Following the release of the first-generation Porsche Cayenne in 2002, the automaker set about developing multiple body styles for its then-new SUV. Porsche created a prototype convertible in addition to a coupe and a model with an extended wheelbase. A single convertible is still on display at the Porsche Museum in Germany.
The roof worked in a manner similar to how the current 911 Targa operates, with the rear panel lifting up and away to accommodate the folding roof top.
The rear end wasn’t finished because the company was still deciding how to shape it, so the prototype has two rear end designs. One half features low-mounted taillights while the other half has them higher up. Because the roof mechanism was never completed, the prototype shown here must be installed and removed by hand.
The concept of a Cayenne convertible never progressed beyond the design stage. According to the company, profit projections for the vehicle were not promising, and they questioned whether it was attractive enough to wear the Porsche badge.
“An SUV as a convertible is a challenge both aesthetically and formally,” Michael Mauer, Porsche’s design chief, said in a statement. “An SUV always has a large and heavy body. You combine this with a small top half and then cut off the roof…you get very strange shapes emerging from that.”