Porsche Executive Says 911 Carrera-Based SUV Is a ‘Good Idea’
Porsche once called the 911’s approach as ‘compact and puristic.’
Porsche brought its brand new 911 to the LA Auto Show only days after the automaker pulled off one of the most enthusiast-focused unveilings of all times. In a conversation with Autocar India about the new sports car shown at the event, Porsche revealed that it has been mulling around the idea of a 911-based SUV.
Let's face it; the 911 is the perfect recipe for an enthusiast-backed sports car. But could the same be said if the platform is shifted from being a sports car to a larger, more family-oriented SUV? Porsche seems to think so, or at least has been toying with the idea.
“The 911 is the center point for all design at Porsche and you will see its influence in other vehicles,” said Detlev von Platen, a member of Porsche's Executive Board for Sales and Marketing. “But taking the 911 and making an SUV out of it? Taking it higher? That could be a good idea, and of course, it won't be a model range but it will be a limited, a very niche product.”
A performance SUV is nothing new or groundbreaking for Porsche. The Cayenne has thrived for three generations since its introduction in 2002 and shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. However, a 911-based SUV would be a first for the Germans.
Porsche has previously said that the 911 has a "compact and puristic" design, configuring each variant of the car with the exact same approach in mind. In fact, each car was configured using a very basic set of constraints; 2+2 seat configuration and horizontally opposed flat-six powerplant nested in the rear. Changing this configuration would mean Porsche would stray from the "puristic" portion of its claim. As noted by von Platen above, the 911 serves as the staple of Porsche's vehicles, so it's quite possible that an SUV would be influenced by the 911 and built under a different nameplate; it would be hard-pressed to see Porsche pump out anything other than a limited run Safari-edition 911.
SUVs are a hot commodity for both automakers and consumers. The vehicle type as a whole has flooded the market over the past several years with manufacturers claiming that they are filling an insatiable demand. With more dad-friendly SUV and crossovers like the Ford Edge ST and newly announced Honda Passport hitting showroom floors, an enthusiast-focused SUV may be a worthwhile investment for Porsche.