Offroading is all about being a practical personWhen fitted with the right optionals, such as the air suspension, a Porsche Cayenne such as the one we see here has a ground clearance of up to 10.6 inches (270 mm) and, more importantly for this adventure, a maximum wading depth of 21.8 inches (550 mm).
While the driver of the Porsche may have left the measurement tools at home, attempting to cross such a river would've at least required some form of basic terrain assessment. Of course, that would have meant getting out of the leather-finished seat and turning to rocks and/or sticks in order to approximate the depth.
Hydrolock can easily render and engine uselessThe worst case scenario here is that the Cayenne's engine was hydrolocked. When this happens, water enters the combustion chamber and since fluids are extremely difficult to compress, the water will keep one or more cylinders from performing full cycles.
If an engine hydrolocks at idle speeds, it generally stops, but if this happens when the unit is running at speed, the consequences are usually devastating. The most common scenario sees the piston rods being deformed and from this point on the entire reciprocating movement becomes toxic for the engine. Terminal damage, such as a cracked block can easily occur.
Returning to the Cayenne, while nobody could expect a Porsche with a snorkel (the height of the air intake is the main factor that limits the maximum fording depth), you should know that the German SUV is very good at handling rugged terrain. Nonetheless, its performance road tires keep it from reaching the top of its class when it comes to such adventures.
Update: Witnesses report the driver revved the Cayenne as he was trying to get out of the river, when the engine died, while they claim the Porsche's engine was not running when the car was eventually taken away. Not the best outcome then...