This is disturbingly alluring…
Back at the turn of the century and millennium, Porsche was in a bit of a financial bind, again. And while plenty of enthusiasts have bemoaned the Cayenne as a grocery getter and not a true Porsche, the fact is the crossover saved the brand and cemented its long-term viability. Here we are 20 years later and the powers that be in Stuttgart have decided to drop on us all that they almost made a convertible version of the Cayenne.
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It might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t hate the Cayenne and I wish they would’ve made the convertible model. Yes, it would’ve been mocked mercilessly by small-minded or jealous people. It would’ve been compared to the Nissan Murano convertible, etc. Maybe that’s at least in part why Porsche passed on the idea.
This idea of a Porsche Cayenne convertible made it far enough in the development process that a real-life prototype was constructed. While it featured a more conventional soft top, Porsche has said engineers were playing around with a roof mechanism which eventually turned into what we saw with the 991 Targa. So you see, even the cars which never make it to production can impact the future of an automaker.
Porsche has also revealed it was considering a coupe version of the Cayenne, which could have started the European coupe crossover fad far earlier. A third option considered but not slated for production was a longer, three-row Cayenne. That surely would’ve appealed to larger families who instead opted for an Escalade, Lexus LX, or some other non-Porsche option. I would imagine the additional seats and length negatively impacted handling and overall performance. However, the Audi Q7 later shared a platform, could be had with a third row, and in my opinion provided amazing all-around performance.
Photos via Porsche