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One Million Later: The Porsche Cayenne's best moments

By Louis Cordony, 23 Dec 2020 Car News

One million Cayenne

Without the Cayenne, Porsche would not be here today. Here's a look back at its finest hours

Porsche has welcomed a second model into the millionaire’s club with Cayenne production hitting the seven-figure mark.

The one-millionth Cayenne was a red GTS variant built in Bratislava, Slovakia, then shipped to an owner in Germany.

One million Cayennes

The news marked 18 years since the brand’s once-controversial SUV debuted.

This, outstandingly, is less than half the time Porsche’s iconic 911 spent took to reach the same milestone – something the rear-engine coupe achieved in 2017 after 54 years.

READ The top 12 cars that broke the mould

Of course, it goes a long way to proving how popular the Cayenne has been and how its success has been key to the brand’s survival in this century.

As a way to celebrate, we look back over the last 18 years to enjoy some special milestones the high-riding sports SUV has given us.

Ground Zero – The First Cayenne

It's hard to reminisce on the first-ever Porsche Cayenne without touching on the dire circumstances that encouraged its arrival.

One million Cayennes

As the brand acknowledges, it found itself in financial strife at the end of the 1980s.

And while the Boxster’s arrival in 1996 went some way to arresting a downward spiral, Porsche needed something else to bolster its model range. So in 1998 it announced an SUV.

With VW’s help on development, the Cayenne was revealed at the Paris auto show in 2002.

Shortly after, its benchmark off-road talent, excellent high-riding dynamics and exceptional performance saw it become an instant hit, selling more than 275,000 over the eight years that spanned its first generation.

High and mighty – The Cayenne Turbos

The Cayenne launched with three engines, comprising a 3.2-litre VR6, a 4.5-litre V8 and a twin-turbocharged version, the two former powertrains offered with a manual transmission.

And it was that Turbo version that truly announced the car’s pedigree.

That lump was a DOHC, twin-turbo beast of a thing with dry-sump oiling and variable intake cam timing. Producing 336kW and 620Nm, it channelled that through all four wheels and a six-speed automatic.

One million Cayennes

But the Turbo S that arrived with the first generation's model update was the real ticket.

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With upgraded intercoolers, it pumped out 383kW and 720Nm, flinging it to 100km/h in a claimed 5.2sec.

Good for 270km/h, it was the fastest 4WD at the time.

All Aboard – Heavy hauling

What better way to prove the Cayenne's sturdy engineering and burly outputs than with a tow test?

One million Cayennes

In 2017, Porsche hooked up its second-generation Cayenne to an Airbus A380, reportedly weighing in at 245 tonnes, or more than twice the previous record's towing weight.

Remarkably, the humble Cayenne S Diesel hauled the passenger jet 42 metres to ink itself a Guinness world record.

A new buzz – The first electrified Cayenne

In 2007, Porsche presented a hybrid Cayenne concept that could drive itself on battery power alone.

One million Cayennes

But it wasn’t until 2014, when the second-generation car debuted, that a production version arrived with the S Hybrid offering 30km of electric range.

The Next Step – The Cayenne EV

As anticipation builds on what all-electric vehicle follows the Taycan, it’s worth considering the Cayenne.

Discussions are ongoing within Porsche about an electric Cayenne and its arrival would make sense given an electric Macan is all but confirmed.

One million Cayennes

But like the Macan, Porsche will need to find a new platform to underpin the Cayenne, since it’s committed to purpose-built electric architecture for its electric vehicles and has ruled out the Cayenne for the Taycan’s J1 platform.

The Cayenne could possibly ride on the Macan’s Premium Platform Electric architecture if it’s scalable to the length required, but that remains to be seen.

READ NEXT Five unique Cayenne E-Hybrid features