Five things to know about the new Porsche Cayenne’s fresh interior | Top Gear
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Five things to know about the new Porsche Cayenne’s fresh interior

Heavily updated posh SUV has gone screen crazy, and lost a little Le Mans link…

Published: 29 Mar 2023

Top Gear Porsche Cayenne 2023Top Gear Porsche Cayenne 2023

Porsche is about to reveal an extremely German, hugely thorough update to its critical Cayenne SUV. Expect tweaked looks on the outside, more power and efficiency under the bonnet, and probably more weirdness on the options list – this is a Porsche after all. 

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But before Stuttgart shows off the whole thing, it’s unwrapping the new Cayenne’s interior first. And this is a big deal, because this gives a decent sneak-peek at what you can expect inside the next Panamera, 2024’s all-electric Macan, and even where the interior of the iconic 911 might go next. Ready? Here’s what has spotted…

1. It’s gone crazy for screens

The old Cayenne had a physical rev counter behind the steering wheel, and a slab of trim ahead of the passenger. Not any more, folks. The instrument binnacle’s done a Taycan, and is now a hoodless 12.6-inch screen with up to seven different layouts. Happily two of them feature classic Porsche dials – choose from either three or five clocks – plus the usual full-screen maps and so on.

Top Gear Porsche Cayenne 2023

Meanwhile, you can now option a second 10.9-inch touchscreen to keep antisocial front seat passengers entertained, or let them interfere with the nav and radio. Apparently the driver won’t get distracted by whatever the passenger is watching, because Porsche has put a special coating over the display so it can’t be viewed from the other side of the cockpit.

2. Hurrah! The heater controls are still buttons!

Don’t worry – Porsche hasn’t ‘done a Volkswagen’ and lost its mind, along with all the buttons. To make the Cayenne warmer or cooler, change the fan speed or turn on the heated seats, there’s a large clickable glossy panel with expensive feeling metal switches.

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Top Gear Porsche Cayenne 2023

We’ve had a sit in an early car and boy does it feel expensive. As in, ‘awkwardly much less plasticky and more luxurious than a Lamborghini Urus’ expensive. Still want that Bentley Bentayga?

3. Boo! The classic Porsche starter ‘key’ has left the building

Top Gear Porsche Cayenne 2023

A small detail, and a deeply nerdy one, is the loss of the twisty starter that harked back to the ignition keys in older Porsches, and indeed the company’s racing cars. Porsche has finally bowed to the inevitable and fitted a regular starter button. We’re not cross, just sad a teeny piece of Porsche heritage has been swapped out for something more mainstream.

4. The gear lever isn’t where you expect it to be

It’s only a facelift, yet Porsche hasn’t just changed the vents and bunged in some extra pixels. The whole architecture of the Cayenne’s dashboard and how you make it go forward and backwards has changed. 

Top Gear Porsche Cayenne 2023

Instead of a gear selector on the centre console, the Cayenne’s gone for a Taycan-style lever slightly behind the steering wheel. This means Dominic ‘Family’ Toretto and co can no longer shift gears on the lever and will as a result cancel their orders.

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5. The interior wants you to live longer

Among other updates, the Cayenne now has a biological weapons-proof cabin filtration system to stop occupants breathing in outside nasties: it even activates automatically when it knows you’re about to drive into a tunnel. 

Top Gear Porsche Cayenne 2023

Oh, and your smartphone will live longer too. Porsche has added cooling to the wireless charging cubby so your phone will juice at 15 watts without overheating.

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