Future Cars: the 2014 Porsche Cajun

Jun 16, 2011

(Artist rendering courtesy of Car And Driver)

Porsche came to their senses and decided to come out with a more compact SUV than their popular Cayenne (which is pretty compact to me since it is smaller than an Envoy). Named the Cajun (cute name by the way), it will be very closely related to the Audi Q5.

According to Car and Driver, using the Q5 as its technical basis means that the Cajun will essentially stand on a front-wheel-drive architecture: Audi's modular longitudinal platform. Unlike the Q5, which is available with front-wheel drive, all versions of the Cajun will be equipped with Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which won't go by its original name here. The chassis remains unchanged in its key parts, but the Cajun gets its own wheels and a tailored braking system. While the Q5 might seem overly aggressive when equipped with the S-line package, that sort of agility and firmness will be just right for the Porsche.

Power will come from engines out of Audi's parts bin, tuned by Porsche for slightly more power and sound. The engine portfolio will include a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6, rated at around 300 hp, and a 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder, good for roughly 220 hp. A higher-boost supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 is possible and could make up to 350 hp. The Cajun could also be offered with the Q5 hybrid’s powertrain, which consists of a 208-hp 2.0 TFSI and a 44-hp electric motor.

(Audi Q5)

As far as diesels go, Audi's 3.0-liter V-6 TDI, sold elsewhere in the Cayenne as well, is a given—probably in two versions, with around 250 hp and 310 hp. An entry-level, 2.0-liter TDI with close to 200 hp is possible. Power will be channeled to all wheels through a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission; the hybrid will get an eight-speed automatic. With the most powerful engines, the Cajun could top 155 mph, the magic mark where the Q5 cuts off and a Porsche won't.

Judging by the exterior styling alone, it will be difficult to tell just how closely the Cajun and the Q5 are related. Porsche's SUV will be shorter, lower, and wider than the Audi. The Cajun will be launched with four doors initially, but an even sportier two-door version is in the works as well.

(Porsche Cayenne Interior)

The Cajun will take over the Panamera and Cayenne's interior styling language, which means a wide central backbone of knobs and buttons, and an instrument cluster reminiscent of those in Porsche's two-door sports cars. We expect an optional Sport Chrono package, complete with an aggressively tuned throttle, a launch control program, and a prominent stopwatch presiding over the dashboard.

It will be launched in early 2013 as a 2014 model; competitors will include the Audi Q5 and SQ5 (naturally), the BMW X1 and X3, the Infiniti EX, and—at the lower range of the segment—even the coupe-like Mini Paceman, a two-door crossover to be based on the Countryman.

Basically the Cajun will be a bigger Panamera or a smaller Cayenne. If Porsche would create a Cajun turbo, that would be a nice look... If completed in time, it could be at the 2012 New York International Auto Show...

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