Many Porsche enthusiasts were very disappointed when the news was first announced that the German performance car maker would be building a SUV. After all the crest was meant for a sports car and that does not describe any vehicle with four doors, especially an SUV.
To make matters worse for these purists it didn’t stop at the Cayenne. No, the Panamera was next and most recently the Macan. All three offer great levels of performance and incredible engineering, but are they true Porsches?
Until the Cayenne was produced, no production models were built with four doors. Even the military targeted Jagdwagen didn’t have four-doors (in fact it had none), but it had openings that were consistent with a two-door vehicle.
That isn’t to say that Porsche had not toyed with the idea of a four-door car in the past. A factory concept of a Porsche 928 four-door vehicle was built and reports are that one finished car was sold. The car, pictured above, was on display about five years ago at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
A custom built 4-door 911 was also made in 1967, but the project was not factory backed. It was produced by Troutman-Barnes for a Porsche dealer that wanted the 911 sedan for his wife.
Especially the 928 sedan shows that Porsche was contemplating a performance sedan since the ’80s. But should they have just left two of those doors as a concept and nothing more?
From a sales stand point the answer is, NO. Sales of the four-door vehicles are much higher than the two-door sports cars. For those of us who enjoy the 911, Cayman and Boxster, the sales of the Cayenne, Panamera and Macan help support improvements in the two-door models we love.
Having experienced the four-door cars on the road and track, we can say they are incredible drives. They seem to defy the laws of physics with how capable they are. It should be impossible, but they are able to keep up with many pure sports cars. However, they are a different bread than the two-door vehicles made by Porsche. While still offering very good performance they are also more utilitarian.
Perhaps we should rephrase the question a bit. Should Porsche have produced the four-door vehicles as Porsches or should they have started a new luxury performance brand for these vehicles?
Are people purchasing the Cayenne, Panamera and Macan because of the badge, or is it because they are incredible machines? Would having them under a different name hurt sales or would they have stayed the same?
We want to hear your thoughts on if Porsche should have ever made a production four-door vehicle (at least under the same marquee) in the comments below.