SPY SHOTS: 2011 Porsche Cayenne SUV gets Sleeker

Porsche is putting the final touches on its second generation Cayenne SUV that is anticipated to be introduced at a major car show in the first half of 2010. These new spy pictures suggest that the next Cayenne will be far better looking than its graceless predecessor adopting a smoother design language and more dynamic proportions accentuated by the lowered roofline, smaller rear window and steeper angle of the rear tailgate.

Not surprisingly, the Cayenne's dashboard looks very similar to the Panamera sports sedan featuring a five-gauge cluster and a center stack dominated by a large screen with the climate controls positioned underneath. Flanking the gear lever on the elevated lower console are the suspension controls and numerous other buttons.

The next Cayenne will be built on a modified version of the Panamera's platform that will also be shared with the second generation VW Touareg.

Word from Germany is that Porsche's engineers have worked overtime to reduce the SUV's weight as much as 200kg or 440 lbs over the current model with obvious benefits in handling, fuel economy, CO2 emissions and of course, performance figures.

The direct-injection powerplants are expected to be carry-over units from the Panamera. A VW Group-sourced V6 petrol producing around 300-horsepower will serve as the entry-level engine, while the range will top out with Porsche's 4.8-liter V8 delivering 400HP in naturally aspirated form and 500HP in turbo spec.

The V8 models will most likely feature Porsche's seven-speed double-clutch PDK transmission as standard.

Porsche will also offer the new Cayenne with a V6 gasoline-electric hybrid powerplant as well as a V6 diesel engine.