An all-terrain vehicle? Until well into the late 1990s, such an eventuality seemed far from appropriate for the Porsche world. “Hardly anyone could imagine that our brand would expand the sports car segment into the SUV realm,” recalls Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, the first Vice President of the Cayenne model line.
And yet 20 years ago, it did indeed happen – and it was a triumph. The Porsche legend was successfully transferred to a completely new market segment. A confident off-roader, luxurious travel companion and at the same time a highly emotive sports car – the Cayenne’s recipe for success is the same today.
With entrepreneurial foresight, typical Porsche attention to detail and the highest quality standards, the sports car manufacturer embarked on the project, code-named ‘Colorado’, at the tail end of the 1990s. In order to meet the brand’s exacting performance standards in the SUV segment as well, engineers developed a new V8 engine for the Cayenne that would deliver maximum power and torque figures: in the Cayenne S, the 4.5-litre engine produced 250 kW (340 PS) and 420 Nm. With the same displacement, the Cayenne Turbo served up an even more impressive 331 kW (450 PS) and 620 Nm. The result was sports-car-level performance characteristics such as top speeds of 242 and 266 km/h, respectively.
From the ground up, the V8 engine was designed to enable all components to handle even more extreme stresses with ease. And this was just as well as, four years after the Cayenne’s debut, the ante was upped yet again for the Hemmingen-developed model line. The year 2006 saw the launch of the Cayenne Turbo S, which became the second most powerful road-approved Porsche at the time, behind only the Carrera GT super sports car.
From 2002 to 2007, Porsche launched four variants of the first-generation Cayenne. In addition to the Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo and Cayenne Turbo S, there was also a base Cayenne, which did not carry an additional designation. This model served as an entry point to the model line and was equipped with a V6 from co-operation partner Volkswagen.
Between 2002 and 2010, the first-generation Porsche Cayenne presented a total of six engine variants and eight equipment lines.
With the 471 kW (640 PS; Cayenne Turbo GT: Fuel consumption* combined (WLTP) 14.1 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions* combined (WLTP) 319 g/km, Fuel consumption* combined (NEDC) 11.9 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions* combined (NEDC) 271 g/km) Cayenne Turbo GT, Porsche launched a ‘ Utility Vehicle’ in 2021 that was tailored to maximum handling and performance. With its outstanding driving characteristics, this vehicle raises the bar just as the first Cayenne Turbo S did in its day.
The full story is available at Porsche newsroom here
More stories on 20Y Cayenne
Find out more about the Cayenne at the nearest Porsche Centre: