Home » Porsche Made A Hardcore Off-Road SUV With Big V8 Power, A Big Tow Rating, And Just Three Had Manuals: Holy Grails

Porsche Made A Hardcore Off-Road SUV With Big V8 Power, A Big Tow Rating, And Just Three Had Manuals: Holy Grails

Porsche Cayenne Holy Grail Ts
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Porsche isn’t likely the first name that comes to mind when you think of a producer of off-road vehicles. However, under the curvaceous body of Porsche’s big money maker is a beast. The first-generation Porsche Cayenne is legitimately a hardcore off-road SUV and the best version of it is the rare Cayenne S Transsyberia. Built to celebrate Porsche’s rallying success with SUVs of the same name, just 285 production Cayenne S Transsyberias were built and only three of them are in North America with a manual transmission. Leave that Jeep behind and hit the trails in a Porsche that can tow your other Porsche!

When the Porsche Cayenne hit the market in 2002, many enthusiasts saw it as the harbinger of doom. Porsche, the firm known for its drivers’ cars, was selling out and building SUVs. Many saw it as the beginning of a fabled brand diluting itself. The subject of Porsche building an SUV was such a big deal that when Car and Driver published a review on January 1, 2003, it dedicated the first three paragraphs to explaining all of the things Porsche purists liked complaining about back then:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

By now, Porsche has grown accustomed to the howls of its purists. The squawking began nearly 40 years ago when the 911 replaced the 356, gathered steam with the debut of the VW-powered 924, and continued when the front-engine 928 set out (but failed) to succeed the 911. Perhaps the bleating reached a peak with the launch of a markedly bigger 911 powered by a water-cooled — not air-cooled — flat-six engine. Although traditionalists were mortified, Porsche sold more 911s than ever before.

But nothing has come remotely close to outraging the faithful as has the Cayenne. It’s not just that it’s the first five-door, five-passenger Porsche; it’s more that a sport-utility seems to contradict a holy heritage built on two-seat sports cars and winning the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race. To remain independent and fund future sports cars (and eventually go back to racing), Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking wants to double the size of his company. Seeing the U.S. market’s insatiable demand for SUVs, he thinks a Porsche sport-ute is the safest route to achieving his goals.

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That final line is important. The Cayenne wasn’t Porsche selling out, but the brand doing what was necessary to stay afloat and to keep growing. If you bought a Porsche 911 in the 2000s, you likely had the Cayenne to thank for Porsche’s continued existence.

The good news is that the Cayenne wasn’t just any SUV, either. While Porsche realized SUVs were cash cows, it needed to make sure its burly off-roader would still be befitting of that iconic badge. Out of the other end, Porsche and Volkswagen created what continue to be total off-road sleepers.

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Saving Porsche

Hdi 7957

This story takes us back to a darker period in the early 1990s.

Porsche was struggling and was finding itself close to the brink. In 1992, the company reported a loss of 240 million Deutschmarks. Porsche attempted to stem the bleeding by optimizing production, eliminating unnecessary roles, and introducing a cheaper model. The Boxster, which hit the road in 1996, remains a great pick for those wanting the Porsche experience with a smaller dent to the pocketbook.

However, it was found that the Boxster alone couldn’t save Porsche. Hans Riedel, the Porsche board member in charge of sales, ran an analysis. Riedel found that while Porsche’s changes did extend its life, the company would again find itself in trouble in the long run. Anton Hunger, head of communications for former Chairman of the Executive Board Wendelin Wiedeking said: “It was apparent that the sports car had its limits on the market.” “The sales division had clearly demonstrated this using market research. In the long run, Porsche would have ended up on a downward slope again.”

Pictures Porsche Boxster 1996 5

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That was a problem. Porsche, the sports car company, needed something that wasn’t a sports car.

The brand began studying five concepts for what would become the third Porsche in its lineup. Research trimmed those five concepts down to just two, a minivan and a sporty SUV. If you think a Porsche minivan sounds silly, consider that minivans were still a strong segment in the 1990s. If Porsche wanted a vehicle to generate cash, it made sense to build what was popular.

The United States was Porsche’s largest market back then and while minivans were still popular here, Porsche says the U.S. nixed the idea of a Porsche people carrier. That left Porsche with its choice, the premium SUV.

