Automakers try their best to stay one step ahead of trends, which means they’re usually coming up with a whole bunch of prototypes that may never see the light of day. 20 years after thinking outside the box — way outside the box — Porsche is showing off a Cayenne concept that is truly wild, even if it never had much of a chance of reaching production.
After the first-generation Porsche Cayenne launched in 2002, the automaker went to work developing multiple body styles for its then-new SUV. In addition to a coupe and a model with an extended wheelbase, Porsche developed the car you see here: a prototype convertible. A single car remains, tucked away at the Porsche Museum in Germany, and it is nutty.
Instead of making a four-door convertible, Porsche went the same route as the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet and removed the rear doors entirely, while lengthening the front doors by nearly 8 inches. The windshield and A-pillars were shortened, too.
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 soft top. The rear end wasn’t actually completed; the company was still debating how to shape it, so the prototype actually has two rear end designs. One half features low-mounted taillights while the other half mounts them higher up. The soft-top mechanism never left the design stage, so the prototype seen here requires the top to be installed and removed by hand.
So, why didn’t it get built? As Porsche notes in its press release, “Forecasts regarding profitability were not particularly promising,” which is hardly surprising. This prototype wasn’t even road legal; instead, it was trucked around as needed before settling in its final location at the Porsche Museum.