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The Porsche Cayenne Once Came With a Stick Shift and a V8

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2016

There was a time, many years ago, when Porsche did crazy things. Bright colors. Ridiculous interiors. Giant wings, back when you only heard about giant wings when your kid left a toy pterodactyl on the kitchen floor.

Now that Porsche is part of the Volkswagen Group, it seems like many of its wild-child days are over, but the last vestige of crazy will always be the first-generation Porsche Cayenne GTS. That's because it was a 405-horsepower, V8-powered, all-wheel-drive luxury SUV --with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Here's how it went down: The Cayenne came out in 2003, offered in Turbo and S guise -- both of which were only sold with an automatic transmission. In 2004, a base-level V6 model came out and it offered three pedals for the real driving enthusiast. Unfortunately, it also only offered 240 hp, for the real nerve-wracking highway merging enthusiast.

And so, the GTS came to the rescue. It debuted in 2008, and it offered big wheels, and suede seat inserts, and a giant, growling, 405-hp V8 and -- yes -- a 6-speed manual transmission. Crazier than this is the fact that some people actually bought this vehicle. In fact, as I write this now, there are currently nine of these stick-shift Porsche Cayenne GTS models listed on Autotrader, with an average price of $33,800.

Interestingly, I've actually driven this vehicle, and it was surprisingly fun to pilot -- mainly because you dive into a corner, foot on the clutch, downshifting, revving up the engine to prepare for the exit, and then you look in the mirror and realize: I could have a ficus in here.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Porsche Cayenne Once Came With a Stick Shift and a V8 - Autotrader