First drive: 2023 Porsche Cayenne prototype

First drive: 2023 Porsche Cayenne prototype

Porsche is eager to discuss the Cayenne’s suspension, however, this having been “fundamentally revised and further developed”. Included is the adoption of Porsche Active Suspension Management with new twin-tube variable rate dampers on the steel suspension. The optional air suspension also returns to dual-chamber plungers from the current tri-chamber units. Buyers will also be able to choose from a new range of tyres that have taller sidewalls for claimed improvements in ride comfort.

Additionally, there are tweaks to the rear-wheel steering system on higher-end Cayennes. It’s claimed to provide a greater turning angle for the rear wheels at lower speeds for added agility in urban settings. The braking system has also been reworked, with a new electronic booster providing kinetic energy recuperation all the way to a stop.

Inside, the Cayenne has been given a Taycan-like makeover. We can’t show you it yet, but we can tell you that there’s a heavily restyled dashboard housing a 12.7in curved digital instrument display, a revised version of the 12.3in infotainment touchscreen and an extra 10.9in display for the front passenger.

The gearlever has been removed from the centre console and replaced by a toggle like that in the Taycan, mounted high up within easy reach of the new steering wheel, which itself receives a rotary controller for the driving modes. The head-up display unit has also been reworked to incorporate new augmented reality graphics.Additionally, the door trims have been restyled, the wireless phone charging pad has been boosted to 15W and there’s vastly improved air conditioning and ventilation.

All these changes to the interior certainly give the Cayenne a more contemporary feel and a greater dash of digital flair from the firmly cushioned driver’s seat. The S prototype soon proved that the decision to replace the Audi V6 with a more potent Porsche V8 will raise its appeal. With a 0-62mph time of around 5.0sec and a top speed close to 168mph, there’s added punch to the performance. It’s clearly stronger and more determined than before.

With greater torque at lower revs, the V8 also provides the Cayenne with a more relaxing gait and added calmness at motorway speeds, this in combination with a revised set of ratios for the standard eight-speed automatic gearbox.

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