rear will get new three-dimensional lights like those on the latest Panamera.
The rear will get new three-dimensional lights like those on the latest Panamera.

Although the current 991 generation received a batch of "991.2" updates in 2015, including a new family of turbocharged engines, it was originally launched back in 2011.

Modular platform

The upcoming eighth-generation 911 will be built around a new modular platform and feature a wider range of powertrains — expected to include, for the first time, a hybrid set-up. While Porsche is working on a pure-electric production Mission E for a 2020 debut, other cars in its range — such as the new Panamera and this all-new 911 — will supplement their engines with electric power to boost both performance and efficiency.

Do not expect major changes to the 911’s  iconic side profile.  Picture: BRIAN WILLIAMS
Do not expect major changes to the 911’s iconic side profile. Picture: BRIAN WILLIAMS

Porsche chairman Oliver Blume recently said that the 911 is a likely candidate for hybrid power too.

"For the simple reason that electrification still carries a substantial weight penalty, sports cars will hold on to classic propulsion solutions a little longer than other vehicle types. But even the 911 must eventually adjust, and according to analysts and the media, even plug-in supercars are making headway," he said.

The new Cayenne will get a clamshell bonnet similar to the Macan.   Picture: BRIAN WILLIAMS
The new Cayenne will get a clamshell bonnet similar to the Macan. Picture: BRIAN WILLIAMS

That won’t spell an end to traditional-style 911s, though. The 911’s idiosyncratic character will be preserved all the more carefully. "Porsche needs to launch puristic racing cars like 911 — we will go to both strategies, new and old," Blume said.

So, don’t be surprised to see naturally aspirated, manual gearbox models like the current 911R to keep a place in the next-generation 911 family.

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