Porsche Cayenne Cabrio – why was this idea abandoned?

Porsche Cayenne Cabrio – why was this idea abandoned?



  • In addition to the regular SUV, Porsche has also developed a convertible, coupé and 7-seater version.

  • The converter shown now is not a runnable prototype, it is a 1:1 mock-up.

  • The cockpit is like a regular SUV, but the body from the front pillar has been completely redesigned.

Twenty years ago when Porsche was brought to market first Cayennethe automotive world held its breath. There was no shortage of criticism: how does the manufacturer of the sports icon – “911” – want to produce an SUV? Now that their SUVs have Lamborghini and Maserati, and Ferrari is preparing for the premiere, no one is surprised anymore, but in 2002 the debut of the new Porsche was a real event.

The Porsche Cayenne was an example of success for the sports car manufacturer

Photo: Auto Bild

Three generations of Cayenne in one picture. The first one was still controversial, but those days are gone and the Porsche SUV has gained many participants. More than a million copies of this model have been sold in 20 years

Despite all the disadvantages, the Cayenne became a bestseller and thus could earn money for the company to make real sports cars. And although Mercedes and BMW already had their own SUVs, the decision was more difficult for Porsche – the Zuffenhausen brand was clearly associated with sports cars.

The Cayenne-based convertible is a unique car that Porsche wanted to answer four questions: is it good wherever you are?  Is the two-door body practical?  Will it be possible to get a properly folded roof?  What should the rear of a convertible SUV look like?Photo: Auto Bild

The Cayenne-based convertible is a unique car that Porsche wanted to answer four questions: is it good wherever you are? Is the two-door body practical? Will it be possible to get a properly folded roof? What should the rear of a convertible SUV look like?

There was not enough courage to introduce a convertible version. At the Cayenne’s 20th anniversary event, Porsche showed off a study that was created shortly after the first generation went on sale, but never made it to the factory.

Unusual view: the cabriolet study is not a road model, it was created as a so-called.  Package Performance Model (PFM), a kind of life-size replica with two versions of the back for comparisonPhoto: Porsche

Unusual view: the cabriolet study is not a road model, it was created as a so-called. Package Performance Model (PFM), a kind of life-size replica with two versions of the back for comparison

The doors of the 4.8 meter long concept model are almost 20 centimeters longer than those of the production SUV.Photo: Porsche

The doors of the 4.8 meter long concept model are almost 20 centimeters longer than those of the production SUV.

The studio-style fabric roof is operated manually, the planned folding mechanism is not fully developedPhoto: Porsche

The studio-style fabric roof is operated manually, the planned folding mechanism is not fully developed

Porsche did not create a special cockpit for the convertible version, only the windshield was shortenedPhoto: Porsche

Porsche did not create a special cockpit for the convertible version, only the windshield was shortened

A similar fate befell the extended 7-seater version of the Porsche Cayenne. Only the coupé, which was already in the pipeline, went into series production in 2019. However, as it turned out later, Porsche had the sense to abandon the Cayenne cabrio. Convertible SUVs did not conquer the market. Several producers have tried (eg Range Rover Evoque Convertible, Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, Volkswagen T-Roc Cabrio), but it was not very successful.