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Yes, the Porsche Cayenne Had a Rear-Mounted Spare Tire

Every so often, I get a tweet from a reader or a viewer with an image attached to it that looks exactly like the one above. The tweet almost invariably says something like: “Can you believe someone made their own spare tire holder for a Porsche Cayenne?” Well, no, actually, I can’t believe it. But would you believe that spare tire holder came from Porsche itself?

Yes, it’s true: when the Porsche Cayenne first came out in 2003, there was an option to get a rear-mounted spare tire, which was stuck on there with a giant tire holder that looks like a more excessive piece of equipment than any spare tire holder in history. In fact, the one above is technically unfinished; the Porsche spare also had a cover that went over the tire itself, and said the model name on it — since it was covering up the model name on the tailgate.

Not only was this tire holder not a free option (“choose between a spare tire holder or under-the-floor storage”) but it was actually massively expensive, if I recall correctly. I think the total figure was something like $1,000 or $2,000 extra, just for that giant backpack on the back of your Cayenne. The benefit was you got an extra full-size wheel and tire, and easy access to both. Naturally, few Cayenne buyers were interested in that benefit, and I seem to recall the rear-mounted spare lasted only two model years before it was cancelled for good.

Of course, you’re probably wondering why it happened at all. As many of you know, I worked for Porsche Cars North America for a while, and I posited the very same question to the people who were responsible for “options planning” — trying to estimate the “take rate” for various options. Although the same people who I spoke to weren’t involved in the rear-mounted spare, their response was interesting: When Porsche entered the SUV market, they had no idea what to expect. There was no Audi Q7, no Jaguar F-PACE, no Volkswagen Touareg, no Maserati Levante — there wasn’t even a Volvo XC90, as the Cayenne and XC90 debuted in the same year. The only other real rivals were the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and BMW X5, both considered “downmarket,” and various Land Rover models, which were rugged and off-roady. Hence the rear-mounted spare, like the Land Rover Discovery.

Once Porsche started to figure out the market a bit better, they zeroed in on what to keep (sporty driving characteristics, standard all-wheel drive) and they jettisoned the rest, losing the rear-mounted spare quickly — and off-road gadgets like 2-speed transfer case and low-range gearing once the Cayenne was redesigned for 2011.

And that’s the store of the Cayenne’s factory — yes, factory — rear-mounted spare tire. Find a used Porsche Cayenne for sale

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. Wow, sometimes Porsche never fails to amaze me. The first gen X5 was downmarket from the Cayenne? Really? I’ve been in quite a few base level Cayennes and nothing says downmarket like they do. The same gen Touregs were actually nicer in a lot of ways. 

  2. Given the NY plates, if it’s in NYC that carrier is probably a good way to prevent people from parallel-parking too close to your bumper. 

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