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BMW and Porsche Plan New CUVs

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On: Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 5:04PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW and Porsche Plan New CUVs

It seems that BMW and Porsche are set to lock horns in another segment: the high-end CUV segment. Reports are indicating that both German automakers have concept CUVs planned for 2011 that will foreshadow production models. BMW will show an X4 concept, a sportier crossover model to complement the X3, and Porsche will show the Cajun, a smaller, nimbler Cayenne.

Speculated production for the X4 indicates a start-up somewhere between 2013 and 2014. The X4 is reportedly being designed specifically with U.S. customers in mind. It will share much of the powertrain and platform of the  X3, but BMW will aim to make the new model sportier in terms of styling. It will be a four-seater with four- and six-cylinder engine options upon launch. Shifting will be offered in six-speed manual, seven-speed dual-clutch and eight-speed automatic flavors. After the X4 launches, BMW will also launch a high-performance M version with a twin-turbo inline six and a seven-speed DCT dual-clutch transmission.

Over in Stuttgart, meanwhile, Porsche is currently developing the Cajun with a spring of 2012 production window in mind. Sure to ruffle a few feathers of Porsche traditionalists that despise models like the Cayenne and Panamera, the Cajun will basically be a smaller Cayenne. It will be based on the platform of the Audi Q5 and may get two doors instead of four to help differentiate it from both the Q5 and the Cayenne. The top trim level will be offered with a twin-turbo six cylinder. The hybrid powertrain from the Q5 is being considered as another option.

Earlier this week in an interview with Autocar, new Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller cast some doubt on the future of the Cajun, indicating that top execs are in the process of reviewing product expansion and will make some decisions by the end of this year. The British mag mentions the Cajun as one of the models threatened by the proverbial axe. An entry-level roadster is the other model that may be nixed.

So if high-end CUVs are your thing, be sure to keep your eyes on the auto show circuit next year. We'll likely see at least one of these models come to fruition at one of the major shows.

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