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.