The Porsche Cayenne was developed as a mid-size luxury SUV produced with production starting back in 2002.
It is the first V8 engined vehicle built by Porsche since 1995, when the Porsche 928 was finally discontinued. Sales of the Cayenne have been strong, with 100,000 sold as of June 2005, becoming Porsche’s best-selling vehicle in North America. 40% of Cayenne sales are in North America. Sales slowed by 2006.
The Cayenne was skipped for the 2007 model year, but has been redesigned for 2008. The 2008 model with feature a 4.8L V-8 engine with two turbochargers producing 500hp (370 kW) and 516 ft-lbf (700 Nm) of torque reaching an estimated top speed of 171 mph (275 km/h).
The Cayenne was co-developed with the Volkswagen Group, who at the time were also looking to add a luxury SUV to their lineup, as a cost sharing initiative. Volkswagen share this chassis (the E chassis) to underpin their Touareg sports utility vehicle, and Audi use an extended version for their Q7, although there are numerous styling, equipment and technical differences between the three vehicles. The Cayenne shares only its base engine with the Touareg, and Porsche’s version is substantially modified.
Many Porsche enthusiasts at the time of launch were unhappy with Porsche for producing the Cayenne SUV, seeing it as diluting the meaning of the Porsche brand.
According to a well regarded Australian car magazine “Wheels”, the decision to develop the Cayenne was a contentious one for Porsche due to this reason. Management reportedly felt, however, that the company needed a more dependable source of revenue than just the sports car market. Much of the disapproval from Porsche owners come from the joint development of the car with Volkswagen. Although both the Cayenne and Touareg are solid SUVs in the market today, many believe the Cayenne would be superior in many departments if developed solely by Porsche.
Some believe the Touareg is a better executed car available for significantly less money. British motoring journalist Jeremy Clarkson stated “It’s not a bad car and in many respects it’s a very good one, but just as no-alcohol lager defeats the objective, so does a Porsche off-roader. Can you imagine Land Rover producing a rear engined sports car”.
To find out more about the Porsche Cayenne’s various models produced over the year in greater detail please use the navigation menu located at the top right of this page.