Porsche is a luxury and performance auto manufacturer based in Germany. Porsche was founded in 1931, and since 2012, Porsche has been under control of Volkswagen AG, which also manages the Volkswagen, Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley automotive brands. Volkswagen and Porsche had a history of collaboration and partnership, which resulted in vehicles such as the Volkswagen Beetle, the VW-Porsche 914, and the Porsche 924 in the 1960s and 1970s. It wasn’t until 2002, though, that the first Porsche sport utility vehicle was revealed, and that was also due to development with Volkswagen. Since the introduction of the Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicle, other Porsche SUV models have gone into development, and Porsche has become a firm competitor in the luxury sport utility vehicle category. Porsche sport utility vehicles are especially popular in Europe and North America, although they are exported to selected markets throughout the world.
The aforementioned Porsche Cayenne was the brand’s first entry to the luxury SUV category. It was codeveloped with Volkswagen and Audi, and is thus visually and mechanically similar to the Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q7 sport utility models, all three of which were released on the same timeframe. The Porsche Cayenne, which became available for the 2004 model year, is a mid size crossover SUV, featuring a front engine layout and four-wheel-drive capability. It is produced at Volkswagen assembly facilities in Slovakia and Germany, and bears the distinction of being the first Porsche V8-powered vehicle since the Porsche 928 was canceled in 1995. Later, Porsche added VR6 and turbodiesel engines to join the V8 and the V8 turbo options that powered the first examples of the Cayenne, with the Volkswagen-sourced VR6 becoming the base model drivetrain. Although Porsche purists were hesitant to accept the addition of a Porsche sport utility vehicle to the lineup, overall reception to the Cayenne has been positive, since Porsche was careful to deliver the power and handling capabilities expected of the brand, and sales have been strong despite the similarities between the Cayenne and the lower priced Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg models. The second generation of the Cayenne was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland in 2010, and the vehicle is still in production.
The success of the Cayenne has inspired new Porsche sport utility vehicles to be added to the lineup. The Porsche Macan, a compact SUV, is another joint project between Porsche and other Volkswagen AG brands, as the Macan is based on the established Audi Q5. Porsche announced this new SUV in 2010, and in 2013, Porsche said it would become available for the 2014 model year. It will be slotted below the Porsche Cayenne in the lineup.