The first details of Porsche’s revitalised Cayenne SUV reveal a brand new interior.
Porsche has given us our first glimpse of the next Cayenne, revealing its all-new interior before the SUV’s full debut in a few weeks time. As has been a trademark of the Cayenne since it first arrived in 2002, its interior has to balance luxury and sportiness with the practical needs of an SUV. Porsche says this concept has been brought right up to date with a comprehensive set of high-tech digital interfaces integrated into the Cayenne’s renewed dash and console.
Fundamentally the new Porsche Cayenne is based on the existing third-generation model originally launched back in 2017, so space inside the cabin is the same as before. It remains a strict five-seater, but has plenty of interior accommodation thanks to a proportionally long wheelbase and deep footwells. With Porsche set to expand its SUV range by adding a new flagship seven-seater in the next few years, there was no need to go bigger to satisfy that part of the SUV market.
The changes customers will see and touch are focused around the dashboard and centre console, both of which are completely new. Drawing inspiration from the all-electric Taycan, the existing 12.3-inch touchscreen is now joined by a curved digital instrument cluster replacing the previous analogue rev-counter and its two flanking screens. While the central touchscreen itself uses the same hardware as before, its interface features Porsche’s latest digital interface, offering more customisation and quicker response times.
These are joined by an optional passenger display integrated into the full-width black panel that sits across the dash. The software in this second dash-mounted display is also modified, integrates streaming services and will eventually support bluetooth headsets. The heating and ventilation controls now sit on a much cleaner centre console with physical controls still used for key functions like temperature and fan speed, and supplementary functions built into the surrounding black panel. There’s also still a volume knob, Porsche was keen to point out.
If it looks like there’s something missing from the interior, you might have noticed that the physical gear selector has now been relocated to the right of the steering wheel as in the Taycan, while the traditional turn-key style starter switch has now also gone the way of the dodo, replaced by a simple ‘on’ button.
As you’d expect of a high-end SUV like the Cayenne, build quality is outstanding. The materials are top notch, and excusing the scratch-prone black plastic on the centre console, all look and feel resilient enough to survive the rigmarole of family life while remaining very plush and very premium.
Porsche has also introduced a whole new range of interior colour and trim options, widening the range from dark and sporty to light and luxurious. New trim elements such as optional carbon fibre woven with gold elements (or Neodyne in Porsche speak) are some of the more ostentatious choices, but with such a wide range of customers to appeal to – in the Chinese, American or the traditionally more conservative European markets – it’s a shrewd move to cover all the bases.
As for the rest of the Cayenne, its exterior design is expected to follow a similar evolutionary path, mimicking the contemporary 911 and forthcoming Macan EV by introducing new high-tech lighting, fresh colour options and a slightly blockier overall aesthetic.
The engines will be evolutions of the current range, with both V6 and V8 petrols that will be available with and without plug-in hybrid modules. Expect some considerable improvements to EV range on the hybrids, as well as a more potent e-motor that should see power and performance improve alongside its overall efficiency.
From what we’ve seen so far, Porsche has done what it does best in modernising an existing design language without resorting to complete reinvention. Typical Cayenne interior design hallmarks such as the interior grab handles and vertical outer air-vents ensure that the interior’s new look isn’t so abstract as to frighten off existing buyers, successfully finding that coveted balance between old and new. Time will tell whether Porsche is as successful with the rest of the Cayenne when we see it in a few weeks time.