And yet this is exactly what happened 20 years ago – with great success. The Porsche story has been successfully transferred to a completely new market segment. A high-class commuter, a luxury commuter and at the same time a sports car with a strong feeling – that is the recipe for Cayenne’s success to this day.
With an entrepreneurial attitude, typical Porsche care and high quality standards, the sports car manufacturer approached the project, called “Colorado”, in the late 1990s. To meet the performance requirements of the SUV brand as well, the engineers they developed a new V8 engine for the Cayenne, which enabled high values in terms of output and torque: in the Cayenne S, the 4.5 liter unit delivered. 250 kW (340 hp) and a maximum torque of 420 Nm. The Cayenne Turbo got 331 kW (450 hp) from the same displacement and delivered 620 Nm. This resulted in driving performance on a sports car level, such as top speeds of 242 and 266 km/h respectively. The special features of the four-valve engine was the VarioCam technology, which allowed the adjustment angle of the camshaft of 25 degrees, and the integrated dry sump lubrication, which ensured reliable lubrication of all engine parts even at high and long-term acceleration .
The basic components of the V8 engine were designed in such a way that all components can withstand high loads with ease. And that was good. Because four years after the world premiere of the Cayenne, the Hemmingen base line made another big appearance: In 2006, the Cayenne Turbo S came to the market, at that time the second most powerful Porsche after the Carrera sports car GT. .
Turbo S as top model with 383 kW (521 hp)
Visually, the new high style was preserved, only the writing betrayed the great potential of performance. The V8 in the Turbo S had an impressive 383 kW (521 hp) and peak torque was increased by 100 to 720 Nm more compared to the Turbo. In terms of driving dynamics, the Cayenne Turbo S set standards in the segment at the time: the 2,355 kg SUV reached the 100 km/h mark in 5.2 seconds, almost half a second faster than the Turbo. Turbo S reached a maximum speed of 270 km / h.
The increase in output and torque was achieved primarily by modifying the two intakes. Now they reduce the compressed air better, also because the heat exchangers were made entirely of aluminum and were 13 mm longer. Depending on the engine speed, the boost pressure can be increased to 0.2 to 1.9 bar – performance increased.
It speaks to the foresight of the engineers that the chassis and brakes were also able to handle the massive power of the Cayenne Turbo S with ease. The whole car was prepared for high performance sports. Series manager Wolpert brought a lot of experience with control systems and also pushed their use in the Cayenne for dirt and all-wheel drive systems. The traction of all Cayenne models benefited from the new Porsche Traction Management (PTM). It distributed the drive power as usual in a ratio of 62:38 between the rear and front axles, it also changed through a multi-plate plate and could implement any power ratio between 100:0 and 0:100 between the front wheels and the back. if needed. In addition to the beaten path, the driver of the Cayenne can also rely on the reduction gear. A 100 percent longitudinal lock prevented the wheels from spinning even if they lifted off the ground for a short time.
Excellent sports performance on and off road
In addition to PTM, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) also ensured a better driving experience both on and off-road. It was also used for the first time in Cayenne. It was offered as standard in the Cayenne Turbo S with air suspension. PASM constantly monitors the force of the dirt and includes the road surface conditions and the driving style of the Cayenne driver in its calculations. The air suspension also helped on the road: the impressive ground clearance of 21.7 cm and the steel chassis increased to 27.3 cm in the first generation Cayenne models with the help of level control inside the air suspension.
Especially for the Cayenne Turbo S, there was the largest brake system that Porsche ever put on production cars: the diameter of the front brake discs grew from 350 to 380 millimeters compared to the Turbo, and 358 instead of 330 millimeter discs were used. behind. The brake discs were larger, which required the use of at least 19-inch wheels. This rim size was intended for the use of winter tires. The Cayenne Turbo S was fitted with 20-inch wheels as standard. The light wheels had a size of 275/40 tires which were specially developed for the Cayenne and were approved for speeds of up to 300 km/h.
Entry level, diesel and future proof
From 2002 to 2007, Porsche brought four variants of the first Cayenne to the market: In addition to the Cayenne S, Cayenne Turbo and Cayenne Turbo S, the Cayenne without an additional name was also released. This model served as an entry in the series and featured a V6 engine from joint venture partner Volkswagen. The 3.2-liter gasoline engine produced 184 kW (250 hp) and reached a maximum torque of 310 Newton meters. With the product upgrade in 2007 – also known as a facelift – there was an increase in the performance of the installed engines. The Cayenne Turbo S now held the lead with 404 kW (550 hp). Cayenne GTS (298 kW/405 hp) and Cayenne Diesel (176 kW/240 hp) were also added as new engines. With the fully functional Cayenne Hybrid study, Porsche also ventured into the first glimpse into a less electric future.
Between 2002 and 2010, the first generation Porsche Cayenne had a total of six engine variants and eight equipment variants. This meant that those interested in SUVs could also access the brand’s usual diversity at Porsche. 276,652 Cayennes rolled off the production line in the first generation. The volume model was the Cayenne S with a share of 38.9 percent. With 5,445 deliveries, the Turbo S remained the exclusive Supersport solitaire. A member of the Cayenne family still plays an important role today as a sporty exception in the segment: with 471 kW (640 hp; Cayenne Turbo GT: combined fuel consumption (WLTP) 14.1 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions * (WLTP) ) 319 g/km) The powerful Cayenne Turbo GT of the current generation, in 2021 Porsche launched a “Supersport Utility Vehicle” designed for long-term and side-by-side performance, which sets the same standards and excellent driving characteristics as the Cayenne Turbo the first immediately S. did.