An odd-looking Porsche Panamera-based prototype has been spied testing in Europe, and it’s believed to be a mule for an upcoming coupe variant of the 2018 Porsche Cayenne SUV.
Shorter, wider and sitting a lot higher than the regular Panamera, this development vehicle could be hiding the underpinnings of a new coupe-styled variant of the next-generation Cayenne, which is expected to be revealed sometime next year as a 2018 model.
A fast-backed version of the Cayenne would give see Porsche enter the game currently being played by the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, along with the upcoming anticipated Range Rover Sport ‘coupe’.
The Cayenne coupe’s design will probably combine elements from the regular SUV variant and the Panamera sedan, though considering this prototype’s Panamera-like shell it’s hard to tell what the final product will look like.
Engines and transmissions should mirror the range offered in the regular Cayenne, which will likely share its powerplants with the recently-launched Panamera.
The 2017 Porsche Panamera is currently offered with a 324kW/550Nm twin-turbo V6, a 310kW/850Nm twin-turbo V8 diesel and a 404kW/770Nm twin-turbo V8. Expect the Cayenne to continue being offered exclusively with all-wheel drive.
Interestingly, the UK’s Car Magazine reports the mule pictured has an all-electric powertrain, likely to be shared with the upcoming Audi Q6 e-tron SUV – pointing to a possible EV powertrain for the new pair of high-riding Porsches.
Underpinning the Cayenne Coupe should be the Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform for front- and all-wheel drive vehicles with longitudinally-mounted engines, which already forms the basis of the Bentley Bentayga and Audi Q7.
Spy shots captured of the interior from the next-generation Cayenne SUV also suggest the interior of both bodies will be very similar to the design seen in the latest Panamera, which features a new 12.3-inch ‘Porsche Connect’ central infotainment system.
Above: The interior from a 2018 Porsche Cayenne prototype
Considering the 2018 Cayenne should be revealed sometime next year, with deliveries starting late-2017 or early-2018, expect the Coupe companion to debut around 2018, with first examples hitting showrooms either late-2018 or early-2019.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more Porsche Cayenne updates in the coming months
Click the photos tab for more spy images of the Porsche Cayenne Coupe prototype