"It's very un-Porsche-like," according to those who have seen it.
Porsche previously confirmed that it was working on a new all-electric ultra-luxury SUV that would slot in above the Cayenne and Macan that was expected to take the form of a three-row ultra-luxury rival to a Mercedes-Maybach GLS. The brand is already planning to further electrify its lineup, and this appears to be its next step. Porsche is targeting 8% of its portfolio to be fully electric by 2030 and has already taken the next step by developing a Macan EV and an electric successor to the 718 Cayman.
But aside from its initial confirmation at Porsche's Capital markets Day presentation, news of the brand's first new SUV model since the Macan in 2014 has been scant. We have now learned that Porsche has developed a concept that has been shown to select dealers as a means of gauging interest and feedback from those on the ground who will be tasked with selling the new model.
Per Automotive News, Porsche has given the new range-topper the codename K1. Dealers were shown early renders of K1 as far back as 2021. While its design is far from complete, it has been described as being unlike anything Porsche currently produces.
One retailer said that it had a "rakish" profile with totally new styling that is "part sedan, part crossover."
"It's very un-Porsche-like," said another. "It has a flat rear design; it's not anything like the Macan and Cayenne." The upswept rear of Porsche's models is a hallmark of the brand, and anything with a squared rear will be a huge departure for Porsche.
Of course, plenty could change before it arrives on the scene - with a tentative timeline of a 2026 US launch. As part of its 20-year celebrations of the Cayenne, Porsche has given us an entirely new perspective of the behind-the-scenes perspective of what it takes to introduce an all-new model. From this, we know that any number of possibilities are on the table, and the design will likely change dozens of times, if not more, before a production model arrives.
Porsche admitted that the new model will use tech and findings from the Porsche Mission R sports car that was shown last year in Munich. That car features both a new battery and a rapid 920V electrical system for super quick charging.
Aside from this, we have no indication of what mechanical specifics will come with the K1 prototype.
Porsche has never produced a three-row vehicle before, but when the Cayenne was first conceived, one of the options was a minivan. In more recent years, Porsche showcased a series of unseen prototypes and concepts that included supercars, sports cars, hypercars, and a three-row electric van.
While the initial Porsche Vision "racing service" concept (red) was built in 2018, it was the 2021 iteration (white) that gave us our best idea of what the cabin of a three-row Porsche might look like. While we're sure a production variant will be less spartan and somewhat more traditional, the concept has shown us what Porsche can do when it utilizes the flat skateboard architecture of a BEV.
In other news, it appears that the Cayenne will receive a refresh in Q3 2023, which will entail a new headlight and taillight design, as well as new bumpers. This should help to further differentiate Porsche's new model, which will likely have design cues from the Taycan.
Porsche appears set on the four-point headlight look for its new electric models, K1 and others included. If the upcoming Macan EV is any evidence, that trend isn't going anywhere anytime soon.