Porsche Exec: 911-based Crossover 'Could Be a Good Idea'
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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