We even get a sneak peek at the SUV's super swish interior.
The Porsche Cayenne's come a long way since the model was first introduced in the early 2000s. What started out as a butt ugly SUV many saw as the degenerate black sheep of the Porsche family has evolved into a less hideous and very impressive luxury 4x4 with high enough profit margins to help fund development of exciting sports car models like the latest 911 R. The current car's getting quite old now, though, so a new one should be on the horizon soon - and these exclusive spy shots give us our best look yet at the third-generation Cayenne.
We've already had a clear look at the proportions of the upcoming Porsche Cayenne, and the snaps of this development mule don't really add much to the bigger picture. The only major new features we can find are the 3D rear light arrangement that appears to be an evolution of what can already be seen on the Porsche Macan. Instead, the big news comes from the spy pics we have of the 2018MY Porsche Cayenne's interior - with the big talking point being the huge touchscreen display that's perched proudly in the middle of the center console. So huge is the screen, in fact, that Porsche has had to shoehorn them in underneath the massive display unit, in between the presumably touchscreen interface and transmission tunnel.
Having a gargantuan screen does mean that those fiddly buttons on the current Porsche Cayenne will no longer be a bugbear on the new car. In fact, it seems Porsche's done almost everything that was previously controlled by a button - take a close look at the interface surrounding the gear selector, and you'll see what appears to be a completely flat panel. We assume, then, that the new Porsche Cayenne's transmission tunnel controls will be operated through a touch panel not too dissimilar to that more modern Cadillacs - possibly with haptic feedback (pressing a blank panel with no predetermined markings isn't, we imagine, that easy to get your head around when you're driving). We'll have to wait and see if we're on the money with that prediction.
We wouldn't read too much into that new gear lever, however. Though it's tempting to suggest it paves the way for a new generation of automatic transmissions, more likely it'll just be a gear selector for an updated range of dual-clutch PDK gearboxes. We do, however, dig the overall design of it - the selector level resembles, to our eyes at least, an aircraft joystick, and isn't a big leap away from the throttle lever-esque selector you find on contemporary Audi sedans and SUVs. That comparison isn't too fatuous either, as its platform will be shared with, among other cars, the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga and the next Volkswagen Touareg that we expect to see within the same timeframe as the third-generation Porsche Cayenne.
Everything else about the upcoming Porsche Cayennne, though, remains a mystery. We can make educated guesses (the main dashboard binnacle will probably mix analogue and digital guages; the engine line-up will likely consist of turbocharged gasolines, a plug-in hybrid and quite possibly even a fully electric vehicle later in the car's lifecycle, and so on), but that's about it for the time being. We do expect, however, to find ourselves with more spy shots and info on the Porsche Cayenne in the near future - and, on the off chance we don't, we highly foresee this third-generation Porsche SUV to make its world debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show at the end of September.