As we know, competition is strong in all segments of the industry and when an auto manufacturer has a hole in its lineup, there can be no more annoying feeling within HQ walls than to see competitors frolic in that segment. It’s like living next door to a house hosting a big party.
There’s speculation the folks at Porsche, which currently does not offer a three-row SUV, are having a serious look at crashing that party, this courtesy a report by Automotive News. It reports that the company is mulling producing a big SUV that would be positioned above the Cayenne in the lineup. A company spokesperson contacted by Car and Driver magazine responded merely, “As a matter of policy, we don't speculate or comment on potential future products”.
Which of course is the stock answer used in all corners of the industry in response to questions about future projects. So far, no surprises.
The reports goes further, however, and indicated that a dealer meeting at Porsche's U.S. headquarters in Atlanta featured a sneak peek at the rumoured big Porsche, whose design was described as a cross between a sedan and an SUV, with three rows of seating of course. A plug-in hybrid powertrain, likely related to the 670-hp hybrid V-8 already offered in the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, would be the engine of choice.
A pure electric version would also be a strong possibility, given that Porsche is moving apace towards electrification, not to mention the fact that many legislations around the world will soon ban the sale of vehicles with combustion engines in their territories.
Globally, the Cayenne is currently Porsche's most popular model. Last year, the company sold nearly 93,000 of them worldwide, more than a third of its total production of 272,000 vehicles. In comparison, the 911 sold 34,000 units.
In Canada, about 3,000 Cayenne units are sold each year, and about 20,000 annually in the United States.
However, before you start planning a visit to your local Porsche dealers for a look at their new people-mover, remember that this is all still just speculation. The company hasn't confirmed anything, and get-togethers like this dealers’ meeting are often occasions to throw ideas at the wall. Some stick, some don’t.
We shall see. One thing’s for sure, the demand for such a model seems strong among consumers. We recently shared with you the results of a survey that revealed nearly one in three consumers would like their next vehicle to be larger than their current one, with a large proportion wanting a third row.
In the U.S., 7-passenger luxury SUVs are in high demand. Cadillac sold nearly 31,000 Escalades in the first three quarters of 2021, and BMW sold nearly 16,500 of its class-leading X7 in the same period. Clearly, some Porsche dealerships would like to be able to offer consumers an alternative.