Looks smaller

At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Porsche will launch its second-generation Cayenne four-wheel drive range. The range will include a hybrid, diesel, and petrol V6 and V8s.

The first-generation Cayenne was heavily criticised for not only diverging from the company's history of low, light, lithe sports cars, but also for its bulbous styling. The new model attempts to quell enthusiasts' outpourings with curvier, more aggressive styling. Despite looking smaller, the second-gen model has actually grown in size.

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Electric Porsche sorta

The hybrid's electric motor can solely propel the Cayenne S Hybrid (above) when it's driven below 60km/h.

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Hello Hybrid

The Cayenne S Hybrid features a 248kW 3-litre supercharged V6 up front and a 34kW electric motor just ahead of a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Together they can deliver 283kW of power and 580Nm of torque to the wheels. A battery pack resides underneath the boot floor, although Porsche has yet to mention whether they're of the nickel-metal hydride or Lithium-ion variety.

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Light on the gas

Drive the hybrid (right) sedately and you may get close to repeating its combined European fuel economy rating of 8.2L/100km.

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Bigger, lighter

Despite the new Cayenne's demand for extra road space, weight has been trimmed on some models by about 180kg.

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Better innards

Porsche has reportedly addressed another key concern of the first-gen Cayenne: the interior. According to the company, the new model features much improved quality, both real and perceived.

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It's inside the computer

With the 2010 Geneva Motor Show yet to get under way, Porsche is keeping quiet on the car's interior gadgets and gizmos, although we suspect it will be largely lifted from the Panamera "sedan".

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Two turbos

The other headline act in the new Cayenne range is the range-topping Cayenne Turbo model (pictured above). Its twin-turbo 4.8-litre V8 can deliver economy of 11.5L/100km when driven with zen-like calm — down from the 14.9L/100km of its forebear.

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Mid-year

European sales begin in early May, with the Australian launch slated for the end of July.

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Lots of pennies

The current Australian Cayenne range stretches from AU$102,000 to AU$281,000 (excluding on-road costs). In Germany the base V6 will retail for €55,000 (AU$84,500), with the headline Turbo and S Hybrid models set to lighten wallets to the tune of €115,000 (AU$176,000) and €78,000 (AU$120,000), respectively.

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Twins!

As with the first-generation model, Porsche's Cayenne is closely related to the Volkswagen Touareg.

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Spot the difference

The Cayenne/Touareg twins share much of their engineering, including body panels, key dimensions and many underbody components, but differ in their styling details, as well as some drivetrain combinations.

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Black hole

The VW and Porsche differ quite markedly on the inside, with the Porsche's bathed in acres of leather and more in-your-face styling. It will be interesting to see how different or similar the two model's entertainment and navigation systems are.

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