The logic did make sense. Porsche’s research had shown that minivans were popular with families with lots of kids and lower-income families. Yet, the SUV was growing in popularity with just about everyone across all income levels. If Porsche wanted to make money, the SUV was the better bet.

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The next problem was that there wasn’t an SUV out there that met Porsche’s high standards. Porsche wasn’t about to slap its badge on a lumbering giant, but the SUV needed to be luxurious and fast, something distinctly Porsche. The company looked for a partner for this project and soon found one with Mercedes-Benz. The M-Class was gearing up for a 1997 launch and Porsche figured it could take that SUV and make a performance variant of it. The proposed vehicle would have the body and technology of the Mercedes M-Class but with the engines, chassis components, and exterior design of Porsche.

Mercedes Benz M Klasse 1997 Phot

Mercedes-Benz found this to be an acceptable idea and entered into a partnership with Porsche in the summer of 1996. Unfortunately for Porsche, this relationship ended before the year was out. Apparently, the two companies had differing ideas about their economics.

So, Porsche was in trouble again. It had the concept for a super SUV but lost its partner. That’s when it turned to its old friend in Wolfsburg. While Porsche and Volkswagen are together today, it wasn’t the case back then. Still, Porsche and Volkswagen had collaborated in the past, and Porsche needed its old friend. This time, Porsche found madman executive Ferdinand Piëch at the helm of Volkswagen. Piëch loved Porsche’s super SUV pitch and figured Volkswagen could use a similar SUV of its own.

Porsche Cayenne 2003 Pictures 1

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In 1997, Volkswagen and Porsche joined forces again. The SUV program was dubbed ‘Colorado’ and Porsche was in charge of development while Volkswagen handled production. While both SUVs would share a number of parts, they would also differ in key areas. The pair of SUVs would not share engines and their chassis would be tuned to their respective automaker’s specifications.

Porsche was serious about making a true off-road SUV, from Porsche:

One crucial question was how to design a car that credibly embodied Porsche’s renowned performance on the road while also being able to compete over hill and dale with the best off-road vehicles in the world? After all, the Cayenne had to set standards both on and off paved roads. “For us it was clear that if we made an off-road vehicle, then its performance must also be absolutely compelling off-road,” says Hunger.

01 955 Porsche Cayenne 4.5 Tt Tu (1)

Or as Felix Bräutigam, then head of Porsche Marketing Communications, put it: “The Cayenne stands for a spirited driving experience. It doesn’t care about the surface.”

To give his engineers a feel for the demands involved in developing a sports utility vehicle, Wolpert took an unusual measure: “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.

08 957 Porsche Cayenne Pdcc 4wd

In 2002, the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touareg made their public debuts. Porsche achieved its mission of putting the ‘Sport’ into Sport Utility Vehicle while simultaneously maintaining real off-road capability. Importantly, despite the cries from purists, the Cayenne provided the shot in the arm Porsche needed to thrive.

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Both of these SUVs look soft, but don’t let that appearance fool you.

The Super SUV

I Like Big Trucks

In explaining how the Cayenne is built, Porsche starts with the body. Engineers first looked at the traditional solution for an off-roader, which is body-on-frame construction. Porsche’s other option was a unibody. The engineers saw advantages in both and thus, decided to make the Cayenne and the Touareg utilize a unibody with an integral frame structure. Porsche found this setup to be the best for rigidity and the reliability of components.

The brand touts the vehicle’s body as one that’s safe in crashes and tough on the trails with 36,900 Nm/° rigidity. To translate that into plain English, it means the Cayenne and Touareg can do this without damage.

Porsche Engineerings Magazine

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Porsche goes as far as to say that even if you lawn dart your Cayenne into an obstacle with a wheel pointing to the sky, the doors and tailgate should operate as normal. The super beefy body also means that the Cayenne and Touareg can tow 7,716 pounds from a tow hitch bolted into the body to where the rear crash bar sits. Another benefit Porsche talks up is a water fording depth of 21.9 inches when the Cayenne is equipped with air suspension. The Touareg is slightly better in this regard with a fording depth an inch deeper.

