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Small SUVs: Competition heats up among luxury brands

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(Read caption) A 2012 Porsche Cayenne Crossover. A new version of the Cayenne is just one of a slew of small SUVs in production from luxury automakers like Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW in the coming years.

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Porsche may be set to cash in on growing demand for crossovers with coupe-like styling, a segment initiated by the BMW X6, by launching its own version based on the next-generation Cayenne. If built, the vehicle would not only have the X6 to contend with but also Mercedes-Benz’s upcoming MLC based on the recent Concept Coupe SUV as well as a similar model from Audi.

According to Autocar, the so-called ‘Cayenne Coupe’ is advanced in its initial design proposal stage but there are concerns within the company that additional crossoverand SUV models may hurt the exclusivity of the Porsche brand.

"We have been considering launching a more sporting derivative of the Cayenne for some time now," a senior Porsche official is reported to have said. "The problem has been the production capacity at our Leipzig factory and the strong sales of the regular Cayenne."


If built, the vehicle would ride on the SUV version of the Volkswagen Group’s new MLB Evo platform, which debuts in the 2015 Audi Q7 and will underpin the next-generation Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg as well as the new Bentley SUV and production Lamborghini Urus. The vehicle would be the sportiest Cayenne variant, but will likely share its powertrains with the regular model.

 
Expect it to have a low ride height, coupe-like profile and a five-door, liftback bodystyle.

 
With the next-generation Cayenne set to bow around 2017, we may see the coupe version launched as early 2018… if it’s approved for production. Note, Porsche will be launching a facelifted version of the current Cayenne for the 2015 model year.


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