First-generation Porsche Cayenne was a huge game changer for Porsche
We’ve been testing the Range Rover Sport Autobiography recently and with its thumping V8, luscious interior and prestige badge cache, the sporty Rangey is an excellent example of a go fast luxury SUV.
Yet interestingly, Land Rover, despite its 4×4 heritage, wasn’t one of the first manufacturers in hi-po SUV segment. Rather, one of the earliest entrants to that segment was an unlikely suspect – Porsche, with the first generation Porsche Cayenne.
Launched in Europe in 2002 and in other markets from 2003, the first generation Porsche Cayenne is built at Volkswagen’s Slovakia factory alongside the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7.
The first-generation Porsche Cayenne was Porsche’s first SUV, and their first V8 since 1995 after the 928 ceased production.
A number of engines were offered in the first-generation Porsche Cayenne, including a base 3.2 litre V6. However the star of the line-up was the Cayenne Turbo, with early models produced 331kW from a 4.5 litre twin-turbo V8 and the Cayenne Turbo could rocket from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds and it even had a low range gearbox should one have desired to have taken it off road – we doubt that many owners actually did.
The Cayenne was a huge success for Porsche, and opened up the brand to a wealth of new buyers, not to mention a number of new rivals.
Oh, And the Cayenne made a nice noise too, as per the video.