It is the tale of a company that is as torn between two identities as Batman’s villainous Two Face.
Evolution can be seen as merely a sign of the times or as a brave, innovative step in a company modifying its mission.
Stuttgart-based Porsche seems to have been living a double life recently and the question remains, has Porsche diluted their brand?
Beginning with the introduction of the Cayenne sport utility vehicle, Porsche was initially slammed by numerous enthusiasts claiming that Porsche had killed the brand and what it stood for. An SUV, which weighed over two tons, based upon the Volkswagen Touareg?
Porsche had been known for producing vehicles with a passion for spirited driving and held a strong racing heritage. Now, they were to produce SUVs? Blasphemy. If this had not been enough, soon Porsche announced plans for a Cayenne V6 which would utilize a VW engine. Purists rolled in their graves.
Speaking on this, Goldman Sachs analysts said the car would "push Porsche's brand credibility to the absolute limit. It would be plainly apparent that it contained a VW engine.''
Although production of the traditional 911 Carerra has remained constant with numerous refreshes, and a switch from air-cooled motors to water-cooled engines, new and bold plans have continued to stream out of Stuggart.
The new four-door saloon, the Panamera, was revealed this past November. Aimed to compete with Maserati’s Quattroporte and Aston Martin’s Rapide, the vague details from Porsche stipulate the Panamera will utilize V6 and V8 engines with somewhere between 300 to 500 horsepower.
Plans for hybrid systems have been discussed for both the Cayenne and all-new Panamera while diesel motors for the Cayenne started production this week. This diesel motor is sourced directly from Audi AG and is a 3.0-liter V6 TDI producing 240-hp.
With this previous summer’s gas prices ratcheting up and the European Union enforcing higher miles per gallon, is this merely a sign of the times? Could this be pressure from Porsche trying to innovate and take advantage of different markets? Or, has Porsche sold out?
The film Boiler Room said it best with “honor is in the dollar, kid.”