Automotive Porsche Cayenne new high-performance model prototype walter rohle

Published on May 24th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Walter Röhrl Tests New High-Performance Porsche Cayenne

Is the third generation Porsche Cayenne due a facelift already?

The Porsche Cayenne is an extremely important model for the company. Since its debut in 2002, the Cayenne has helped to expand the appeal and availability of Porsche cars throughout the world. The third generation model debuted in 2017, and brought with it a Cayenne Coupé bodystyle variant too.

Porsche Cayenne new high-performance model prototype

Now it appears that either a new Cayenne model is being prepared for launch. Porsche put legendary World Rally Champion Walter Röhrl behind the wheel of the prototype to get his feedback.

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Our question is: is this a facelift of the 3rd generation Cayenne or a new high-performance variant? 4 years seems a reasonable length of time to wait before releasing a mid-lifecycle update for any vehicle. However, the press material refers to this car as a derivative of the current Cayenne Turbo Coupé with more emphasis on its longitudinal and lateral dynamics…

Porsche Cayenne new high-performance model prototype

The third generation Porsche Cayenne family currently consists of the:

  • Cayenne
  • Cayenne E-Hybrid
  • Cayenne S
  • Cayenne GTS
  • Cayenne Turbo
  • Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid
Porsche Cayenne new high-performance model prototype

Perhaps a new suffix will be introduced for this new derivative. Porsche Cayenne GT2 RS perhaps?

Here’s the press release with more.


Walter Röhrl has been putting a still lightly camouflaged prototype of a powerful new Cayenne model through its paces in a tough test of its capabilities. The two-time World Rally Champion and Porsche Brand Ambassador completed numerous test laps in the high-performance SUV on the Grand Prix circuit of the Hockenheimring. In his assessment of its driving dynamics, he described the new Cayenne as a “great leap forward compared to everything that has gone before. This car redefines the meaning of the term SUV”.

The sort of performance you expect in a Porsche combined with a high degree of everyday usability and variability – these are the things that the Cayenne has stood for ever since it made its debut in 2002. Especially dynamic highlights in the model’s initial years included the first Cayenne Turbo S, which had an outstanding power output for 2006 of 383 kW (521 PS), and the GTS models, which were specifically tuned for sportiness from 2007. “They were off-road vehicles that could be driven like sports cars – a real sensation at the time,” says Röhrl, when looking back at the first Cayenne generation, which had the internal designation ‘E1’.

With the new model, which is currently undergoing final testing and optimisation as part of development to series production maturity, Porsche aims to underline its claim to best-in-class performance once again. The focus for this derivative has been on exceptional on-road performance without neglecting driving comfort and everyday usability. It is based on the current Cayenne Turbo Coupé, but has been designed and developed even more single-mindedly to provide the ultimate in terms of longitudinal and lateral dynamics.

All chassis and control systems tuned for performance
Alongside a host of other enhancements for all chassis and control systems, the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control active roll stabilisation system makes a major contribution to the stable handling of the new Cayenne model with a new, performance-oriented set-up.

“The PDCC always keeps the body balanced and level even during very spirited cornering,” explains Porsche test driver Lars Kern, who has accompanied development of the high-performance model right from the start. Its handling is also improved by its comprehensively revamped front axle:

“Compared with the Cayenne Turbo Coupé, the front rims are now half an inch wider, and negative camber has been increased by 0.45 degrees in order to provide a larger contact area for the 22-inch sports tyres newly developed especially for this model,” says Kern, who recently invited Walter Röhrl to Hockenheim for the test drives.

While the visual highlights of the new Cayenne were still largely hidden under black camouflage, Röhrl was already able to gain an in-depth impression of the outstanding driving dynamics potential of the new Cayenne model.

Accompanied by the emotive sound of the new titanium exhaust system, which is equipped with centrally positioned tailpipes, the brand ambassador drove lap after lap on the Hockenheimring and was very impressed afterwards:

“The car remains incredibly stable even in fast corners, and its turn-in behaviour is extremely precise. More than ever, you have the feeling that you are sitting in a compact sports car rather than in a large SUV.”

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