Porsche and Volkswagen then loaded their respective SUVs with real off-roading equipment. It starts simple enough. Both SUVs can be equipped with an air suspension that gets the SUVs high off of the ground. When pumped up, the bags raised the Cayenne 4.5 inches over stock for a ground clearance of 10.8 inches underneath the axles. Combine this with short, steep overhangs and both of them can drive over obstacles. Ramp angles of a properly-equipped Cayenne included a 32-degree approach angle and a departure of 27 degrees. The breakover angle is noted to be 24 degrees. Volkswagen’s Touareg had better numbers, but this wasn’t bad at all for an SUV designed to go fast like a Porsche should. Both of these super SUVs were designed to conquer slopes as steep as 45 degrees and ride along the sides of inclines as steep as 35 degrees.

Porsche Cayenne 2005 Int Images 14

Things got gnarly with the mechanical gear, too. Both SUVs came equipped with a permanent four-wheel-drive system with an automatic center differential. In normal operation, a Cayenne sent 68 percent of its power to the rear wheels. However, you were able to lock the front and rear ends to equal distribution and when the going got tough, the four-wheel-drive system offers a low-range gearbox. If that’s not enough to get you out of trouble, these SUVs use a combination of limited-slip differentials, off-road traction control, and ABS to crawl you up wherever you’re headed with limited slippage.

The off-road traction control then chimed in again to gently guide you down a steep hill. Systems like these are commonplace today, but they were pretty wild in 2002.

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Porsche Cayenne 2005 Int Images 29

If this wasn’t good enough, the Porsche Cayenne was also available with the Advanced Off-road Technology package. This added integrated rock rails, skid plates, a reinforced engine guard, enhanced fuel tank protection, headlight washers, an additional recovery point, and more. That more is a big one, too, as the Technology package also delivered a locking rear differential and anti-roll bars that could be engaged and disengaged hydraulically.

All of this was packaged in an SUV draped in leather with a supple multi-link suspension. Cayennes and Touaregs are quiet and soft on the road and filled to the brim with features like heated and ventilated seats, power everything, and unique interiors. While the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne share so many parts, the Cayenne has its own interior. The only Touareg parts you’ll be touching in there are the stalks sprouting out of the steering column.

Wallpapers Porsche Cayenne 2002

Reviews seem to suggest that Porsche hit it out of the park. Here’s Car and Driver again:

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The steering is 911 heavy, quick with only 2.7 turns and a tight turning circle, and has even more precision than the X5’s. The Cayenne denies its mass by feeling quite maneuverable, even agile, but it’s the ride comfort and body control that are most remarkable. Porsche’s SUV changes direction quickly and fluently, the body remaining flat on all but tight corners. Only then, when a combination of mass and a high center of gravity induce notable load transfer and some roll and protests from the rubber, does the Cayenne fail to drive like Germany’s sports car.

Although the Cayenne and VW’s version, the Touareg, share the same platform and electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system, Porsche’s version is set up to deliver 68 percent of its torque to the rear wheels; the VW’s split is 50/50. The rearward handling bias aims to provide something approaching traditional Porsche handling. Says Egon Verse, Cayenne project manager, “We prefer a little bit of oversteering.”

And it does indeed oversteer, even without shutting down the Porsche Stability Management system, if you attack corners and use a strong diet of revs and low gears. The threshold of electronic interference is so high that the committed driver can kick the tail out into power oversteer. In normal driving the handling tends to an immensely stable and progressive understeer, yet with a poise unmatched by any other SUV. The brakes, too, feel Porsche strong.

At its most powerful, you could get a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S featuring a 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 making 550 HP. That’s good for a 60 mph sprint in just 4.4 seconds.

The Grail

Porsche Cayenne 2009 Wallpapers

So, the first-generation Porsche Cayenne is simply an engineering marvel. It’s a Porsche that can rocket down the Autobahn one day and then hit up Moab the next. Thomas says that of all of the first-generation Cayennes out there, just one stands out as the best.

To showcase the Cayenne’s off-road credentials, Porsche entered the Cayenne into the Transsyberia Rally from between 2006 and 2008. The company was victorious, from Porsche:

It all started in 2006 with a one-two finish by a pair of Cayenne S models in the third running of the Rally Transsyberia. Porsche engineer Jürgen Kern and his Russian co-driver, as well as another German-Spanish private entry, topped the field of 28 teams after a challenging 10,000 kilometres-plus event from Berlin via Moscow, Novosibirsk, Mongolia, Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. Kern, whose full-time job was testing and developing the first-generation Cayenne, and his colleagues had made only relatively minor adjustments to the two production Cayennes for the competition: the air suspension with an off-road technology package including anti-roll bar and locking differential was available as a factory option. Added to this were robust off-road tyres, full-length underbody panelling, a snorkel air filter with a roof-level intake, and rally accessories such as a winch and four auxiliary headlights.

