Love it or hate it (and quite a few purists lean toward the latter sentiment) the Cayenne is far and away Porsche's best selling model (in year over year production figures). Most Cayenne fans (and I'm one of them) will point to it and suggest that without its development and success that Porsche, as we know it, would not exist. The funds pouring in from the sale of the über quick grocery hauler continue to provide much needed economical aid to the rest of the fleet and more importantly for R&D (let's not forget it was a Cayenne based engine that won the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona this year).
It appears, that the Cayenne might just be set up to save Porsche once again. Let's explore. In Tuesday's post "Is Your Porsche an Endangered Species?" we outlined the proposed changes to the current CAFE regulations that could possible endanger Porsche's future in the US. What we didn't do is discuss all the details, let's look at a few of them now:
- The new regulations require 42 mpg for cars and 26 mpg for light trucks for a fleet average of 35.5 MPG.
- The MPG requirements pertain to an entire fleet vs. any one particular model under a brand umbrella.
- Therefore, a company can design one particular model to meet or exceed the minimum while having others that don't weight against that average.
Hmmm. Maybe a Baby Boxster or entry level 914ish Porsche isn't so far out of the realm of possibilities....
Even more interesting is this statement by Germany's Focus Magazine, “The new law says that size determines the allowable mileage of a car. A car with a bigger footprint has wider parameters than a small car. This rule favors US manufacturers, who are heavy on pick-ups. Porsche is hit hard. A sports car manufacturer has to contend with an unfavorable relationship between size and consumption.”
Has anyone else heard rumors about the soon to be released Cayenne sporting a longer wheel base? Could the statement above be part of that decision making process? The Cayenne isn't known for it's lack of thirst, but with the introduction of the Cayenne Hybrid S, the possibility of a Cayenne diesel on US shores and the sheer number of Porsche's "pepper" being sold, it just might help the average. Couple this with the concept of a "baby boxster" (or some other entry level Porsche) and savvy political maneuvering and I think we'll still be buying our Porsches in 2016.
Source: [TTAC, Focus Magazine, NHTSA]