When talking about the spiritual successor of the '80s icon Porsche 959, the V10-powered Carrera GT will always be the first to come to mind. However, Porsche's guest contributor Fabian Mechtel and test driver Walter Röhrl seem to think otherwise in favor of an unlikely nameplate: the Cayenne SUV.

In a recent release, Porsche raises the question of whether the Cayenne is the successor to the 959. While both are among the seven most important Porches of the past seven decades, several other points are raised in the release – most of them along the lines of the intention and engineering put into play when both cars were being developed.

Porsche 959 Dakar
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E1

For instance, the Porsche 959 supercar was conceived and built as a World Rally Championship Group B racer. With the requirement to sell 200 units to complete the homologation, the 959 became one of the automaker's marvels during its time. But it had to have three things – it had to shine off-road, on racetracks, and as an everyday road car.

The first Cayenne (E1) wasn't far, according to Porsche. It was a daily car that was robust enough to challenge uncharted roads, yet it still behaved like a true Porsche sports car on pavement.

Needless to say, both cars have to impress Porsche enthusiasts and challenge the best off-roaders out there at the same time.

There were differences between the two, though. The Cayenne was the first four-door Porsche, unlike the 959 that used the 911 platform and basic body.

The conversation of the Cayenne as a successor to the 959 was brought up as a celebration of the former's 20th year. It was in 2002 when Porsche introduced the SUV, which turned out to become a cash cow for the company. From then on, the rest was history.

Gallery: Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E1

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