To develop Cayenne SUV, Porsche purchased BMW X5, Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes M-Class for its Engineers.
Its aim was to build a SUV that embodied its renowned performance while also being able to compete with the world’s best off-roaders.
Porsche Cayenne shares parts with the Bentayga and Urus, and it goes up against rivals like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV.
It’s been 20 years since Porsche ventured into the lucrative SUV segment with the Cayenne. The Porsche Cayenne made its world premiere at the 2002 Paris International Motor Show, a good four years after the decision to build the SUV.
To this day, the Porsche Cayenne, now in its third-generation, is a symbol for the success story of the company as literally saved Volkswagen-owned Porsche from a financial ruin.
Speaking on development objective, Porsche said its aim was to build a SUV that embodied its renowned performance on the road while also being able to compete with the world’s best off-road vehicles.
To achieve this, Porsche purchased a number of different SUVs, including BMW X5, Ford Explorer, and Mercedes M-Class, as daily drivers for its engineers to give them a feel for the demands involved in developing a Sports Utility Vehicle.
Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, the first Vice President for the Product Line Cayenne from 1998 to 2010, said :
“I instructed all my division managers to turn in their Porsche company cars. Instead, we purchased a number of different SUVs, such as the BMW X5, Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes M-Class.
“Colleagues were to drive these models on a day-to-day basis, and every four weeks we swapped them around.”
At first, Wolpert’s team grumbled about having to abandon their beloved 911 cars. But the daily confrontation with factors that had previously received less attention at Porsche, such as storage space, loading sill height, fold-down rear seats, wading depth and slope angle, fostered an awareness among the team of the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
“This was one of the keys to our success,” says Wolpert, who remains convinced of this today.
Porsche Cayenne shares parts with the Audi Q7/Q8, Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and VW Touareg. Today, it goes up against rivals like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV.