The original Porsche Cayenne was almost based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class


The Porsche Cayenne is now 20 yrs previous, getting initially debuted at the 2002 Paris Worldwide Motor Present. But Porsche’s 1st SUV could have taken a very various advancement route from the edition that finally finished up on stage in the French capital.

The 1st-technology Cayenne was just about primarily based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Course (the predecessor to modern GLE-Course), Porsche has exposed.

Mercedes-Benz ML 320

Mercedes-Benz ML 320

When Porsche commenced mulling a 3rd design together with the 911 and Boxster, it regarded 5 ideas that ultimately got whittled down to possibly a minivan or an SUV. The minivan strategy was nixed by the automaker’s American branch, which viewed an SUV as extra pleasing to the higher profits potential buyers Porsche desired to catch the attention of.

Porsche still experienced pretty confined resources for car or truck improvement at the time and sought a associate for the SUV undertaking. Close to the same time, Mercedes was planning to launch the M-Course. The two automakers had not too long ago collaborated on the Mercedes 500 E sports sedan, and Mercedes wasn’t opposed to a next partnership.

Porsche Cayenne prototype in Weissach, Germany, in 2000

Porsche Cayenne prototype in Weissach, Germany, in 2000

“At that stage, we envisioned the Porsche SUV as a higher-effectiveness offshoot of the Mercedes,” Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, former head of the Cayenne merchandise line, reported in a statement. It would have shared some technological know-how with the M-Class, but with special exterior styling and Porsche-supplied engines and chassis parts, Wolpert explained.

The two automakers started talks in 1996, but the offer fell aside more than economic disagreements, in accordance to Porsche. Mercedes introduced the M-Course solo in 1997 and it became one of the automaker’s bestsellers. In June of that year, Porsche decided to husband or wife with Volkswagen to develop the Cayenne alongside the 1st-generation Touareg. Elements commonality, as nicely as use of a VW manufacturing unit for creation, manufactured the arrangement financially viable for Porsche. The rest, as they say, is historical past.


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