It’s been 20 years since Cayenne’s arrival in the first Porsche, and while purists may still ridicule Porsche’s decision to build an SUV, Cayenne’s tremendous success has bankrolled the development of multiple Porsche sports cars and helped turn the brand into a powerhouse it is today. .
Cayenne is currently in her third generation, the original debuting at the 2002 Paris International Motor Show. Understandably, this proved to be quite controversial at the time because Porsche had only sports cars in its lineup, except for the tractors that it had built in its early days.
However, the Cayenne soon proved to be the most sporty of the SUVs and quickly became Porsche’s most popular model. In fact, Cain helped save Porsche from serious financial hardship.
In the early 1990’s, Porsche was losing money. A more affordable sports car was envisioned and finally launched in 1996 as a boxstar. The Porsche has had success with the Boxstar but the automaker knew it needed a third product line, less sensitive to the economic downturn than sports cars to build a strong position.
Porsche board members inspected a first-generation Cain prototype in June 2000
A sedan and even a minivan were considered, but an SUV was decided on the recommendation of Porsche’s U.S. sales team. The new product line was first announced in 1998, although at the time it was only known as Project Colorado. The goal of the engineers was a vehicle that was strong and dynamic and suitable for all types of terrain.
Instead of going it alone, however, Porsche teamed up with Volkswagen, which made the first tour with the first Cayenne. Launching an SUV was already quite risky, but there was more pressure that Porsche would also need a new manufacturing site.
The decision was made to build a new plant in the German city of Leipzig, and in August 2002, two years after construction began, the plant was ready to go. Cain was released to the world a month later in Paris.
Today, Cain competes in a sales competition with his younger brother, McCann. The Porsche has expanded the line to include a coupe-like body style, and in the future we’ll probably see the addition of a battery-electric powertrain.