Porsche Cayenne proves it's as strong as it is fast by towing a jet airliner

Some full-size pickup trucks are pushing 900 pound-feet of torque, but according to Porsche, you don’t need nearly that much to tow one of the largest aircraft in the world.

A Porsche Cayenne S Diesel just set the Guinness World Record for heaviest aircraft pulled by a production car. The aircraft in question was an Air France Airbus A380 jumbo jet, which the Cayenne towed 42 meters (137 feet) at France’s Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. At 73 meters (239 feet), the A380 is actually longer than the distance the Porsche pulled it. The Cayenne beat the previous record by a margin of 126 tons, according to Porsche.

The Cayenne S Diesel’s Airbus-conquering grunt comes from a 4.1-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, which produces 385 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The SUV was connected to the plane using a special attachment that fit into its stock tow bar. At the wheel was Porsche Great Britain technician Richard Payne.

“My mirrors were quite full of Airbus, which was interesting,” Payne said in a Porsche press release. It’s a good thing he didn’t have to back up.

Porsche hasn’t sold diesel versions of the Cayenne in the U.S. since late 2015, when the automaker was found to have used software similar to that used by parent  company Volkswagen to cheat on emissions tests. The last Cayenne diesels sold here all used 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engines. Porsche will have to buy all of the affected Cayennes back from customers, or modify them to meet emissions standards.

But if you thought only a diesel engine could deliver the pulling power to move an Airbus A380, note that Porsche actually repeated the stunt with a Cayenne Turbo S, a high-performance model that uses a 4.8-liter twin-turbo gasoline V8. Boasting 570 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, the Turbo S can reach 176 mph when it’s not towing a plane, and even managed to lap Germany’s Nürburgring in under eight minutes back in 2015.


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