The Porsche Cayenne is now 20 years previous, having initially debuted at the 2002 Paris Intercontinental Motor Exhibit. But Porsche’s first SUV could have taken a quite unique improvement route from the model that eventually ended up on stage in the French funds.
The initial-era Cayenne was virtually based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Course (the predecessor to modern GLE-Course), Porsche has uncovered.
Mercedes-Benz ML 320
When Porsche commenced mulling a third product along with the 911 and Boxster, it considered five concepts that at some point bought whittled down to either a minivan or an SUV. The minivan concept was nixed by the automaker’s American branch, which considered an SUV as far more captivating to the higher revenue potential buyers Porsche wanted to entice.
Porsche however experienced quite constrained means for car growth at the time and sought a companion for the SUV job. All over the same time, Mercedes was getting ready to start the M-Course. The two automakers had a short while ago collaborated on the Mercedes 500 E sports activities sedan, and Mercedes wasn’t opposed to a second partnership.
Porsche Cayenne prototype in Weissach, Germany, in 2000
“At that phase, we envisioned the Porsche SUV as a substantial-overall performance offshoot of the Mercedes,” Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, previous head of the Cayenne item line, claimed in a statement. It would have shared some technological know-how with the M-Course, but with exceptional exterior styling and Porsche-equipped engines and chassis parts, Wolpert claimed.
The two automakers commenced talks in 1996, but the deal fell aside above economic disagreements, according to Porsche. Mercedes released the M-Course solo in 1997 and it grew to become one particular of the automaker’s bestsellers. In June of that yr, Porsche made the decision to lover with Volkswagen to establish the Cayenne together with the to start with-generation Touareg. Components commonality, as perfectly as use of a VW manufacturing facility for production, produced the arrangement fiscally practical for Porsche. The rest, as they say, is heritage.