01 Transsyberia

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The commanding performance of the two near-standard Cayenne S in navigation tests over unfamiliar terrain, extreme off-road and water driving in the Gobi Desert, and time trials on dirt tracks in Mongolia sent an unmistakable message to Porsche management. As a result, the sports car manufacturer expanded its customer sports programme to include an exclusive limited run of 26 Cayenne S Transsyberia models. The sporty off-roader was developed using the Cayenne S as a starting point and was specifically optimised for participation in long-distance rallies. Private teams were to use it to tackle the 2007 Transsyberia Tour over 6,200 kilometres from Moscow across Russia to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.

In addition to the parts noted above, the rally versions of the Cayenne had a shorter axle ratio for quicker acceleration and the seals were upgraded so that the rally cars could drive through water about 30 inches deep. The double wishbone suspension up front was reinforced and special off-road tires were added.

As Porsche noted, aside from necessary equipment like the roll cage and special changes to the wishbones, most of this stuff was what you could get in a production Cayenne. You could slap some aggressive tires on your own Cayenne and get out into the wilderness. Porsche continues about its rally prowess:

03 Transsyberia

With its perfect technical basis and efficient additions, the Porsche SUV not only triumphed again at the 2007 Transsyberia Rally, but indeed thoroughly outclassed the competition: Cayenne teams swept the podium. Overall, the Porsche fleet took seven of the top 10 places.

ith this success, Porsche underscored not only the Cayenne’s off-road performance, but also its reliability and quality: “The vehicles survived the rally well, and most of them were even used to drive the Transsyberia Tour a second time,” says Jürgen Kern. In 2008, 19 teams took part again with the same vehicles. “We didn’t build any new cars for this and didn’t even change the chassis,” Kern recalls. The only innovation was an even more robust off-road tyre for the long gravel sections in Russia and Mongolia. The triumph of the previous year was even surpassed this time after more than 7,000 kilometres completed between Moscow and Ulaanbaatar: among the top 10, only the seventh-placed vehicle was not a Cayenne S Transsyberia. This proved the on- and off-road potential of the Cayenne once and for all.

Porsche Cayenne 2009 Photos 1

To celebrate these rallies, Porsche decided to launch a production version of the Cayenne inspired by the racers. The Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia was announced in 2009.

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This wasn’t just a sticker package, either. Cayenne S Transsyberias got the 4.8-liter V8 from the Cayenne GTS and it was tuned to make 405 HP. While not the most powerful Cayenne, Transsyberias boogied to 62 mph in about 6.1 seconds. Porsche also took the axle ratio from the GTS and shortened it by 15 percent to 4.1:1 before slapping it into the Transsyberia. So, a Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia was faster and more hardcore than any standard Cayenne S.

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Bring a Trailer Seller
Fc Barbara Griffin 094 98372 Sca
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Porsche capped off a production run of just 285 vehicles with orange accents to match the rally vehicles. Of course, the Transsyberias also came with the aforementioned off-road equipment so they could tackle terrain somewhat like the rally cars. Sadly, the off-road tech package was still optional.

Of those 285 official Transsyberia builds, nearly all of them came with a six-speed automatic transmission. Just three of them came with a six-speed manual, and Thomas says all of them are in Canada. Thankfully, since these are U.S. homologated vehicles, you can bring them down across the border. However, good luck ever finding one of the three ever showing up for sale.

2010 Porsche Cayenne S Transsybe
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Two of the three manual Transsyberias have appeared on Bring a Trailer. One sold for $70,500 while the other sold for $54,957. Transsyberias with automatics sell for similar prices, so don’t expect to find a deal. Perhaps that’s why you’ll see so many Transsyberia clones for sale on Facebook. People seem to love these things, so I’m not surprised to say that I’ve found zero for sale in America right now.

Should you find a Porsche Cayenne S Transsyberia and happen to have the money for it, you’ll be getting a real off-roader that is bound to surprise others on the trails. My old Volkswagen Touareg certainly triggered double-takes and phones to be pulled out. Even if you can’t find a Transsyberia, give one of these old German beasts a chance, they’ll probably put a big smile on your face.

