Porsche Cayenne Facelift Revealed, Gets 410HP Plug-in Hybrid and Turbo'd V6

Porsche has opened up its cards in regards to the refreshed 2015 Cayenne prior to its first public outing and world premiere at the Paris motor show in October.

In sum, Porsche reworked the Cayenne's body giving it edgier look, while adding two new powertrains under the hood, including a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid and a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6.

Unlike so many other facelifts we see today, Stuttgart's designers actually made plenty of changes to the body, even if they're not immediately recognizable to an untrained eye. Porsche says the 2015 model has a sharper exterior design, and for the most part, this author agrees.

At the business end of the luxury SUV, Porsche redesigned the grille, bumper, lights and even the (more contoured) hood, which now hovers over to the corners of the reshaped fenders. The Diesel, S, and S E-Hybrid models get Bi-Xenon headlights with "hovering" four-point LED daytime running lights, while the flagship Cayenne Turbo benefits from LED headlamps with the Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS).

Swerve your eyes towards the back, and you'll find thinner and much better looking tail lamps in red, which together with the redesigned tailgate, bumper and exhaust pipes, offer the SUV a less swollen appearance that the current model.

Porsche hasn't graced us yet with photos of the interior, but they do tell us that there's a new standard multifunction sport steering wheel with shift paddles, the looks and functions of which, "are based on the steering wheel of the 918 Spyder", along with a new rear seating system that includes optional ventilation.

Below the hood, all 2015 Cayennes obtain an improved "auto stop-start function plus" system and optimized thermal management, while Active air flaps are being used for the first time in the SUV's history to improve aerodynamics and consequently, fuel consumption.

The S E-Hybrid is a new addition to the range and according to Porsche, "the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment". It uses the same parallel plug-in hybrid system as the Panamera, pairing a 94hp (95PS) electric motor to a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 gasoline engine generating a combined 410hp (416PS) at 5,500 rpm and 435 lb.-ft. of peak torque from 1,250 to 4,000 rpm. With this powertrain, the Cayenne shoots to 100km/h (62mph) in 5.4 seconds and on to a top velocity of 243km/h (151mph). The manufacture also quotes an all-electric top speed of 126km/h (78 mph).

Also new is the 414hp (420PS) and 406 lb.-ft. 3.6 liter twin-turbo V6 engine that replaces the naturally-aspirated 395hp (400PS) 369 lb.-ft. 4.8-liter V8. With the standard eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission, the new Cayenne S goes from zero to 100km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds (5.1 sec with the optional Sport Chrono package), or 0.4 seconds faster than the previous, V8-powered Cayenne S. Its top speed is 257km/h or 160 mph.

Rounding out the changes is the retuned chassis with Porsche promising greater levels of comfort without compromising the SUVs "dynamic pace".

In the U.S., the 2015 Cayenne goes on sale on November 1, with prices starting from $61,700 (excluding a $995 destination fee) for the Diesel model that has a 237hp (240PS) 3.0-liter V6 (0-62mph or 100km/h in 7.2 sec), rising to $113,600 for the 513hp (520PS) 4.8-liter V8 Turbo model (0-62mph in 4.2 sec).