The iconic Cayenne Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) is also the chosen model for the first local assembly in Malaysia at the first assembly facility outside of Europe. The Cayenne elevates the brand-typical performance with enhanced standard equipment range specified exclusively for the Malaysian market.
Porsche had to make some big decisions in the mid-1990s in order to secure its long-term economic success. With the Boxster, launched in 1996, Porsche began to manoeuvre its way out of its slump. But it quickly became clear to the management that the legendary 911 and the new mid-engined model alone would not be able to lead the company into a secure future. Plans for a ‘third Porsche’ began to take shape, albeit initially without a firm decision on the segment.
The company opted for an off-road vehicle as this type of vehicle was particularly on trend in North America – Porsche’s largest market at the time. Ambitions were high right from the start: Porsche was not content merely to build a sporty SUV consistent with the brand, but aimed to give the top competitors in the off-road segment a run for their money.
The first generation: a Cayenne Turbo (left) and Cayenne S in front of the customer centre in Leipzig in 2002.
In 1999, Zuffenhausen decided to build the car in its home market rather than abroad, and constructed a new production facility in Leipzig, which was officially opened in August 2002. Both the first and second model generations of the Cayenne – known internally as E1 and E2 – rolled off the production line in Leipzig and later also in Osnabrück. With the launch of the third generation (E3) in 2017, Porsche moved all Cayenne production to Bratislava to create additional capacity in Leipzig for the Panamera sports sedan and Macan compact SUV.
Its wide technical range makes the Cayenne a family-friendly touring vehicle that is also a robust off-roader and highly dynamic sports car with typical Porsche performance. With these characteristics, the Cayenne has done much to shape the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment over the past 20 years.
The beginning of a great success story: the Cayenne (E1) debuts in 2002 as Porsche's third model series after the 911 and the Boxster.
In the Cayenne S, the newly developed 4.5-litre engine generated 250 kW (340 PS), while the Cayenne Turbo managed an even more impressive 331 kW (450 PS) from the same displacement. Both reached top speeds of 242 and 266 km/h respectively – an important message to regular sports car customers, whose expectations in terms of the chassis were equally well met. The cornering dynamics were handled by newly introduced electronic systems: Porsche Traction Management (PTM) distributed drive power between the rear and front axles in a ratio of 62:38 as standard. The drive system was also variable by way of a multi-plate clutch and could implement any power ratio between the front and rear wheels between 100:0 and 0:100 if required.
The first-generation Cayenne (E1) was also the first Porsche to feature the newly developed PASM. Porsche Active Suspension Management was offered together with air suspension. It continuously regulates the damping force and incorporates the condition of the road and the Cayenne driver’s driving style into its calculations. Its air suspension also helped the Cayenne off-road: The already impressive ground clearance of 21.7 centimetres with conventional suspension went up to 27.3 centimetres with the help of the level control system within the air suspension. Porsche optimised its on-road performance at the beginning of 2006 with the introduction of the first Cayenne Turbo S, which attracted attention with its engine output of 383 kW (521 PS) from its 4.5-litre V8 biturbo engine, which was exceptional by the standards of the time.
March 2022: the first locally assembled Cayenne outside of Europe in Malaysia
Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche, says: “As a style icon in the SUV segment, the Cayenne has helped strengthen the appeal of our brand, particularly in China and other Asian markets. It is now one of Porsche’s most in-demand models worldwide, and I’m sure its popularity will remain strong in the future.”
The full story is available at Porsche newsroom here
Find out more about the Cayenne at the nearest Porsche Centre