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Do you know of or own a car, bus, motorcycle, or something else worthy of being called a ‘holy grail’? Send me an email at mercedes@theautopian.com or drop it down in the comments!

(Images: Manufacturers, unless otherwise noted.)

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Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
23 days ago

I think I would’ve kept my ’08 if it had been a stick…

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
25 days ago

I really have to object to the characterization as a “hardcore offroader”. Yes, the Cayenne is pretty good off-road, and it’s really good for a fancy luxury SUV, but it’s just not hardcore. Yes it has low range and limited slip diffs, but the ground clearance is only so so, the flex is absolutely terrible, the ride quality/high speed stability is likely fairly poor, it’s super heavy, ect. These are all compromises that Porsche made for the sake of handling and luxury, but you wouldn’t call a compromised vehicle “hardcore” for anything.

For example, a vehicle like a Porsche Panamera you would never call a “hardcore sports car”. Sure, it’s pretty good at being a sports car, but it makes several compromises that mean it’s not as good of a sports car as it could be.

A hardcore sports car is something that prioritizes sports driving at expense of other attributes, and a hardcore offroader prioritizes off-road driving at expense of other attributes.

Matti Sillanpää
Matti Sillanpää
25 days ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

It seems to be pretty popular offroad build rig these days here in northern europe. Of course cheap used prices help.

But that kinda brings me to the fact, that people say that current Cayennes better off not having the offroad fundamentals at all. I think it’s mistake. Of course first owners of vehicles like Land Cruiser, Cayenne or G-wagon next to never drive them offroad. But the second of third quite likely do. And I think this brings value and substance to the package.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
23 days ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Have you driven one? I owned an ’08 S (na 4.8 v8) that I bought cheaply used from my dad (and recently sold) and I found it to be quite a pleasant high speed cruiser and shockingly capable on pavement even with mild all terrain tires. I hit 110 mph once and it wasn’t even breaking a sweat, and it would happily cruise at 90 mph if given the chance. Otherwise I agree, it’s not a “hardcore” offroad vehicle without serious modification and even then it will never equal a Jeep. But what it is is a shockingly good swiss army knife of a car that can go very deep offroad while also being surprisingly good on road. Tires are the big compromise and force you to pick which way you want to bias your capabilities towards. While I initially had dismissed these when they came out, and laughed when my dad bought his used and then raved about it, after a few years of ownership that thing turned me into a Porsche-phile. I just keep thinking that the below the surface engineering to make a big fat SUV dance like that must be truly transformational when applied to an actual sports car, if I wasn’t afraid of the maintenance costs on the kind of used 911 or Cayman I could afford the purchase price of I’d buy one tomorrow.

AceRimmer
AceRimmer
25 days ago

Don’t care what anyone says, I love that orange gauge cluster.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
25 days ago

Fuck these ghastly devices into a fucking ditch. If I want an SUV I’ll get a proper one with pedigree, like a Range Rover or an SJ Grand Wagoneer.
If I want a Porsche (and I do, there’s a specific one I’m after) I’ll get a Porsche.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
25 days ago

Is the used Cayenne ownership experience better than the notoriously poor experience of owning a Touraeg? Yeah, Porsche service is not going to be cheap, but if you don’t get nickel and dimed by stuff breaking all the time, maybe it isn’t so bad.

Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
23 days ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

I owned an ’08 957 Cayenne S, NA 4.8 v8. Bought it from my dad for what dealer offered him for trade in at 119K, I sold it with 143K. Mostly I’d say they’re better built and engineered than BMW or Audi (the other german brands I have experience with) but they will ding you with the occasional weird and expensive problem. I do think my ultimate takeaway was that I wasn’t quite in love with mine enough to justify the expense of upkeep, but I’m really more of a car guy these days.

