By on November 29, 2018

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Porsche is in an interesting position. While it remains an enthusiast brand par excellence, adding SUVs and sedans has left the automaker with one foot in the upper-crust portion of a more mainstream market. Fortunately, this has worked out incredibly well for the company. Porsche has broken its own sales record every year since 2012.

This week at the LA Auto Show, the German manufacturer paid service to its most ardent fans by unveiling the new 911. While not Porsche’s best-selling model, it’s easily the most iconic. But what if the brand tried to bridge the gap between adrenaline-seeking Carrera owners and the well-heeled soccer moms who drive the Macan crossover?

Apparently, that’s a concept the company’s staff is currently mulling over — when they aren’t sorting and cleaning their wrenches. A specific member of Porsche’s Executive Board feels it might be a good idea.  

It’s easy to scoff at; we certainly did. But let’s not forget that the Cayenne SUV sounded similarly ridiculous before it entered production in 2002. Now, Porsche is the belle of the ball.

According to Detlev von Platen, member of Porsche’s Executive Board responsible for Sales and Marketing, the concept would be to take the 911 and raise it off the ground a little. “The 911 is the center point for all design at Porsche and you will see its influence in other vehicles,” he told Autocar India. “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.”

While we’ve seen the 911 reconfigured for rally duty for decades, the manufacturer has never attempted to build one for the public. That’s likely because such a vehicle would be a niche product, as von Platen said. But this is a new era where crossovers and SUVs reign supreme in sales. Perhaps there’s room in the market for a such a strange creature? It’s not like there aren’t companies ready and willing to convert your old 911 into a retro rallying machine already.

Truth be told, there isn’t much in it for the soccer moms. Based on von Platen’s musings, the hypothetical vehicle would probably be a lifted and very limited 911 — not a seven-seat substitute for whatever families are currently using to pick up their groceries. Assuming Porsche does run with this idea, the model would likely be marketed squarely at enthusiasts with some cash to burn and an interest in dirt tracks.

Like every limited edition Porsche model, we’re guessing the automaker would sell out the instant it began accepting orders. However, there is always a chance it could launch a new SUV that’s just heavily influenced by the 911 or simply shelve the idea. We’ll keep an ear to the ground.

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26 Comments on “Porsche Exec: 911-based Crossover ‘Could Be a Good Idea’...”

  • avatar

    Will it still be rear-engine? As a high-riding vehicle, that should present the designers with some interesting challenges, both in handling and rollover avoidance as well as interior space availability. Detlev von Platen is only thinking about corporate sales numbers and his future stock dividend checks.
    Ah, Detlev, if you made a Corolla with a Porsche label, you’d sell many tens of thousands of them, and make even more profit. And an extremely disappointed and appalled Ferdinand would be rolling over in his grave.

    • 0 avatar

      @RHD, I agree. I’m no car engineer but how do you keep the engine in the back where all of the groceries go? That would seem to take a lot of money, along with some compromises, that would seem to be better spent on a different vehicle altogether.

    • 0 avatar

      Hmm, you could still do a wagon or hatchback with the rear-facing jump seats like Mercedes and Tesla. The only thing is, because of the rear engine, you would just have to turn the jump seats around and put them in front of the driver. I am envisioning a sort of psyched-out Dymaxion, only with much better handling. (Maybe this would technically be called a hatchfront.) Now that would be fun for the kiddies! It might also encourage safer driving. And it would certainly be easier for Mom and Dad to keep an eye on them up there.

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair, if they keep the 911 flat 6, the center of gravity will remain pretty low, and likely not that much of an issue.

  • avatar

    On one hand, I feel this would be a jump the shark moment.

    On the other hand, the market for expensive cars with iconic brands seems limitless. So why the hell not.

    I do think a better deployment of resources would be an EV crossover.

    • 0 avatar
      Prove your humanity: 9 + 8 =

      “Ve need a version of the 911 mit more ground clearance, but ze price must be lower for ze high sales. It is for ze corporate profit, so ze engine vill be smaller and ze car vill have fewer features. Und ve can not call it ze 911, so ve need a name zat ze women vill like.

