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Porsche to stick with two SUVs

Take a seat: Porsche is in the business of building “sportscars with off-road ability” in its SUV line-up, not family buses.

Two is enough for Porsche SUV line-up as sportiness trumps family-friendliness

Porsche logo25 Oct 2017

By RON HAMMERTON in CRETE

PORSCHE has no immediate plans to introduce a larger SUV above Cayenne or a smaller model below Macan because it believes such vehicles would fall outside the Porsche ideal, according to the engineer who oversaw the development of the all-new third-generation Cayenne.

Speaking at the global media launch of the German sportscar marque’s flagship SUV this week, Cayenne complete vehicle manager Christolph Oerleke said that Porsche valued sportiness above other characteristics in vehicle development.

He said going bigger than Cayenne would require an even longer wheelbase and more weight, which would compromise agility – a Porsche hallmark.

Going smaller would mean having to mass-produce a model, which would mean major investment in production facilities and workforce numbers.

“We have to be careful about what we do,” Mr Oerleke said, although conceding that he did not know what the long-term future might hold.

Mr Oerleke revealed that Porsche had elected not to add a third row of seats in the new Cayenne because it would have meant compromising the sportiness of the vehicle.

So while the related Audi Q7 has seven seats, the Cayenne, riding on a shorter wheelbase to aid agility, has five.

“We would have had to add 100mm to the wheelbase to get to seven seats,” he said. “If you want sporty, you want shorter.”

Mr Oerleke said Porsche customers valued this sportiness over other attributes in an SUV, wanting “a sportscar with off-road attributes”.

“We don’t think our customers focus on seven seats,” he said, adding that most Porsche owners only had about two children, “so five (seats) is enough”.

Mr Oerleke also ruled out further body styles for the Cayenne and Macan lines, saying the sloped-back coupe styling of rivals, such as the BMW X6, was not for Porsche.

“We will have only one body style for Cayenne and Macan,” he said.

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