Cayenne, the Porsche spice
It’s all-change for the money machine, writes PAUL GOVER
THE car that earned the cash for Porsche to buy Volkswagen is in for a total change. The Cayenne SUV has been the money machine for Porsche since it was introduced, tapping straight into the worldwide drive for luxury four-wheel-drives.
It even funded development of the company’s core cars, the 911s, and built the base that has ensured the success of the Boxster and Cayman.
Now it is up for its first total model change, and prototypes were sneak-snapped this week in cold-weather testing in Europe by the carparazzi.
The pictures show Cayennes close to final production specification, which points to a preview at the Frankfurt Motor Show in October and sales in the first half of next year.
Cayenne details are still secret, but early rumours that suggested Porsche would go its own way, ending the collaboration with Volkswagen that created the Cayenne and Touareg as twins, are wrong.
Porsche will still use the basic body of the second-generation Touareg, but company chief Wendelin Wiedeking is committing to getting his car on the road first.
Looking at Volkswagen Group timing, that points to a new Touareg in the second half of next year and a replacement for the giant Audi Q7 early in 2011.
The new Cayenne is absolutely vital to Porsche.
‘‘It is the vehicle that provides the cash for us to create the world’s best sports cars,’’ Porsche Cars Australia spokesman Paul Ellis says. ‘‘It is the backbone of sales in Australia. About 40 per cent of our sales are of Cayennes.’’
Production of the original Cayenne has just topped 200,000 cars, with the landmark car running down the production line in Germany last week. It has been built since 2002.
There are currently five Cayenne models, from the basic V6 to the Turbo S. A dieselpowered car is in the works.
The all-new Cayenne is expected to have a similar line-up but will also be the base for Porsche’s first hybrid vehicle.
Like the look? Go online to see the Cayenne from all angles. Caught in the act: a spy shot of the new Porsche Cayenne taken during winter testing