Some cars have just the right styling to be able to rock a convertible model, but there are some that simply should not exist. Some body shapes just don’t work with a removable roof and the resulting creations can assault the eyeballs. These abominations include the likes of the Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible, the Range Rover Evoque convertible, The Nissan Micra convertible and the Nissan Juke - and back in 2002 the Porsche Cayenne convertible would have been a contender for the ugliest of the lot, and that’s saying something. The designers at Porsche thought they were on to such a good idea that it wasn’t only sketched in doodling session, but a concept was actually built too, and that lone model can be found in storage at the Porsche Museum.
While it starts and could theoretically drive, it’s not safe to drive. Firstly the driver would need a bag on his head to avoid recognition and that alone makes it dangerous on the road, but the concept was a PFM, or a Package Function Model created to see if it works, but the chassis never received the required changes needed to stiffen things up after the structure was weakened from the roof removal. A PFM is created to test seating, practicality and if the soft top can function properly with the shape of the car, as well as to see what design works with the rear to accommodate the folded roof. In this case it looks like an Audi TT threw some DNA into the mix. They work on the TT, not so much the Cayenne.
The Porsche 911 Targa-based soft top construction was great in theory, but it never got past the computer simulation stage on the Cayenne convertible. At the museum the soft top is stowed in the luggage compartment and needs to be manually fitted if anyone wants to try and hide the eyesore. 17 years after this, another mock up was made and the powers that be all stood back at one point and said a collective "Nah mate." and the Cayenne convertible idea was scrapped. “An SUV as a convertible is a challenge both aesthetically and formally,” says Michael Mauer, who was not yet in office in 2002, looking at the concept today. “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.”
Take a look at the YouTube video we scrounged up from 2017 that features a short clip showing the digital artwork for this weird Cayenne convertible project that (thankfully) never was: 4Legend.com - Porsche Cayenne Cabriolet concept 2002 | 4Legend AudiPassion
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