      I sink ve should call it ze “Beetle”.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This sounds interesting. I’m all for it, just because it’s exciting. Hopefully, it involves actually using the 911’s architecture, and not just putting the 911 nameplate on something completely unrelated.

    A case of the latter is Mercedes-Benz’ recent AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. Despite the name, the 4-Door Coupe is not on the halo sport’s car’s unique platform. Rather, it apes that car’s styling, but is on the modular MRA architecture, essentially making it a stylized derivative of the mainstream C- and E-Class models. That said, it does get the AMG GT’s awesome M178 engine.

  • avatar

    Why not just throw a huge FU to the system and make a Porsche-ified Baja Bug? Technically, it’d still be a ‘crossover’…but something truly balls to the wall and cool. Another mommie mobile crossover, the world does NOT need.

  • avatar

    While I’m not in favor, this will likely be very profitable. They might be able to retain a bit of credibility if they rally this thing successfully.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Dumb idea. This is what the Cayenne is for.

    • 0 avatar
      healthy skeptic

      Just drive the Cayenne backwards. Mission accomplished.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it’s a great idea. Let’s be honest. The “sport-utility” vehicles in 90% of cases are bought neither for “sport” nor “utility”. People buy them for a high riding position, a perception of safety, and for keeping up with the “Joneses”. As a result the standard application for a typical 2+ ton, three-row SUV is to be a single occupant commuter ride and a grocery getter. People have cash for the ginormous Escalade but will shy away from a “small” Porsche. Now enter the 911 “SUV”.

      And think of the other possibilities. A raised AWD 911 will be a worthy rally car straight out of the dealer lot, I hope.

  • avatar

    Two of my biggest regrets:

    – selling my air-cooled 911
    – not giving it the rally treatment

    Being able to buy a lifted 911 would be awesome.

  • avatar

    I think this is a great idea and they should go ahead with it as soon as possible. I agree with Matt when he says “…lets not forget that the Cayenne sounded similarly ridiculous before it entered production in 2002”. And what about the Panamera? Yet now those same “ridiculous” products are being very successful.

    I think that for most of us who visit and read TTAC the idea of Porsche making SUV’s and a luxury sedan it’s some kind of Frankenstein but for the average person these types of cars sound great. So, sell them to them I say.

    If some body had told me in 2002 that by 2018 we would see Lamborghini and Rolls Royce SUV’s I probably would have laughed (or cried). When Porsche announced that it was going to build the Panamera I was shocked. And now Panamera is a money making operation.

    I think the same is likely to happen with a 911 SUV. The mare idea of a 911 SUV makes me lough, but I think Porsche will have (once again) the last lough…all the way to the bank.

  • avatar

    Sounds intriguing. Just a bit of practicality. Give me enough room for a dog/whatever.

    But in reality, it would start at $130k. I’ve got a new “fun car” budgeted in 3 more years, but not a $130k fun car.

    And, honestly, I’d probably rather have a 4 door hatchback Mustang GT with manual trans.

    • 0 avatar

      “And, honestly, I’d probably rather have a 4 door hatchback Mustang GT with manual trans.”

      Cool. Name it something other than “Mustang GT.” “Galaxie,” “Fairlane,” “Falcon,” or if you want to really go retro, “Fordor.” are better choices.

  • avatar

    911 shooting brake?

  • avatar

    I suspect this will be more of a rally inspired 911 rather than a true crossover.

    • 0 avatar

      When is the last time you saw a rally car with a jacked up ride height? Paris Dakar Rally, I suppose. Should be good over the speed bumps at the country club. For most buyers, probably the worst thing about driving their 911s is having to look up from their phone to avoid potholes. Maybe this car will address that, the way automatic transmissions and VSC addressed needing to be a decent driver.

  • avatar

    Germany needs to leave the EU yesterday. At the latest.

    They’re burning accumulated capital at the altar of braindead financialization nitwitism, at a rate that could make post Bretton Woods Anglo dimbulbs blush.

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