Two decades after their market launch, Porsche Middle East has breathed new life into eight models of the first Cayenne generation. They can be seen at the “Icons of Porsche” festival in Dubai next weekend. The Porsche Cayenne is a pioneering model in the history of Porsche. When the vehicle came onto the market in 2002, it opened up a new group of customers and, as a powerful and luxurious off-road sports car, not only conquered the deserts and valleys of the Arabian world, but also celebrated great success worldwide.
20 years of the Cayenne
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the legendary SUV, "Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE" presented the two Porsche Centers Dubai and Abu Dhabi with a special challenge: A fleet of first-generation Cayennes (internally called E1) was to be individually designed in order to to recognize the contribution of the vehicle in this region. The carefully restored classics were put through their paces by media representatives at a driving event in the mountainous desert region of Hatta near Dubai. The SUVs will now be on display at the second Icons of Porsche Festival, which will take place this coming weekend (26th and 27th November) in the Dubai Design District. There, the eight vehicles will be exhibited in the "Camp Cayenne" together with the latest generation of SUVs.
Cayenne S and Cayenne GTS
“We had the task of restoring the first-generation Cayenne and emphasizing its off-road capability. For this I used some of the accessories that have recently become available from Porsche Classic for the Cayenne,” explains Darren Abel, Brand Manager of the Porsche Center Abu Dhabi. “Together with the Porsche Center Dubai, we each acquired four E1s from the years 2007 to 2010. Both teams had a lot of fun modifying them and giving the Cayenne a whole new touch.”
“I'm really excited about these cars because they've all turned out even better than we could have imagined,” adds Mark Sinclair, Managing Director of Porsche Center Dubai. “We modified three Cayenne S models and one Cayenne GTS, focusing on underbody protection and ground clearance. We didn't have to make any mechanical changes because these models are already extremely capable.”
to meet strict requirements
Procuring well-preserved first-generation models that were as standard as possible proved to be the greatest challenge for the two teams. Strict requirements had to be met, including compliance with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) specifications. “They went through the same inspection process as any other used car approved by Porsche. So they spent time in the workshop and we had to put in a lot of work, as you would expect with old cars,” says Abel, whose team modified his four vehicles with lift kits and all-terrain wheels. "We also added a spare tire carrier to the rear, which meant we had to make a spare tire bracket, as well as a roof transport system for the roof tent, which is one of the key accessories we exhibit at Icons of Porsche."
"The roof tent is pretty cool," says Sinclair about the new Cayenne accessories from Porsche Tequipment. “It's a Porsche pop-up tent where you just undo the safety tabs and it unfolds. A ladder folds out, then two people can sleep on the roof of the car.” His team at the Porsche Center Dubai also added 30mm spacers on the rear wheels and 25mm spacers on the front wheels to widen the track, as well as tubular bumpers for extra space and distance.
“As a result, the car has a much stronger look. The whole project required a lot of tiny, constant tweaks, realignments, and final touches to make everything look exactly how it's supposed to be. The work was great fun and extremely exciting,” Sinclair recalls.
Newly in love with the E1 Cayenne
"One of the vehicles came from a customer who asked us why we wanted to buy it," says Sinclair. "We explained our plans to him and he said it sounded like a car he might like." So he asked the Porsche Center Dubai if he could buy back his former Cayenne after the 'Icons of Porsche' festival. "I think he has fallen in love with his E1 Cayenne again."
While the aim of the project was to modify the vehicles, the Porsche Center Abu Dhabi also wanted to show how well the original Cayenne has aged over the past two decades. The revisions on one of the vehicles were kept to a minimum. A set of limited edition 8Jx18 ET 57 matte black Porsche Classic wheels were fitted, powder coated for extra protection and featuring a laser engraved Porsche crest. The team also applied graphics alongside a roof tent, choosing from a range of three sets of decals available from Porsche Classic: 'Adventure' (Guards Red), 'Rallye' (Ice Race Blue) and 'Hunt' (Hunt Olive). .
more than 7000 visitors and 1000 Porsche vehicles
Abel explains: “We went further with the other vehicles and also installed off-road accessories. With this, we wanted to demonstrate what is possible to transform a Cayenne into pretty much anything a customer desires.” The possibilities will also increase when Porsche Classic expands its off-road accessory program with additional parts in 2023. The 20th anniversary of the Cayenne is just one of the topics of this year's "Icons of Porsche" festival, which took place for the first time in 2021 - with more than 7000 visitors and 1000 Porsche vehicles. The event brings together Porsche enthusiasts, families and a variety of international and local communities united by their love of sports cars, art and music.
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