When in the early 2000s Porsche set the tone with its first SUV, the Porsche Cayenne of the first generation, and found it to be a resounding success, he quickly began thinking about possible additional variants for the model. Long before even putting a coupé variant on the market, he had already imagined it for this first generation, but he they studied a long variant with a capacity of 7 seats and even a convertible.
An abandoned idea that lives today in the Museum
The latter is precisely what we now have before us. And it is that the idea within Porsche caught on enough that the German company built a full-size prototype of this model. It is not a functional car, but a model that could be driven but through facilities closed to traffic and today lives in the Museum Porsche. The reason is that although it is a fairly finished model, this Cayenne in Targa format similar to that of the current 911, 4.8 meters long, does not have the necessary measures to maintain rigidity of a convertible body like this one.
However create the model was used by the folks at Porsche to assess four points for its viability “Does it sit comfortably in the car when the roof slopes back like a coupe and when the windshield and A-pillars are shorter? Is the Cayenne practical as a 20 centimeter longer two-door model? it possible to integrate a stylish, high-quality soft top that can also be quickly folded up, and how should the rear be designed? Nowadays, some companies have recently shown that it is possible to create a production convertible SUV, but in 2002 there were still doubts. Doubts that are also reflected in the same car when looking at its rear, which is split in two with two different designs.one with one with a straighter rear and with the riders raised higher and others more bent and elongated.
With Targa roof like the 911
Whatever design is finally chosen what was clear was that it would be accompanied by a soft top with a mechanism already designed at the time and which was in fact similar to that of the Porsche 911 Targa already from generation 991. However, the mechanism did not go beyond the computer simulation phase and was never fully built, and in this prototype it must be installed manually and stored in the trunk when not in use. .
Since then the not very optimistic forecasts of profitability of Porsche itself with this Cayenne convertible ended up dismissing the idea, in addition to the fact that there were doubts as to whether its design would end up conquering the public. “A convertible SUV is a challenge both from an aesthetic and formal point of view”, recognizes Michael Mauer. “A SUV always has a broad and heavy body. If you combine that with a small upper half of the vehicle and then cut the roof off, you get some very odd shapes.
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