Cue the talk of Porsche’s Demise

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Lead photo by Porsche

Porsche unveiled a new model last week that was no surprise to anyone who follows the marque, the Cayenne Coupe. Their entry into the SUV Coupe market with the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Audi Q8 has been expected. Spy photos of the vehicle have been circulating the internet for months.

You can debate the “need” for a vehicle like this all day. BMW has success with the X6, and the other German luxury manufacturers have taken notice. Continuing to lose sales to BMW is not an option.

Photograph by Porsche

My preference for Porsche aside, I think the Porsche entry is the best looking of the SUV coupes. As for performance, I’m sure the Cayenne Coupe will be a marvel to drive and stun people with its capability. But I think the Cayenne Coupe will be best at generating a new round of complaints that Porsche has lost its way.

The Heresy

Porsche has a special place in the hearts of many driving enthusiasts. Which brings a certain level of irrational emotion for what they do. When the 911 debuted, die-hard 356 enthusiasts bemoaned the new model as not being “true to Porsche.” You can’t talk about the claims of impending doom for Porsche without recounting the “blasphemous” move from air-cooled to, gasp, water-cooled engines. There are still many (misguided) enthusiasts who feel Porsche hasn’t made a “real” 911 since 1998. The end of the brand was clearly at hand.

Porsche then turned its back on the brand’s history by building the original Cayenne, a Porsche SUV! The “purists” spit with disgust. The Cayenne became the best selling Porsche model in the lineup until the Macan was introduced. It is widely credited with saving the company and therefore the 911. The Cayenne did exactly what Porsche wanted, it sold like hot cakes and brought new customers to the brand (me being one of them). Because of this success, they are churning out fever-dream sports cars for the street and remain at the top of the sports car racing world.

The Results

Whether you like the Cayenne Coupe or bemoan the fact that Porsche makes it is largely irrelevant. The fact is people will buy it, and Porsche will continue to make its volume-manufacturer leading profit margin per vehicle. Every enthusiast should applaud Porsche’s approach. Their profitability allows them to build and sell perennial automotive all-stars like the Cayman and Boxster lineup. And don’t forget the 20 plus variants of the 911 including the glorious 9000 RPM screaming GT3. The money also enables Porsche to develop this electric wonder they call the Taycon. “Heresy” again, but it will probably sell so well people will wonder why they bother to make anything else.

Porsche is dead, long live Porsche!