Prior to releasing its first-ever sport utility vehicle with the Cayenne in 2002, Porsche experimented with a number of different body styles and model variants, including an open-top Targa version. And while this drop-top SUV was never officially unveiled to the public, the company has now opted to reveal a one-off prototype of the Targa Cayenne for the luxury SUV’s 20th anniversary.
Targa models have been an important part of Porsche’s lineup since first debuting the 911 Targa at the 1965 International Motor Show in Frankfurt. So, when the marque began looking to develop the Cayenne’s model range, a Targa seemed like a natural option, despite the unorthodox nature of a drop-top SUV. Kept in storage at the Porsche Museum for the last 20 years, this Cayenne-based convertible is based on the existing SUV, though sees its roof removed, before having its body and frame reinforced to compensate for the structural changes to the vehicle.
Measuring 15.75’ in length, the Cayenne Targa featured shortened A-pillars, a truncated windshield, and rear panels that fold open to reveal the one-off car’s soft-top — utilizing the same Z-pattern folding convertible top mechanism as the era’s 911 Targa. The Targa version also saw the SUV’s four-door configuration jettisoned in favor of a two-door setup with doors that are 7.87” longer than the standard units. Interestingly, Porsche experimented with multiple rear-end designs for the Targa variant, with different lines, and different taillights set at different angles. Aside from the shortened windshield, the interior of the Cayenne convertible also remains identical to that of the hard-topped production model.
While the Targa-spec Cayenne would never see production, it nonetheless represents Porsche’s commitment to creating interesting and envelop-pushing designs while keeping one foot firmly planted in tradition.