Porsche had developed a convertible prototype of the Cayenne in 2002 but it was never unveiled to the public. Now, as a part of Cayenne’s 20th-anniversary celebrations, Porsche has revealed the Cayenne Convertible prototype as a ‘package function model’, which is essentially a rolling chassis developed for design and ergonomic development.
• Asymmetric rear has elements from Carrera GT, first-gen Panamera
• Seven-seat Cayenne also considered for development in 2002
There were disagreements within the team that led the Cayenne Convertible prototype to have an asymmetrical rear with two different designs – the left side takes a bit of inspiration from the Carrera GT, while the right side, with its high-set tail lights, resembles the first-gen Panamera (launched seven years after the prototype in 2009).
The Cayenne Convertible prototype has a Targa-style roof along with a two-door body style. The rear-quarter panels have also been leghtened by 200mm compared to the standard Cayenne, while the front retains the same design as the regular model.
Porsche mentions that the purpose of the prototype was to determine if the Targa roof on the Cayenne would be feasible and comfortable for four passengers. Alongside, it also aimed to develop a fast-folding soft-top.
For the convertible top, Porsche engineers decided on a mechanism that is similar to the 992-gen 911 Targa. The bootlid can be opened from both sides, with the front opening to swallow the top and the back to place the luggage in. Additionally, it was to have a powered roller to fold the roof in a Z pattern. However, the system was never fitted to the car, meaning that the roof had to be manually folded.
Porsche never took the project further as it doubted the profitability of the model and whether it could fit its model line-up stylistically. It also considered developing a coupe and long-wheelbase, 7-seater versions of the Cayenne but they weren’t taken forward as much as the convertible prototype. However, the coupe was later developed, with it finally launching in the market in 2019.
Porsche electric flagship SUV
On the other hand, Porsche recently confirmed an all-electric SUV that will sit above the Cayenne. It could be the 7-seater Cayenne in spirit but there is no confirmation on that currently. The new electric SUV will be based on Volkswagen Group’s Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) alongside the third-gen Panamera and the second-gen Taycan.