A Savior: The Porsche Cayenne
In the early 2000, Porsche was only selling the 911 range and the back then new Boxster, both models are targeted to a small demographic of relatively high paying individuals who are in the market for a sports car. As a result of low sales, Porsche was in serious financial trouble and was on the verge of bankruptcy. They needed to think quick to get more buyers and the cash flowing, so they came to the conclusion to make a vehicle that is becoming a trend and something out of their realm: An SUV. Porsche not only needs to make an SUV, but one that can go toe-to -toe with the Mercedes ML55 AMG which started the niche of sporty SUV.
The result was a hit; it outperformed the Mercedes on on-road performance and more bells and whistles for when the road gets tough for nearly 10k less. The model not only saved Porsche from the hands of bankruptcy but got Porsche to be in the black and greenlight the once cancelled Carrera GT supercar project. The Cayenne was Porsche’s No.1 best-selling model beating out the also popular Panamera up until 2015 where the smaller Porsche Macan claims that title.
I have to confess, I wasn’t a big fan of the Porsche Cayenne. I was one of those people that believed that Porsche should solely stick to sport cars and with them introducing a tall SUV is a sign that Porsche lost their soul. I also found them to be ugly, I didn’t mind the “fried egg” headlights on the 911 from that time but the way they grafted onto the first-gen Cayenne was revolting to me. The facelift wasn’t any better but the second gen redesign was where Porsche really got it together and finally convinced me on this SUV.
Porsche proved me wrong, they successfully made a practical and capable SUV without sacrificing the precision and excitement that makes Porsche great. Today, many SUV makers from BMW to Land Rover are gunning to make something better than the Cayenne but only fell short to the king.