A Porsche may not be the first vehicle that’d come to mind if you have a load to haul. Maybe tow one on a trailer to and from the race track, sure, but to do the towing itself?
Well Porsche is out to fix that conception with this latest publicity stunt. Teaming up with Air France, the German automaker brought its latest Cayenne crossover to Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris and towed an Airbus A380 – setting a new world record in the process.
The A380, for those unfamiliar, is one of the largest aircraft ever made. Airbus’ double-decker jumbo jet weighs 285 metric tons, eclipsing the Boeing 747 and coming second only to the truly massive Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo jet on the list of the world’s largest production civilian aircraft. Despite its gargantuan size and weight, though, the Cayenne proved capable of towing it for a distance of 42 meters (138 feet).
Now if you’re wondering if Porsche achieved the feat in a gasoline or diesel Cayenne, the answer is “yes.” The achievement was first carried out in a Cayenne S Diesel, whose 4.1-liter V8 produces 380 horsepower and a mammoth 630 lb-ft of torque. And just to show they could, the team then repeated the exercise in a Cayenne Turbo S, whose 4.8-liter V8 churns out much more power at 560 hp but a bit less torque at 590 lb-ft. Impressive, either way you look at it.
The vehicles were entirely showroom stock. All they required was a special attachment for the standard towing bar. And to show that they were undamaged in the endeavor (not to mention return them to their place of origin), the vehicles were then driven back to London from whence they had driven in the first place.
If all of this seems strikingly familiar, you may recall a similar feat orchestrated by sister brand Volkswagen. Over a decade ago VW hooked up its Touareg (with over 15,000 pounds of added ballast) to a 747, putting the 309 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque from its 5.0-liter V10 TDI to good use in moving the 155-ton jumbo jet for a distance of 150 meters (nearly 500 feet).
The Toyota Tundra had little trouble towing the Space Shuttle Endeavour a couple of years ago, either. Something tells us this won’t be the last one of these towing stunts we’ll be seeing.