Porsche unveils its top five secret prototypes

Locked away from the public, deep in Porsche's vault, is a series of forgotten prototype cars. Did you know there were plans for a Cayenne cabriolet?

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Top 5 Secret Porsche Prototypes

Every car in history started life as a series of scribblings on paper and then a working prototype. These near-Frankenstein machines, trapped somewhere between reality and imagination, serve as testbeds while the design evolves into what will become the finished article. Once the shiny new model has been revealed to the world, many of these prototype cars are destroyed, though some do manage to escape. Porsche shines some light into the darkest corner of its vault to reveal its top 5 secret prototypes.

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Porsche 984

While exploring the possibility of building a small lightweight sports car, Porsche created the highly aerodynamic 984 prototype. The main aim was to build something that was thrilling to drive without masses of power. By keeping the weight down to 880kg, engineers managed to make its 133bhp go a long way.

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Porsche Cayenne Cabrio

It cannot be unseen. This Cayenne Cabrio never made it into production, thank god! This 2002 study was ahead of its time, according to Porsche, as very few convertible SUVs existed until years later. Its design revived the Targa roll hoop and featured what would have been one of the world’s largest folding fabric roofs. The horror continues at the rear where designers experimented with two different shapes on one car, creating a Janus-like scene.

Let’s pretend we never saw this.

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Porsche 911 Carrera Clubsport

Drawing on the heritage of Porsche’s early Speedsters, this design concept was based on a Carrera to keep the focus on driving involvement and not power output. Gone is the windscreen and instead a Porsche 550 Spyder racing cowl covered the cockpit.

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Porsche Panamericana

This 1989 prototype was built in just a few months as a birthday gift to Ferry Porsche — we hope they kept the receipt. It features chunky tyres, shrouded by free-flowing lines that run uninterrupted along the Porsche’s length. Its beach buggy look is completed by a zip-open roof.

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Porsche 918 rolling chassis

It might not look pretty, but this car did a lot of the hard work that eventually resulted in the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar. Cables protrude from every electrical item, bodywork barely covers the chassis, and it only has about two-thirds of the finished car's power but, without this prototype, there would be no flagship Porsche.

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