Although there had been rallying Porsches and four-wheel-drive Porsches, there hadn’t been a Porsche SUV before the Porsche Cayenne arrived in 2002. That it was developed alongside the VW Touareg allowed Porsche to share some of the costs with a manufacturer that was - then - just a technology partner. The first-gen Cayenne was facelifted in 2007, after which Porsche’s first diesel was introduced. This is the second-gen Cayenne along with which came Porsche’s first production hybrid.
The first line of the Autocar road test of the original Cayenne, read: “Perhaps it should be called the Porsche Controversy.” How times change. Since the Cayenne’s 2003 introduction, Porsche’s entry into the then-burgeoning SUV market has been accepted to the extent that it is now consistently Porsche’s best-selling model. Even those who have not come to love the Cayenne would find it hard not to be impressed by its dynamic ability – and perhaps heartened by the knowledge that its contribution to Porsche’s coffers has allowed for impressive improvements to the rest of the Porsche range. The Cayenne is not controversial now.
Nor, then, is the advent of a replacement for it which has, as before, been developed alongside the Volkswagen Touareg, whose architecture it again shares. There are five engine flavours for the Cayenne. They range from a petrol V6 through to a storming turbocharged V8 (with sub 5.0secs 0-62mph time) and again include a diesel.
Most intriguing, though, is Porsche’s first hybrid although it’s not being billed as an eco hybrid – the diesel emits less CO2. Instead, the hybrid is still a performance car. With a 46bhp electric motor mated to a 329bhp, supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, the Cayenne hybrid can reach 62mph from a standstill in 6.5sec.