The Porsche Cayenne arrived in America for the 2003 model year in the S and Turbo trims, and the base V-6 model and the Turbo S followed them up in 2004 and 2006, respectively. In 2010, the second-gen Cayenne made its way to the market with a lower nose and a more raked D-pillar, giving is a smaller appearance. Despite the smaller look, it was actually slightly larger than the first generation — it also weighed 400 pounds less. As the years went on a hybrid model joined the team in 2011 and a diesel model in 2013. Rumors in June 2014 point toward the third-generation Cayenne hitting the streets in 2017, which will make it a 2018 model year in the U. S. of A.
According to the reports, which we translated from German, the third-generation Cayenne will not undergo a huge makeover, but it will receive some minor visual changes, some new colors on the inside and out, new wheel options, a new steering wheel, a more 918-like cabin, and an extra 20 horsepower for the GTS trim, taking it to 440 ponies.
One of the biggest changes will be the adoption of a new, high-floor Audi chassis that is called the MLBevo — it is essentially an enhanced version of the existing MLB chassis. This new underpinning will change the positioning of the engine, thus changing the weight distribution — hopefully not for the worse — axle-to-firewall distance, seat positioning and suspension kinematics. Unfortunately Autobild did not give us specifics as to what we can expect from these changes.
Porsche will also send the Cayenne to fat camp, where it will live on a steady diet of aluminum, dropping its curb weight by about 660 pounds.
Under the hood, the Cayenne will carry a 4.0-liter V-8 and 3.6-liter V-8, but Porsche will re-tune the latter to deliver more power and efficiency than the current version. You can also expect a fuel-sipping, 2.9-liter V-6 with a pair of turbos, and V-8 and V-6 diesel powerplants — I suspect the V-8 will be a Europe-only engine.
Speaking of fuel efficiency, the rumors also point toward a pair of plug-in hybrid drivetrains, one with a world-traveling 3.0-liter and one with a Europe -only diesel V-6. These will likely come a year after the debut of the third-generation Cayenne.
For now, these are all just rumors but they do come from a pretty reliable source. Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more details.
Note: 2015 Porsche Cayenne pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 Porsche Cayenne.
Though it is still in its prototype phase, the Falcon will be one of the Cayenne’s key competitors in the future. The pricing is still unknown as of June 2014, but I suspect that the Falcon will compete mostly with the upper tiers of the Cayenne lineup, including the Turbo and Turbo S models.
I expect to see the Bentley SUV roll in carrying a V-8 engine in its base setup and a W-12 powerhouse in its top-of-the-line trim. The range-topping W-12 model and its 550+ horsepower will likely be close in terms of straight-line speed to the Cayenne Turbo and Turbo S, but there is no way it will handle the corners as well as the Porsche. In the pricing department, the Bentley Falcon and the range-topping Cayenne models should be close, but expect a ton more feel-good bits in the Bentley.
Gallery Bentley Falcon
The BMW X5 is more of an all-around competitor for the Cayenne, as its range closely matches that of the Porsche. As of the 2014 model year, the X5 xDrive35i carries 300 horses and 295 pound-feet of torque, the xDrive35d carries 255 horses and 413 pound-feet, and the range-topping xDrive50i carries 445 horses and 480 pound-feet of twist. There is currently no M model to compete with the Cayenne Turbo or Turbo S model, but that may change by 2018.
In terms of style, the X5 just underwent a redesign in 2014 and it is still very bland. Given this recent redesign, don’t look for anything more than a refresh around 2018. Pricing will likely be pretty close between the X5 lineup and the 2018 Cayenne.