Ask the Best and Brightest: What Constitutes a "True Porsche"?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Ever since Porsche debuted the Cayenne, Porschephiles have heatedly debated where it fits into Porsche’s branding strategy—or if it should even exist. When Editor in Chief Tom Jensen reviewed the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, he declared that the four-wheel-drive trucklet is a “true Porsche.” He states that “the Cayenne Turbo is absolutely faithful to Porsche’s core values of performance, quality and competency” and is therefore worthy of Porsche-hood. Despite its ungainly exterior, early reviews of the heavyweight four-door Porsche Panamera make the same claim. ( Autoblog: “Not only is it painstakingly engineered and truly enjoyable to drive… most importantly, the all-new Panamera has earned the right to wear the Porsche badge.”) So what say you? What makes a Porsche a Porsche? With the “independent” sports car maker on the brink of losing its independence, has the fabled Porsche brand finally lost the plot?

Frank Williams
Frank Williams

More by Frank Williams

Join the conversation
4 of 83 comments
  • Hamm928 Hamm928 on Jun 30, 2009

    The 928 was a success having a production run from 78-95. Most drivers who've driven a 928 praise them, they work very well as designed even stock. If you want to modify and race one, you'll be right up there with the fastest Porsche's. Here's a few 928 videos to paste in your browser and watch.

  • ZekeToronto ZekeToronto on Jun 30, 2009

    Thanks hamm928.

  • Speedster356 Speedster356 on Jun 30, 2009

    I always thought of the Cayenne as the 911 of the family man. I think that the Cayenne is the choice not of the person who seeks a good SUV. I is more a substitute for the person who appreciates the Porsche 911 and the brand in general (and can afford one) but cannot fit one in his life style. I think that it explains a large part of the Cayenne success story. Based on this, and the declining SUV sales in certain markets, the Panamera is the obvious move for Porsche. Is it a true Porsche? WHO CARES? As long as it sustains Porsche viable (in order to keep producing unadulterated Porsches) it should not bother the true aficionados!

  • Kristjan Ambroz Kristjan Ambroz on Jul 03, 2009

    I was suprised at the less that stellar reviews I read in UK car magazines about the Panamera. To the extent that some reviewers said they had more fun and could drive at higher speeds down a B road in a Cayenne GTS than an equivalent Panamera. That's what would worry me much more than the extension of the brand onto a 4 door saloon. Breaks which do not have the same feel, steering, which is much more vague, and an interior, which looks nice (especially if you like Vertu mobiles) but is a complete ergonomic nightmare with 100s of equally sized and shaped buttons, which cannot be operated blind.