Fun Fact: Porsche Considered Making a Cayenne Convertible in 2002

An intriguing idea that never made it to production

A prototype of the Porsche Cayenne convertible, an open-top model of their top-selling SUV
Porsche gave us a look at the prototype they built of the Cayenne convertible.

It’s been 20 years since the first Porsche Cayennes began making their way around roads across the world. As the German brand’s first SUV, it quickly became their best-selling model and was a harbinger for the rest of the industry. This week, Porsche opened up its archives to revisit the Cayenne’s history — and, in the process, revealed an alternate design that might have made for a very different driving experience for the first generation of Cayenne drivers.

To be more specific, it would have involved a driving experience with the top down. As Porsche revealed, among the designs considered for the Cayenne early on was a convertible model.

This was shortly after the Cayenne was first released in 2002. Porsche explored a trio of options: the aforementioned convertible, as well as a coupé and an extended version with additional seating. In fact, the company even built a prototype of the convertible — a Package Function Model — which can be found at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

The PFM was not designed to be driven, but was instead built to test a number of design attributes, from the seating to the way the soft top folded. For the latter question, the designers eventually opted to go with a feature reminiscent of the 911 Targa.

A Cayenne coupé did eventually materialize in 2019, but the cabriolet design has never made it to market. Still, it’s a fascinating “what if” to ponder, and who knows — perhaps one day, a design might come to mind that paves the way for a production version.

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