Extensively Upgraded Porsche Cayenne Undergoing Final Testing

THE Cayenne, Porsche’s first SUV, is still in its third generation since being launched in 2017. During the past 5 years, there have been improvements in areas related to the powertrain, chassis, design, equipment and connectivity. This is usual for any carmaker as feedback from real-world usage by owners is received at the factory and measures are taken to address issues, while also improving the product in overall terms.

Occasionally, there are numerous improvements made with many new technologies and it is necessary not just to calibrate or tune many systems but also test them for durability and reliability. Prototypes are now undergoing rigorous testing – called ‘complete vehicle testing’ at Porsche – to ensure the operational stability and functionality of all components and systems as they interact – in situations that the customer experiences and far beyond.

“We’re subjecting the Cayenne to a complete and comprehensive testing program, just as if it we’d developed it from scratch,” explained test manager Ralf Bosch. Alongside increasingly accurate virtual simulations, real-life testing is still a high priority for Porsche. It represents the test of whether any new model is ready for launch.

In the course of endurance tests, a vehicle’s life is simulated under the tough conditions that are only rarely experienced in the customer’s hands. Under everyday conditions, the vehicles complete well over 200,000 kms in urban traffic, on country roads and on motorways within a few months.

To simulate extreme conditions, the prototypes also travel around the world, with the aim being to put their quality and durability to the test in different climate zones. For the new Cayenne, tests took place in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. In total, more than 4 million test kilometres were covered.

“What we demand from the new Cayenne in tough off-road tests in Spain, on punishing sand dunes in Morocco, or during highly dynamic drives on ice tracks in Finland and on the Nurburgring Nordschleife isn’t something we presume many customers will ever do,” said Dirk Lersch, who leads the prototype assembly and testing team for the Cayenne.

“But anyone who purchases a Porsche should know that it can withstand exceptionally high loads – regardless of the surface being driven on,” he promised.

The improved Cayenne will feature, among other things, a new, semi-active chassis. In addition, there will be a new and extensively digitalised display and operating concept with enhanced connectivity functions. Innovative lighting technology in the HD-Matrix LED headlights will enhance both comfort and safety.

“It’s one of the most extensive product upgrades in the history of Porsche,” says series manager Michael Schatzle. “In addition to realigning the drive portfolio, the engineers at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach made major revisions to the Cayenne’s chassis system. The aim was to achieve an even wider range between the typical Porsche on-road performance, long-distance comfort and off-road capability.