These 5 wild prototypes helped shape the Porsche you know and love
If you haven’t noticed, Porsche loves talking about itself, whether it’s referencing its cars’ stirring souls or telling you how to properly pronounce its name. Rather than let other people on the internet make Top 5 lists about the company, Porsche decided to do them for its own YouTube channel. The most recent takes a brief journey through the archives (that we toured last year), discussing five “secret prototypes,” including the Panamericana, the Cayenne Cabrio, the 984, the 911 Carrera 3.2 Speedster, and the 918 Spyder rolling chassis.
The short clip starts with the 984. This concept was developed in the mid-1980s as a quirky compact roadster. It weighed 1,940 pounds, had 133 horsepower, and had a top speed of 137 mph. According to Porsche, it was a study in weight and aerodynamics with a low-powered car. The styling is heavily similar to that of the 928.
The next is a very different type of convertible with the Cayenne Cabrio. Where it separates itself from the Range Rover Evoque and Nissan Murrano Cabriolets, aside from the obvious, is its roof that looks so wrong yet weirdly cool at the same time. Even stranger, the Cayenne has a two-boot, as in two different rear end designs on one car to avoid building two separate test cars.
The third museum piece is the 1987 911 Carrera 3.2 Speedster Clubsport. Meant to recall the 550 Spyder, it has no windshield and a plastic cover that only leaves open space for the driver.
The 1989 Panamericana is the next on the list. As a present for Ferry Porsche’s 80th birthday, it had a dune buggy-like apperance with a zip-off roof. We repeat, this Porsche has a zipper.
The final car is less concept and more prototype. The 918 Spyder rolling chassis plug-in hybrid has a claimed 550 horsepower and has barely any bodywork, exposing the inner workings of the revolutionary car. After the first 918 concept debuted, this was used as a press piece to show journalists, revealing what the complicated hybrid setup really looked like.
Pieces and design influences from nearly all these prototypes have been seen in various Porsche production cars. From the Cayenne’s roof design to the study of lightweight dynamics to the hybrid technology, they’ve come to fruition in some form. We’ll let you know when the zipper makes it onto a production Porsche.