The Porsche Cayenne coupe is expected to reach the market towards the end of 2019. Picture: SPIEDBILDE/BRIAN WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY
The Porsche Cayenne coupe is expected to reach the market towards the end of 2019. Picture: SPIEDBILDE/BRIAN WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY

The rumours were true, Porsche is indeed working on a coupe body style for the Cayenne.

Snapped by our spy photographer doing its thing near Stuttgart, the test mule appears to borrow the sloping roof design of the Macan crossover. The rear end of the newcomer is more Panamera than Cayenne or Macan.

The design of the front fascia is like the Cayenne, but the windshield, rear and side windows differ. It appears that Porsche went for a more fluid styling for the Cayenne coupe without going all out as Lamborghini did with the Urus.

As for the small-diameter steel rotors and trapezoidal dual-exhaust system, these details suggest that the engine bay is home to a six-cylinder engine, be it the 3.0l V6 or 2.9l V6. However, Porsche will fit a 4.0l V8 in there for the Turbo. A high-performance plug-in hybrid is on the cards too, packing around 507kW.

The coupe rear profile is very evident even with the camouflaging. Picture: SPIEDBILDE/BRIAN WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY
The coupe rear profile is very evident even with the camouflaging. Picture: SPIEDBILDE/BRIAN WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY

Given the go-ahead by Porsche CEO Oliver Blume and expected to arrive in the second half of 2019, the Cayenne coupe will battle with the likes of the Audi Q8, BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE coupe as well as its cousin, the Urus. Scheduled to go into production alongside the Cayenne in Leipzig, Germany, the coupe will come standard with all-wheel drive. The system will be rear-biased.

Previously spotted testing with the bodyshell of the Panamera, the Cayenne coupe rides on the Volkswagen Group MLB Evo platform and comes as standard with the eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission. As far as the interior is concerned, expect the different roof and rear end to eat into the headroom and cargo capacity.

The design of the interior, meanwhile, will be unchanged from the Cayenne: the tachometer is flanked by two seven-inch screens while the Porsche Communication Management system spans a diameter of 12.3 inches.

Dashboard goes wide

Mercedes has released this sketch of the interior of the new GLE. Picture: DAIMLER
Mercedes has released this sketch of the interior of the new GLE. Picture: DAIMLER

Sketches have revealed Mercedes-Benz’s next GLE SUV will use a full-width digital dashboard in a move even further into the connected-driving world.

Due to be unveiled at the Paris motor show in September ahead of a global showroom launch in early 2019, the premium SUV will go head-to-head with BMW’s similarly all-new X5 mainstay in the most intriguing SUV battle of the year. It will also compete for sales with Audi’s Q7, Jaguar’s F-Pace, the Range Rover Sport and a host of top end Asian models, including Lexus.

Mercedes revealed the interior imagery in a design workshop at its Sindelfingen design studio, with interior design chief Hartmut Sinkwitz extolling the virtues of the double-width screen module.

"We wanted to integrate the panel more seamlessly. It provides a greater feeling of sturdiness," Sinkwitz insisted. "We’ve improved the operation, too. There’s less heat build-up than we had before."

The W167 GLE owes little to its predecessor, with Benz insisting it started from scratch with its design and engineering programme. The outgoing GLE arrived as the M-Class in 2011 before shifting to the GLE badge.

It is based around Daimler’s Modular High Architecture (MHA), which also sits beneath the C, E and S-Classes and will also find new bodyshells thanks to the planned GLE coupe and successors to the larger GLS and the smaller GLC SUVs.

If the interior sketches feel familiar, there’s a good reason. Sinkwitz himself pushed to get the double-width screen into the S-Class first, followed by the E-Class, the G-Class hard-core off-roader and even the junior A-Class. The difference with the GLE is that it won’t be a free-floating unit, but mounted below the dash’s uppermost curve.

Cheating continues

While the spotlight might be on the Volkswagen Group when it comes to emissions cheating, other car makers have been feeling the pressure. Nissan has admitted to falsifying emissions and fuel consumption figures on vehicles produced in its factories in Japan.

But it is not just the passenger car market that is affected, with Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles suspending production of its Actros models fitted with the OM501 Euro 6 engine over concerns it includes software that switches off the exhaust gas filter in specific conditions.

The Actros was launched recently in SA but due to our poor fuel quality the OM501 engine is not included in the local range.

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