My dad bought it with 60K and he found it quite reliable with very few problems outside of routine maintenance. It was solid for me but had 2 weird recurring problems I couldn’t fix. One was that it would randomly(but fortunately infrequently) refuse to start. I found a work around that if you unhooked the battery for a few seconds it would fix the problem, though unfortunately I didn’t figure this out until I’d been stranded in the middle of nowhere and had to get it towed, twice. Spent some bucks trying to solve this and never got to a resolution. And the other was that the passenger side headlight kept filling with condensation-even after replacing it once with a clean used one, but it did fry the controller/ballast on the original, which I replaced myself but required a trip to the indie Porsche mechanic to program which was like $200. Other than that, no serious problems, had a clogged sunroof drain that I caught before it flooded the interior, that was $500. Oil changes are spendy if you don’t do them yourself, like $260 per, not least because it’s got a 10 quart sump and you want to run good oil in these things. Power tailgate was slowly failing-or maybe it needed greasing. Possibility the thermostat was starting to go bad, I got the occasional CEL that it was out of spec but the coolant system was rock solid, the indie mechanic (I’m also in seattle where even basic shops are now charging $150-$200/hour) quoted me $1500 to replace the thermostat because it’s underneath the intake manifold.

But basically everything else mostly just worked. If I had a place to work on mine it would’ve been a lot cheaper to own. If it hadn’t been for the starting issue not sure I would’ve sold it. The only german car I’ve owned that didn’t leak every fluid constantly. I think the Porsche engines are likely better than Audi (what the VW has) based on family and friend experiences with Audi, and I think this may lead to the toureg being less reliable. I also think in general Porsche may set higher standards for their stuff, I take the following anecdote with a grain of salt, but some auto journo I saw online was saying he toured the toureg-q7-cayenne factory and the difference someone told him on the side was that part of what you’re paying for with the Porsche is much better quality control vs the other two brands. Which does seem believable to me given the wildly varying ownership experiences I hear from VW owners, but who knows…

What me?
What me?
26 days ago

Isn’t the holy grail one of the ones out of the original ralley series (those of the run of only 26), comes with a automatic but it has pedigree…

https://www.porschecentrumtwente.nl/voorraad-autos/porsche-cayenne-s-transsyberia-12524

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
26 days ago

Or you can have one for about $250 if you go with one from Tamiya

TDI in PNW
TDI in PNW
27 days ago

The Cayenne often looks a bit “off” to me in pictures, but, in person, they look pretty slick. Even knowing I like them, when pictured, it’s an unappealing vehicle to me.

Ultradrive
Ultradrive
25 days ago
Reply to  TDI in PNW

Agreed. The 955 especially looks much better in person than in pics.

Lardo
Lardo
27 days ago

The Cayenne was highly regarded for both on and off roading from the get go. It was criticized for being big and heavy (like todays SUV EV”s) but all were astounded by it’s speed, handling, etc. My first year boxster was in the shop and the dealer gave me his Cayenne (I think first year also) to use. Due to the dealerships good will, he offered me his personal model to swap for. I liked it a lot, but wanted a new boxster. Went from basic black/black to a silver/blue top and interior with 19in carrera wheels. And now they had a glove box and glass rear window. And PStability whatever hey called it Talk about an upgrade. Later I came close to buying a couple different Cayenne’s. No mention of Dakar? It’s not like this was Porsche’s first foray off-road. And manual holy grail? I prefer auto off road, so one less potential buyer.

AlterId
AlterId
27 days ago

I guess it worked out for Porsche and I wasn’t particularly outraged when the Cayenne was announced, but as I suggested in my first ever comments ’round these parts, there was another company they could have partnered with or absorbed or Borgishly assimilated that would have complemented and enhanced their mechanical heritage and produced…

…the Tatra-yenne, otherwise known as the absolute fastest, best-handling, roomiest and most luxurious VW Thing ever to traverse the earth.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
27 days ago

Sweet Jesus. I always said if these came with a manual they’d be the perfect vehicle. Porsche made the perfect vehicle. Three times!

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
27 days ago

named after a one-hit wonder Christmas song LOL

I’m surprised Porsche didn’t use the G-class rather than the M. Wouldn’t that have been more fitting for Porsche to sue?

They could’ve also worked with Subaru, who is also known for their shitty sometime-air-cooled boxer engines

I can imagine the Cayenne MPV minivan as like a super Sharan GTI/R

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b8/b7/2e/b8b72e072552806c50e87e6427301553.jpg

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
27 days ago

YES

YES

ABSOLUTELY YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Hi, my name is Stef and I’VE BEEN SCREAMING THAT CAYENNES WERE COOL FOR YEARS

I AM SO HERE FOR THIS

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
27 days ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Also, if you have one of those three…I want it. I don’t care what kind of depraved things I’d have to do to scrounge up the money (work? idk, the ovaries are for sale, too), but let’s make a deal. I need that specific Cayenne in my life.

