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

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The Porsche Cayenne is now 20 a long time previous, obtaining at first debuted at the 2002 Paris Global Motor Demonstrate. But Porsche’s to start with SUV could have taken a incredibly diverse enhancement path from the version that eventually finished up on phase in the French capital.

The to start with-technology Cayenne was nearly dependent on the Mercedes-Benz M-Course (the predecessor to modern GLE-Class), Porsche has disclosed.

Mercedes-Benz ML 320

Mercedes-Benz ML 320

When Porsche commenced mulling a third design together with the 911 and Boxster, it thought of 5 concepts that inevitably obtained whittled down to possibly a minivan or an SUV. The minivan concept was nixed by the automaker’s American branch, which considered an SUV as more pleasing to the greater revenue prospective buyers Porsche required to attract.

Porsche nonetheless had rather constrained assets for motor vehicle growth at the time and sought a partner for the SUV task. All over the similar time, Mercedes was making ready to launch the M-Class. The two automakers experienced lately collaborated on the Mercedes 500 E sporting activities sedan, and Mercedes was not opposed to a second 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 superior-efficiency offshoot of the Mercedes,” Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert, former head of the Cayenne product line, mentioned in a statement. It would have shared some technologies with the M-Course, but with distinctive exterior styling and Porsche-equipped engines and chassis components, Wolpert mentioned.

The two automakers commenced talks in 1996, but the deal fell aside above economical disagreements, according to Porsche. Mercedes launched the M-Class solo in 1997 and it turned a person of the automaker’s bestsellers. In June of that yr, Porsche determined to companion with Volkswagen to establish the Cayenne alongside the initially-era Touareg. Elements commonality, as well as use of a VW manufacturing facility for manufacturing, manufactured the arrangement financially practical for Porsche. The rest, as they say, is background.

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