What's the secret behind Porsche's top seller?
Back in 2003, the first generation Porsche Cayenne SUV hit the market and Porsche purists went ballistic. 'How dare Porsche, the company that builds the 911 and many other driving enthusiast sports cars, go mainstream with something like that? An SUV?? For rich soccer moms!?' Those were, more or less, the words brand purists were screaming from all corners of the globe to Porsche’s Stuttgart HQ. Thing was, Stuttgart didn’t care so much because the Cayenne was absolutely necessary for Porsche’s long-term survival.
Porsche couldn’t make it on niche sports cars like the butt-engined 911 alone. Therefore, it needed something more mainstream and the Cayenne was the answer. It still is. The second generation of the mid-size luxury SUV continues to be a top seller for Porsche, and our 2016 Cayenne S tester was nothing less than impressive (and expensive).
Powered by a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 with 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, it can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds and is capable of a 162 mph top speed. Not at all bad for something that tips the scale at nearly 4,600 pounds. Despite our tester’s relatively tamed option list, it still stickered at $90,815. With its solid performance specs, abundance of luxury and Porsche styling traits throughout, there’s no question the Cayenne has proved itself over the years. 911 fans need to also bear this in mind: it’s because of models like the Cayenne and its huge profit margins that Porsche is able to continue funding the 911 program. Sometimes going mainstream also helps the niche players. Special thanks to Sonnen Porsche for letting us film the car.