Onlookers were amazed by the Porsche's pulling power, as it successfully towed a giant A380 superjumbo at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to set a new Guinness World Records title for ‘Heaviest aircraft pull by a production car’.
The A380, the globe’s biggest commercial passenger jet, measuring 238ft 7in (73m), weighs in at 285 tonnes - a hundred and twenty times more than its tow car, measuring a mere 16ft (4.8m). Driven by Porsche GB technician Richard Payne, the unmodified Cayenne S Diesel standard utility vehicle (SUV), slashed the previous world record title by a margin of 115 tonnes.
The exercise was then repeated using a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, costing £121,000 compared to £66,000 for the Cayenne Diesel. Payne put his foot down slowly but surely as he started the 157mph Cayenne S Diesel, whose 4.1litre V8 engine produced 385hp of pulling power – enough to ease the A380 out of its maintenance hangar.
'I did it - I'm so relieved!’ said Payne as he realised he’d set a new record. ‘We don't usually go this far to test the limits of our cars, but I think today we got pretty close. I could tell that it was working hard but the Cayenne didn't complain and just got on with it. My mirrors were quite full of Airbus, which was interesting,' he joked. ‘We drove the car here from London - and I plan to drive it home again, having towed an A380 in between!’ he added.
Although the effort was led by Porsche GB, Payne stressed that the new world record was the result of international teamwork, thanking colleagues at his parent comany in Southern Germany. ‘Credit should go to the team in Stuttgart who developed the car – they did a thorough job. I’m also very grateful to Air France and its engineers for their generosity in allowing me to tow their beautiful aircraft,’ he said.
After the record was completed on April 21st, the Guinness World Records judge, Pravin Patel, commented : “I’ve verified some amazing record attempts during my time, but watching a Porsche Cayenne tow one of the largest aircraft in the world definitely ranks as among the most spectacular.” The previous world record was set by a Nissan Patrol, when it pulled a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane weighing 170 tonnes in August 2013 at Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates.