Porsche is the new world record holder for the heaviest aircraft pulled with a production car after using its Cayenne to pull an Air France jet.

The German automaker hitched a Cayenne Diesel S to an Airbus A380 at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, hauling the plane a distance of 42 metres to set the Guinness record.

That effort sealed the record, but Porsche then set out to prove it’s not just its workhorse diesel models that are well-suited to towing duty: Porsche then backed a high-performance Turbo S model up to the plane to pull the stunt a second time.

For the record, the A380 weighs 284,000 kg, or about 81 times the Cayenne’s maximum tow rating of 3,500 kg. As competent as the SUV has proven itself to be, the regular hauling of airliners is probably not conducive to the longevity of the car’s drivetrain.

HeapMedia352514

Behind the wheel was Richard Payne, a driver with Porsche Great Britain, who drove the Cayenne to Paris from London, and then drove it back home again after the deed was done. In an amusing understatement, he said it was “interesting” to have rearview mirrors “full of Airbus.”

The Cayenne Diesel S was an obvious choice for the task, with its 4.2-litre turbodiesel cranking out 384 hp and, more importantly, 627 lb-ft of torque. (Note that this is not the diesel implicated in the Volkswagen emissions scandal; that was the 3.0-litre V6 that was Porsche’s only diesel offering in North America.)

HeapMedia352513

But while the Turbo S’ gasoline V8 is a higher-revving machine, its 570 hp is backed up by a still-impressive 590 lb-ft. Both engines are hooked up to an eight-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. The nearly five-metre-long Cayenne was dwarfed by the A380, which measures 73 metres nose to tail.

Porsche said its record eclipsed the previous aircraft car-haul by a margin of 115,000 kg, but Guinness doesn’t say what vehicle was used to set the previous milestone.


Air France and Porsche: New Guinness World Records title from Porsche AG on Vimeo.