Rowan Horncastle24 July 2014

This is the facelifted Porsche Cayenne

Stuttgart’s big SUV has been nipped and tucked to keep up with the competition

It's been four years since the not-so-hippoesque second-generation Porsche Cayenne was released. But in that time the competition has upped its game with the introduction of the new Range Rover Sport and BMW X5, forcing the surgeons in Stuttgart to book the SUV in for some time in theatre.

The result is this, the facelifted Cayenne. Think of it as Gen 2.5.

The facelift is far from drastic. There's a new, more sculpted bonnet, a fresh, more slatty bumper to force air into important places, and redesigned headlights to make sure the Cayenne doesn't look out of place in a family photograph next to the new 918 hypercar and mid-sized Macan.

At the rear, things now look a bit chunkier, the exhausts have a new design and the boot handle is (a) flush to the tailgate and (b) redundant, as an electronic automatic opening/closing boot is now standard.

Inside you now get a new steering wheel with shift paddles from the 918, redesigned back seats that promise more comfort, and can now be spec'd with ventilation. Good for those who suffer from Sweaty Back Syndrome.

All five models in the Cayenne range get engine tweaks for more power and less fuel. They range from borderline inconsequential changes in the Cayenne S Diesel, where its turbocharged 4.2-litre V8 diesel engine gains an extra 3bhp, to the Turbo that's had its turbocharged 4.8-litre V8 boosted with 20bhp (512bhp) and an extra 37lb ft of torque (553lb ft).

The bigger news for you engine fans is that the 4.8-litre V8 direct injection petrol engine in the Cayenne S has been a cruel victim of the era of downsizing. It's been binned, replaced for Cayenne duty by Porsche's new twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6 from the Macan Turbo.

Most significantly, the Cayenne Hybrid is now an E-Hybrid. It's the first plug-in SUV on the market, and Porsche's third in its portfolio. Electric power has been doubled from 47bhp in the old Hybrid to 95bhp here, so you now have a total of 416hp and 435lb ft on tap.

That should get you from with 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and onto 151mph. Porsche claims official figures of 83mpg and 79g/km (though official figures don't really work for plug-in hybrids), and some 22 miles purely on electric power at up to 77mph.

Prices start at £50k for the basic Cayenne Diesel and rise to £94k for the Turbo. This, or little brother Macan?

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