Porsche Cayenne facelift debuts in Shanghai; gets uprated V6, V8 powertrain

    The Cayenne is Porsche's bestseller in India; facelift headed to our market soon.

    Published On Apr 18, 2023 12:47:00 PM

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    Porsche has unveiled the 2023 Cayenne SUV, which, according to the company, is not an all-new generation, but a radical overhaul. This round of updates is much more significant than a regular mid-cycle update. In fact, Cayenne product boss Michael Schatzle called the facelift "one of the most extensive product upgrades in the history of Porsche". The new ICE-powered Cayenne will remain on sale until the end of the decade – alongside an all-new and technically unrelated electric Cayenne arriving in 2026.

    1. New Cayenne gets range of V6, V8 and plug-in hybrid powertrains
    2. Interior inspired by the Taycan
    3. Exterior changes are cosmetic and subtle

    Ben Weinberger, spokesperson for Porsche's SUV models, told our sister publication Autocar UK that the Cayenne needed an extensive refresh if it was to remain competitive for another model cycle. "We already announced that we're going to bring the electric Cayenne in less than two years, and this car will stay on the market in parallel for quite some time," said Weinberger. "So that was the reason why we said 'okay, we need to do a lot to keep it fresh for the next few years'."

    2023 Porsche Cayenne engine, specifications 

    Chief among the mechanical upgrades is the Cayenne S switching from V6 to V8 power, with the twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre unit – familiar from the Porsche Panamera and Lamborghini Urus. It puts out 475hp and 600Nm in the Cayenne S and sends power to both axles for a 0-100kph time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 269kph. The entry-level Cayenne gets a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6, and power and torque are up here as well, to 356hp and 500Nm.

    The V6 also forms the basis for a heavily upgraded plug-in hybrid drivetrain for the Cayenne E-Hybrid, teamed with a boosted electric motor for a combined 470hp and supplemented by a larger 25.9kWh battery. It has a competitive electric-only range of 84km and can now be charged in just 2.5 hours, courtesy of its new on-board 11kW charger. Two PHEV variants will be added to the line up later, including a hotter, V8-toting Turbo S E-Hybrid.

    There's also a power boost for the top-rung, V8-engined Cayenne GT, which now puts out 659hp and clocks 0-100kph slightly quicker than the 911 GT3, in a blistering 3.2 seconds. However, this range-topper will not be offered on sale in Europe for emissions-compliance reasons. Europe is in line to receive a stiffened-up, V8-engined Cayenne GTS soon.

    2023 Porsche Cayenne gets reworked chassis

    Just as significant as the drivetrain revamp is the work that Porsche has carried out to give the Cayenne an "increased range between ride comfort and performance". New two-valve shocks – working in conjunction with a two-chamber air suspension system – with separate rebound and compression stages are said to boost agility in hard corners, enhance ride comfort at low speeds and reduce pitch and roll.

    Plus, the tyres are bigger, which improves comfort and has the added benefits of both filling the arches more effectively and being able to run at a lower pressure, thereby boosting grip.

    Weinberger said that getting the chassis set-up was an absolute priority when it came to extending the Cayenne's lifecycle. "The quality of the Cayenne since it came on to the market has always been a very wide range between driving like a sports car and, on the other hand, a luxurious travelling car for the whole family," he said.

    2023 Porsche Cayenne interior and features

    The focus on luxury and refinement extends to a dramatic, Taycan-inspired overhaul of the Cayenne’s interior, revealed last month. The new dashboard is dominated by a full-width digital panel comprising three screens: a 12.6-inch curved instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch central infotainment screen and – new for 2023 – an optional touchscreen in front of the passenger.

    This new 10.9-inch interface allows the passenger to "take the strain off the driver" by setting the sat-nav and adjusting the media settings. Innovative technology ensures it's invisible to the driver, minimising distraction on the move.

    The Cayenne gets a touch-based haptic panel instead of a proper central screen as on the Taycan.

    The "free-standing" digital instrument display (with up to seven different views, including a five-dial set-up reminiscent of the Porsche 911), new-generation steering wheel, dash-mounted drive selector and redesigned centre console take their lead from the Taycan – and it all forms part of Porsche's ploy to achieve a balance between digital and analogue elements.

    "If you ask a Chinese customer,” explained Weinberger, “they say: 'The bigger the screen, the better'. More screens, bigger screens, more lights. But if you ask a customer in Europe or the US, they say: 'No, I like knobs. I don't like this touchy stuff'."

    2023 Porsche Cayenne exterior design

    The extensive mechanical and technological overhaul is belied by a relatively subtle exterior makeover that's headlined by the introduction of a reshaped front end hosting new-look matrix LED headlights with over 32,000 pixels per cluster.

    Standard on all Cayennes for 2023, and optionally upgradable to "HD", these new lights can block out oncoming cars "with pixel accuracy" to avoid dazzling other drivers, while maximising forward visibility. They offer more than 1,000 variations of brightness to cater to different driving situations.

    Otherwise, the new Cayenne is best told apart at the front by its resculpted bonnet and swollen wings, while at the rear it gets a fresh, "three-dimensional" LED lightbar and a reshaped apron with a low-mounted numberplate. A raft of new colour and wheel options, ranging from 20-inch to 22-inch, round off the large SUV's look.

    2023 Porsche Cayenne India launch, expected price 

    The new Cayenne has already gone on sale in Germany and will soon follow in other European markets as well. The Cayenne is Porsche's bestselling model in India and this updated model will surely be India-bound sometime in the future. However, the new Cayenne will also be priced significantly above the outgoing Cayenne, partly due to extended standard kit and the fact that the brand had previously said it plans to ultimately achieve a 20 percent return on each car, up from its current 18 percent. Currently, the Cayenne is priced between Rs 1.27 crore-Rs 2.57 crore in India. 

    Also See:

    BMW i7 M70 xDrive revealed as the brand’s most powerful EV yet

    Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV breaks cover at Shanghai Auto show

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