There are things you expect to see automakers do to promote cars. These things include flashy auto show debuts, cameos in movies, and speedy Nürburgring videos. What you don’t expect is to see cars towing huge airplanes, but that’s exactly what Porsche did with its diesel Cayenne S.
The plane in question is the massive Airbus A380. It’s a double-decker jet that is the largest plane built by Airbus. In contrast, the diesel Cayenne S is simply a 385-horsepower SUV powered by a 4.2-liter V8 engine. It doesn’t seem like it should be possible, but the intrepid Cayenne pulled off the stunt, towing the A380 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.
Porsche drove the stock car all the way from London to Paris in the hopes of winning the title for the heaviest aircraft pulled by a production car. The only change they made was a special attachment rigged to the Cayenne’s standard tow bar so they could properly hook up the plane. So, technically, you could tow the 628,000-pound A380 with your own Cayenne if you were so inclined, although we can’t recommend the idea.
The car didn’t travel very far, but the 138-feet it covered was enough to meet the Guinness minimum requirement of 100 feet. The guidelines also dictated that it be a standard production model, be sold in at least three different countries, and have at least 30 models built at the same time. Guinness officials were on hand to certify the whole thing and hand over the award to Porsche.
Not only did they manage to do it with the diesel Cayenne S, but they showed off a bit and did it again with the Cayenne Turbo S. The cars did so well, Porsche turned right around and drove them back to London without any problems. The man behind the wheel, Porsche technician Richard Payne, seemed a little nervous before the attempt, but rightly overjoyed when it all went off without a hitch.
This isn’t the first time a car company has towed a plane to attract some attention. A few years back, Toyota pulled off a similar stunt when it towed the Space Shuttle Endeavor with the Toyota Tundra.