Porsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) Makes Spyshot Debut as Lifted Panamera Test Car

One might be entitled to ask why Porsche engineers are testing a lifted second-generation Panamera prototype when Zuffenhausen's line-up already includes the Cayenne, whose third incarnation has already entered advanced development stages.
Porsche "Sahara" SUV Coupe spied 10 photos
Photo: CarPix
Porsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spiedPorsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spiedPorsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spiedPorsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spiedPorsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spiedPorsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spiedPorsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spiedPorsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spiedPorsche Cayenne Coupe (Sahara) spied
Well, the 2017 Panamera-based test mule you see here is part of a much greater plan, which will see the German automaker reinforcing its position of the crossover market.

We'll start by asking you to pay attention to the proportions of the spied test car, which also seems to be shorter and wider compared to the Panamera we've recently shown you performing an acceleration stunt. As indicated by the "number plates" and the marks on the wheels, this prototype was caught while performing ABS calibration tests.

Rumors dating to earlier this year talked about a pair of high-ground clearance, coupe-profile Porsche models being in the works, with the largest of them being tentatively called Sahara.

Nevertheless, while the reports stated this would be a Macan Coupe arriving in 2021, it seems like we're dealing with a Cayenne Coupe that should bow sooner - Porsche will obviously sign a proper name to the model.

We've already seen the BMW X6 and the Mercedes GLE Coupe playing this game, while Land Rover has been recently spied testing a Range Rover Sport Coupe.

And with the new Panamera introducing a fresh engine line-up, the third-gen Cayenne, along with its Coupe sibling we're discussing here, will borrow these units. Keep in mind that we're talking about a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 and-and a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. We're not sure whether the Audi SQ7-borrowed 4.0-liter V8 diesel will make its way to the US market, but Europe, as well as other markets will receive this powerplant.

As for the second model we mentioned above, this wears the Dakar fantasy name, as it should be a high-riding version of the 911. The rumor mill has been discussing such a model for years. And while the Neunelfer-derived 953 won the Dakar Rally back in 1984, we'll have to wait until the next incarnation of the 911 to receive such a contraption.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: jportscars (jacked-up sportscars) are gaining more traction than ever, even if we're talking about aftermarket conversions or renderings. And we're expecting Zuffenhausen to take full advantage of this with the Dakar.

Returning to the spied coupe-ized Cayenne, since the "standard" SUV should make its debut late next year as a 2018 model, we're expecting the swooping roofline model to land one year after that.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Andrei Tutu
Andrei Tutu profile photo

In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories