Porsche Cayenne

12 MOULD BREAKERS

Turn on, tune in, sell out

PEOPLE mostly forgave Porsche for the Boxster because it was great to drive and, if selling its badge value for a lot less money was an evil, it was a necessary one. But the company’s next big financial play – getting into bed with Volkswagen to produce the Touareg/Cayenne SUVs – was significantly harder for purists to swallow.

Here was a company famed for connecting drivers with the road, partly by putting their butts just inches from it, for sportiness and handling and sex, and for Cokebottle proportions. Suddenly it was trying to sell the world on the idea that SUVs, despite their obvious centre of gravity disadvantages, could be Porsches, too.

The wailing and gnashing of teeth from the brand’s fans must have been audible within the high, white walls of the Stuttgart HQ, but for the rigorously realistic financial hard-heads who run this powerhouse of a company, it was simply a choice, and a car, that had to be made.

Those who hated the Cayenne, more for the greed it stood for than being a bad car, can whinge and opine all they like because it not only kept the company alive, it made it hugely profitable. And at least some of that money then drips down into making 911s, Boxsters and Caymans even more marvellous.

With the addition of the smaller Macan, Porsche is now predominantly an SUV company with a nice, profitable sideline in sports cars, and that’s thanks to the physics-defying machine that is the Cayenne.

LEAP OF FAITH

Brought Porsche ownership to families and made the company hugely wealthy.

PLUS MINUS

TEST OF FAITH

The 911 used to define what Porsche was about.

Now the Cayenne does.