If the gold rush for hotrod SUVs seemed to be getting out of hand, don’t worry, there’s a stopping point.
With cars like the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid and a Macan GTS roaming the streets, it may appear like Porsche is trying to bring its sports car talent to vehicular arenas that it typically doesn’t visit, and to some extent, that’s true. There is, however, a fine line between a sporty SUV that handles almost as well as it accelerates and a vehicle truly built for the heat of competition, and Car and Driver’s latest interview outlines how Porsche refuses to toss its SUV family into the latter pile.
As you might have noticed the SUV segment has grown quite rapidly, but the one area it has understandably failed to conquer are the S-curves of the race track. Even automakers churning out go-fast SUVs like the Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S, and Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio are still offering their best acts of supercar performance with compromise. These SUVs lack the physical proportions to race competitively in a series, something Porsche Motorsports boss Andreas Preuninger is quick to point out. Derivatives of Porsche’s Motorsports division, which include the 911 GT3 RS and Cayman GT4, sell well because they are hardly distilled versions of actual track cars.
Porsche will, however, never build GT variants of its Cayenne and Macan SUVs no matter how good of a marketing prospect it seems. “The credibility of the GT car is based on direct bloodline to the race cars,” said Preuninger. “A customer buying a GT3 knows there’s a derivative that’s on track every other weekend in a different race series.” Lost opportunity or not, we're happy to hear Porsche will hold off from selling out by giving its customers inauthentic GT cars. Some may note that there are already GTS derivatives of the Cayenne and Macan, but just like on the 911 equivalent, the GTS badge is Porsche’s way of saying the car is tuned for pleasurable driving rather than head-spinning lap times.
In short, they don't count as real GT race cars. Not all is lost though because Preuninger did mention one possible way we could see a Macan or Cayenne GT car come to fruition. “If we were to enter the Dakar rally with a Macan or Cayenne—something we have no plans to do—then maybe the Motorsport department would develop that car and bring it to the race. Then I would see a good excuse to make something for the street that is very close,” Preuninger said. Let’s reserve judgement for the day this happens.