How the first Porsche Cayenne was designed


The Porsche Cayenne turned 20 this 12 months , and to mark the event Porsche has been trying again on the event of its first SUV. The newest tidbit focuses on the design course of for the first-generation E1 Cayenne, code-named “Colorado.”

Designing what would change into Porsche’s first four-door manufacturing model was tough as a result of the Cayenne needed to incorporate acquainted Porsche styling components into a very completely different form.

For instance, designers needed to boost the peaks of the entrance fenders in order that they sat taller than the hood, as within the then-current 996 911. However the hood itself needed to be fairly tall as properly, to accommodate the Cayenne’s V-8 engine. Adapting the 996’s headlight form to the Cayenne was additionally a problem, taking a 12 months to finish, Porsche stated.

Early design sketch for the first-generation Porsche Cayenne

Early design sketch for the first-generation Porsche Cayenne

With pretty restricted sources for car improvement, Porsche initially deliberate to base the Cayenne on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, however finally twinned its SUV with the Volkswagen Touareg. The primary-generation Cayenne and Touareg shared a windshield and doorways, the latter hindering how a lot designers might differentiate the Porsche from the VW.

“It is simple to underestimate how a lot the doorways outline the facet of the automobile,” Michael Mauer, Porsche’s present design boss, who labored on the 2007 facelift of the E1 Cayenne, stated in a press release. “Behind the rear door we have got perhaps one other meter, and solely slightly extra on the entrance, so there may be not quite a lot of room to do very a lot.”

The inside was additionally made up largely of carryover VW elements. Whereas that saved cash, it additionally meant compromising on a Porsche trademark. The primary-generation Cayenne lacked Porsche’s signature centered tachometer. That might have required designing a bespoke instrument cluster at prohibitive price. The ignition was nonetheless positioned to the left of the steering wheel, at the least.

First-generation Porsche Cayenne interior

First-generation Porsche Cayenne inside

Whereas some VW affect was seen, consumers did not appear to care. The Cayenne was a significant success that introduced Porsche monetary stability, and finally outlasted its Touareg platform-mate within the U.S..

The present third-generation Cayenne shares the Volkswagen Group MLB platform with a variety of different luxurious SUVs, together with the Audi Q8, Bentley Bentayga, and Lamborghini Urus, however every has a definite persona and styling.


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