2004 Porsche Cayenne Turbo "Sea Beef"

Ah yes, the Jeep-conquering legend.  I acquired this 2004 Cayenne turbo with 121k miles in driving shape, but in need of "a little TLC."  It turns out that was quite the undertaking. 

When the Cayenne was first released I, like many gearheads, despised the thought of Porsche building an SUV.  I gave it a chance and I've owned two of them now.  Never mind that its stellar sales saved the company, the Cayenne was something I didn't know was possible: it was the daily driver/tow vehicle that wasn't miserable to drive. 

I grew up in a household of suburbans; which are comfortable, can be driven on the beach, tow well, and can comfortably seat a football team.  They are, however, abysmal to drive.   Brake pedal pressure changed the angle of the nose but not the rate at which you stopped.  4th gear was too tall for towing up any grade, but 3rd was too short for cruising.  Parking required a team of spotters.  The slightest turn resulted in a rollover.

The Cayenne was a welcome relief from that.  It towed better than the Suburban it replaced, thanks to standard air suspension, a 6-speed transmission with manually-selectable gears, huge Brembo brakes, and let's not forget two metric ass-tons of twin-turbo horsepower (450 to be exact).

Instantly, I was won over.  No one seemed to pay it much mind on the street, but it was nearly as fast as my 911, which is to say insanely fast for an SUV.  It would beat most cars off the line while towing my boat.  Magazines tested it at 5.0 seconds 0-60 with a 165mph top speed.  On top of that, you could actually turn.  Sure, it didn't handle like it was on rails like my 911, but the whole braking, turn-in, apex, accelerate experience is all there with perfect feedback.

It did require a lot of work due to neglected maintenance.  It needed a rebuilt driveshaft, engine mounts (which required removal of the engine from the car), cooling system overhaul, every electrical gremlin you can imagine, the front suspension, and pretty much all of the vacuum lines.  But that was really it.  It never needed a new turbo or wheel bearings or a transmission. 

And one day it occurred to me that it might be alright off-road with the proper tires, given the air suspension lift and the intelligent AWD system.  The local Jeep club found it entertaining, as did over a million youtubers to date.  Then we tried (and succeeded) to run it at the racetrack and on some trails on the same day, with only a change of tires. 

This is a car that does everything.  I'm sad that it is now for sale, but glad to make room for a newer, lighter, faster version with more button.  So. Many. Buttons.