Ten years later, the Cayenne’s commercial success has shown that Porsche was right and now— as it was to be expected— the competing brands have followed suit displaying the same passion for SUVs: companies like Lamborghini, Jaguar, Bentley, Maserati and even Rolls-Royce are planning to launch models that will follow the successful trail of the Porsche Cayenne.
The one closer to that goal is Lamborghini, which has already released its first off-road vehicle in 2017 after the failed experiment known as the Rambo Lambo. The Urus is a stunning SUV with sharp lines in contrast with the curves of the Cayenne. So far, the project includes a V10 600 hp engine that will be responsible for moving tires measuring no less than… 24 inches!
Not 24, but 23 inches measure the tires on Jaguar’s C-X17 SUV, which made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2014, but it has little to envy its Italian rival. It shares the same engine as the convertible V6 F-Type, but is has different several mechanical options available. Although it sounds too optimistic, Jaguar’s starting price does not exceed $60,000, which, makes a good argument in its battle with a much more expensive Cayenne (in Europe the price will be no less than 70,000 euros, about $90,000).
Another luxury SUV is the Bentley EXP 9F. The luxury British brand, which belongs to the Volkswagen Group, says the vehicle was key to achieve its goal of doubling sales by 2018. The price for this car fluctuates around $270,000.
Even less is known about the ultra-luxury SUV from Rolls-Royce, but its CEO, Torsten Muller-Otvos, has declared that the company is already working on the upcoming expansion of this range, which includes the development of an SUV to be sold for approximately $300,000. And he’s right in his approach when he says that, unlike the other competitors, the Rolls-Royce brand is not so much associated with sport as it is with luxury and comfort.
Finally, we should also mention Maserati’s SUV: the Levant. It will feature the brand’s new twin-turbo engine, the 3.0-liter V6 (400 hp) and the 3.8-liter V8 of 530 hp. A turbo diesel version will be available in Europe. However, it seems that the Levant will try to infiltrate the lower segment more than the others, following a strategy marked by Fiat, which indicates that Maserati should distance itself from its ‘sister’ Ferrari with more affordable models as it has already done with the brand new Ghibli sedan in the E division.
Ferrari, of course, remains the only major luxury sports brand that prefers to safeguard its image and tradition rather than yield to market pressure, a trend marked by the increasing demand in large countries, but most importantly, in emerging markets, where a growing mass of wealthy drivers is looking for large luxury cars able to move through rough terrains.
Those responsible for the Cayenne saw that opportunity before anyone else and today many people are trying to steal a piece of the cake. But Porsche, in any case, has been able to react and, once again, is ahead of the competition taking a step ‘backwards’ with the imminent launch of the new Macan, a compact and more economical SUV that aims to capture a greater number of clients and continue Porsche’s trendsetting role as the segment leader. ■