Ben Chia
Ben Chia
27 days ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

YESSSSSS!!!!!!

Ultradrive
Ultradrive
27 days ago

I daily a 2004 Cayenne S that I’ve owned for 10 years. Bought from the original owner at 93K and now have 142K on it. It’s been a seriously impressive vehicle and has held up well. Still looks and drives like new. The rigidity on it is ridiculous; it feels like a bank vault.

I think the only car I’d trade it for is a 958 (Gen 2 Cayenne) diesel.

Last edited 27 days ago by Ultradrive
ADDvanced
ADDvanced
27 days ago

I think the real grail is the one with the diesel, thing gets like 25-27mpg (on fuelly, some even get close to 30) and still tows 7700lbs.

When my lifted AWD Astro dies, I plan on getting one, ideally with a rear end collision so I can just cut the entire back off and build my own camper onto that chassis.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
27 days ago

I really want to weld a 70s Wagoneer body on top of a Cayenne floor pan. I hope to do so one day. I call it the Cayennero.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
25 days ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

You could get a popular figure from entertainment to endorse it. A children’s TV clown maybe.

Last edited 25 days ago by Adrian Clarke
Sam Gross
Sam Gross
27 days ago

Not a single word about Porsche Part Number 95572202002, the factory externally-mounted spare tire carrier? The ghost of Stef Schrader will haunt you forever!

For more, The Drive wrote about it.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
27 days ago
Reply to  Sam Gross

I’m not dead yet.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
27 days ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

That sounds like something a dead person would say…

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
27 days ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

Fair, but it’s also worth noting that your spare probably won’t fit in the weirdo first-gen tire-holder if you’re Transsyberia-ing right.

Joe L
Joe L
27 days ago

Wasn’t the regular Cayenne GTS also available with a manual in the US at some point? I seem to remember it being the only way to get the manual and V8 at the same time.

I think Porsche made a fine SUV, but like the Panamera, the second generation version looked so much better.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
27 days ago
Reply to  Joe L

I’m not sure which trims it was in, but yes, there are other manual Cayennes beyond the three TransSiberias. These are just the cream of the crop.

Joe L
Joe L
27 days ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

I seem to recall you could get it with the V6 and in the GTS in the first generation. I’m almost certain you could get it in the second gen, but only on the six-cylinder.

I don’t have children, it’s mostly a moot point for me. I enjoy being able to drive two-doors.

Joe L
Joe L
27 days ago

Yeah, I was just kind of wondering in print rather than actually googling it like I ought to 🙂

AircooleDrew
AircooleDrew
27 days ago
Reply to  Joe L

YES they were! I had the rare pleasure of driving a 6-speed manual Cayenne GTS about 10 years ago when I worked at a CarMax in college, and it was absolutely fantastic! It needed service across the city at the Porsche dealership, so I got to take it on a 40 minute drive completely solo. Extremely enjoyable experience, as my parents at the time had (and still do have) a TDi Touareg.

Last edited 27 days ago by AircooleDrew
Joe L
Joe L
25 days ago
Reply to  AircooleDrew

That is excellent!

AircooleDrew
AircooleDrew
23 days ago
Reply to  Joe L

It certainly was! I really enjoyed that job as a gearhead and college kid. It paid pretty well at the time compared to other college-aged jobs, and it allowed me to drive a multitude of fun and interesting vehicles. This is only one of many trips off-lot I got to take in giggle-inducing vehicles. My personal favorite trip was when I got to take a basically brand new manual (were they all?) Camaro ZL1 across town for some little warranty thing at a specific Chevy dealer during rush hour. Gave me an excuse to take all back roads instead of sitting in traffic for an hour!

Musicman27
Musicman27
27 days ago

The BEST SUV you could get your hands on in the early 2000s sure the offerings of Land Rover had better offroad capability, But Porches SUV could outperform every other SUV offroad and at 150 MPH on the roads.

Aaron
Aaron
27 days ago
Reply to  Musicman27

And a Cayenne meant you didn’t have to deal with the era’s infamous British build quality.

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