It’s taken a little time but for those who said at its introduction in 2002 that the Porsche Cayenne would destroy the brand, the humble pie is all over their face.

You can see why the doubters doubted: after over half a century building nothing other than two door sports cars, Porsche had now lent its name to a two and bit tonne SUV developed in conjunction with Volkswagen.

But if life with the Cayenne was unimaginable then, it is even harder now to conceive of Porsche without it. When soon after its launch it became Porsche’s best-selling car, many believed it would not last: that the undeniable novelty value of the car would soon wear off. But it never did.

Today the Cayenne is the most important car in the entire Porsche range, still the best seller and the model Porsche could least do without. Now we see the Cayenne at the centre of the Porsche hub with the once one and only 911 relegated with the Boxster, Cayman and Panamera to the role of mere spokes.

Time alone will tell what long term impact the Macan has on Cayenne sales but for now the Cayenne remains the one upon whose vast profit margins all the other depend in part at least for their funding.

You may be a Porsche purist and as a result loathe the Cayenne with the same strength of feeling as you might love a GT3 RS; if so it is worth reflecting that without the former, the latter would almost certainly not even exist.

Top 5 Sports SUVs

  • Porsche Macan
    The new Porsche Macan is offered with a choice of three engines, including a 3.0-litre turbodiesel

    Porsche Macan

    1
  • Alpina XD3 Biturbo
    The XD3 is the first SUV to be developed by Alpina

    Alpina XD3 Biturbo (2011-2014)

    2
  • The Range Rover Evoque Si4 costs from £41,000

    Range Rover Evoque SI4

    3
  • SQ5 is powered by the 309bhp, 479lb ft twin-turbo V6 diesel introduced in the A6

    Audi SQ5

    4
  • The G63 replaces the old supercharged G55 as the most powerful, quickest and most expensive version of the venerable G-class 4x4

    Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

    5

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