The Cayenne created one of the most important segments in today’s auto industry.
It’s hard to imagine the automotive world today without the luxury performance SUV. The segment is tightly competitive, with sports and luxury automotive brands continuing to enter and establish their presence in the luxury performance SUV segment. However, it was 20 years ago when the genre was popularized by what was at the time a revolutionary move that saved one brand and changed the rules of the automotive world forever: the Porsche Cayenne. Even as recently as the late 1990s, it was unheard of to even imagine an SUV from the same brand as the iconic 911 and other sports cars, but taking the risk of making an SUV that was still a Porsche at heart was what saved a financially threatened Porsche and still serves as one of the brand’s highest-selling models to this day.
However, Porsche knew that if it was going to go as far as to release an SUV, it had to have a genuine Porsche character. To do this, a V8 engine was developed that would deliver high performance, in the name of 340 horsepower and 310 lb/ft of torque in the Cayenne S, and 444 horsepower and 457 lb/ft of torque in the Cayenne Turbo. As a result, the cars were respectively able to reach 150 and 165 mph. In fact, when the Cayenne Turbo S was launched, it was second in power only to the Carrera GT as a roadgoing Porsche, with 514 horsepower, 530 lb/ft of torque, and the ability to get from 0-60 in less than 5.2 seconds to a top speed of 168 mph. Today, the Cayenne Turbo GT continues that legacy with an incredible 631 horsepower, an evolution of the carefully-engineered dynamics and performance that made the Cayenne both an excellent SUV and an excellent Porsche. The Cayenne transformed Porsche and continues to 20 years later because it was a Porsche SUV done exactly the way it should have been.