During the 1980s Porsche realized that relying on the demand for hard-core sports cars were always going to be risky. In 1988 the board decided that it would apply Porsche’s engineering know how to building an upmarket five door family car. Looking like a stretched 996 series 911, the 989 progressed towards production. But the costs of creating a completely new model, along with significant engineering problems, were too much for an ailing Porsche to shoulder. The 989 project was scrapped in 1991. Porsche spent the next few years concentrating on the 996 and Boxster, but in the late 1990s it became clear that the upmarket SUV were set to become a major new global market. Porsche could not clear this new market alone, its first attempt was to form a partnership with Mercedes and build its own SUV based on the M Class. This soon founded, but Porsche and its sister company Volkswagen decided to join forces and build a SUV. Many in the auto industry thought Porsche had lost its collective marbles. However, the arrival of the Cayenne in 2002 confounded everybody.
Yes, the car was huge. But it also had huge performance from its new generation. V8 engines, especially the extraordinary turbocharged V8. The unit offered 450 bhp and 521 bhp in Turbo S from but Porsche engineers had the ability to make this substantial machine handle like a sports car. The Cayenne also become Porsche’s best selling vehicle and major profit generator, party thanks to a very competitively priced V6 entry level model.