Car Internet sometimes confronts us with an unanswered question, as if it were intended to provoke controversy, not consensus. This question is rarely asked by the automaker.
Last week, Porsche published a press release to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cayenne and asked a very interesting question. Is Cayenne 959 a spiritual heir? At first glance, this may seem like an open attempt by revisionist history to distance itself from the base, the financial incentive, that inspired Cain. But this does not mean that there is no strong evidence to prove it.
When the Porsche 959 was released, the task was to create a car capable of withstanding the Dakar Rally, as well as the Nurburgrin. This resulted in a carmaker with an adjustable height chassis and an additional low-range first gear for off-road operation.
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Cayenne also had to travel two worlds. As an SUV released in 2002, it is still expected to be able to withstand off-road conditions. Like the Porsche, it should be comfortable on the racetrack.
“It was clear that such a car would be criticized in all respects,” said Porsche. “The requirements for the development team were high.”
In fact, a team working at Cayenne – code-named: Project Colorado – has developed two new V8 engines from scratch. The most powerful of the two is a twin-turbo unit with 444 hp. (331 kW / 450 horsepower), which is the same as the Porsche 959.
Like the supercar, the SUV has a variable ground clearance to allow off-road use thanks to the Porsche Active Suspension System. To ensure that it has the same features as the Porsche everywhere, the automaker turned to one of its most adaptive test drivers, Walter Rohrl.
“I thought they didn’t matter. I was convinced that he would not be able to overcome these great obstacles, “said Rorl when he first saw the Cayenne test on an SUV in Spain. “It simply came to our notice then. It affected me a lot. “
Now, 20 years later, Cain is better than ever, says Rorle.
“It’s probably one of the sharpest cars they’ve ever made,” he said. “At first you think it’s a truck. But it moves … it’s amazing. Accuracy, power, balance. Maybe you feel heavy when braking, but I’m driving at 250 km / h. [155 mph] at the end of the line here – a lot of cars can’t even handle it. “
If the 959’s performance is as impressive as the roadside one, it’s hard to argue that Cayenne wasn’t given the same task. Although it has a different, less attractive body, of course, even Rorle believes that this connection is not simple.
“The Porsche Cayenne is versatile,” he said. “Yes, you can really compare it to the 959.”
What do you think? Can a Porsche Cayenne really be considered in one breath like the legendary 959?
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