The Europeans have a thing for souping-up their Porsche Cayennes. And after seeing the latest iteration from a company called MAFF Tuning (more on it below), we thought a post like this would be a necessary (and appropriate) endeavor. So sit back, crack a cold one, and please, try hard not to puke a little in your mouth.
As the story goes, Porsche's relatively young SUV started life as a controversial addition to the rest of the brand's well established sports car lineup. Not only was it Zuffenhausen's first blasphemous attempt at a four-door SUV -- so say a majority of Porsche aficionados -- but it was unattractive one at that. We're guessing its front end, high ground clearance, and extra large proportions didn't sit well with fan boys and girls.
Enter a select group aftermarket tuners who put all their development focus into bettering the Papa Porsche in nearly every way imaginable; most notably on the exterior. During their well-intentioned efforts, though, they unfortunately created some aesthetically displeasing collateral damage. And the vast majority of it has to do with the SUV's oh-so-lovable button nose.
It's important to point out that we're not calling the Porsche Cayenne an ugly ducking -- not at all. Like any other new vehicle design that's initially thought to be a severe tangent from the bloodline, it's contentious. But unlike most, the Cayenne has a handful of bespoke tuners who've inconsequentially etched the 'controversial' label deeper into the model's rich DNA.
Here are our Top 5 Worst-Looking Tuner Porsche Cayennes:
No. 5 -- Ruf Dakara
This bright blue beauty bowed at this year's Geneva show where it gained much attention with its completely redesigned front clip. As you can tell, its nose sports a pair of 997-series 911 headlights that surprisingly aren't that unattractive to our discerning eyes. Power from the turbocharged V-8 has been upped to 591-hp and 656 lb-ft, while its sprint to 62 mph remains factory-like at 4.8 sec. Chances are, it's that Alcantara wrapped interior, 22-in. rolling stock, and full-blown multimedia system are keeping this Cayenne from posting quicker takeoff times. All the looks don't come cheap either; a cool $327,853 will put one in your garage.
No. 4 -- TechArt Magnum with Aerodynamics I
Despite how it may look on the outside, this puppy can run (on paper). It's got an upgraded 670-hp turbo V-8 pumping out 664 lb-ft of torque and can gun to 62 mph in 4.2 sec. so says TechArt -- yep, that's legitimate exotic car territory. Its v-max is set at 191 mph and to keep everything on the ground and not in the air, engineers installed coilovers, a big brake kit and 23-in. wheels. We're not too fond of the multi-tiered nose touting quad lower driving lamps. But hey, when you're traveling at nearly 200 mph, it's probably best you take all the illumination you can get.
No. 3 -- Gemballa Tornado 750 GTS
Internally and externally, the Gemballa Tornado is easily the most dramatically transformed of the bunch. Dare we say it's beyond aggressive, pushing into the realm of cartoonish. But all the funky louvers, vents, diffusers, and outlets are functional, designers say, and suck the lowered Cayenne to the ground -- so bonus points to them. An extensive use of carbon fiber replacement parts lowers the SUV's overall weight by around 551 lbs and for even more g-force loading fun, a bigger 5.0L turbo V-8 has been stuck under the hood. A monstrous 750-hp and 774 lb-ft of torque are sent to the 23-in. wheels and propel the Tornado to 62 mph in 4.3 sec. Top speed is had at 186 mph. Be sure to budget $519,550 for your order should you want one. As the saying goes, "It's the cost to be the boss."
No. 2 -- Enco 550 GT BiTurbo
We honestly didn't have to look at the front end to pick this Top 2 finalist. If it weren't for the wheels, we'd thought it simply as a lowered Cayenne Turbo should it have passed us by. But just as it turned the imaginary corner and started heading towards us, oh yes, this has to be a definite contender. With the looks of a whale shark scooping up its daily krill, the Enco's gaping mouth is hard to miss. The SUV as a whole is widened slightly and has a new exhaust system that allows for 550-hp and 538 lb-ft of torque. Although slightly slower to 62 mph than a stock Turbo S at 4.9 sec., it touts a hefty 175 mph top speed. All this "haute couture" as Enco puts it can be had for only $231,261.
No. 1 -- MAFF Muron Widebody
Like the Enco, it only took us a quick glimmer to know this was 'The One'. Built by MAFF Tuning, this Cayenne is wider, lower and more powerful (up to 700-hp) than any run-of-the-mill Porsche. MAFF's "complex stylish approach" to a bespoke exterior is made entirely of a fiberglass and carbon fiber composite mix. If the Enco is a whale shark, the MAFF's a baleen whale. It's all-grille-frills take up the whole front, with only a pair of LED turn signals indicating a bit of normalcy.
Honorable Mention: JE Design Progressor 957
JE's kit is a doosie. It's wider than stock by nearly 3-in. all around, has all the prerequisite multiple grilles and vents both for and aft, but then goes a step further, and adds double LED lights and driving lamps to the lower nose. On top of that, it wears 22-in. wheels, a lowered stance and full Enco exhaust. It's a mix mash of all the best tuner elements, you could say.
There's our list. What do you think?