Few people get a sense of how groundbreaking Porsche’s cars are, as they so often blend into the background in a chic location. Nonetheless, the thought and innovation present in every one of their varied designs make Porsche a special marque. Even more so—some of their incredible cars didn’t quite make the cut, and here are a few of those special machines never released to the public.
The selected cars here might not have been palatable enough for a broad audience, hence their inclusion on this list. One of these cars is the 984, a lightweight machine designed between 1984 and 1987 to “achieve dynamic driving characteristics through low driving resistances instead of high engine power.” Its 1,940-pound weight allowed for a 150-horsepower motor to provide all the propulsion necessary, but, not surprisingly, this spartan sports car never saw production.
Next on the list could’ve been considered an eyesore by some, but its potential for open-air jaunts through the mountains can’t be ignored. The 2002 Cayenne Cabrio sported an open top, a targa-style rollbar, and two different rears plastered onto one car. Certainly an uncommon mixture of elements, but a design exercise years ahead of its time.
The 1987 Speedster Clubsport was equally willing to shun convention. Inspired by the single-seater Speedster of the 1950s, this beauty could’ve been a small-batch car for the discerning enthusiast looking for a more visceral experience. No windscreen and a very small driving compartment would make the heart pump a bit faster, wouldn’t it?
The Porsche Panamericana was a study completed in just a few months. Obviously, this highly stylized car was a break from the standard proportions of the Porsche lineup, and by using a bevy of flowing lines and rounded shapes, it laid the foundation for the 993 and the 996 generations. Additionally, the Panamericana’s roof set the stage for the forthcoming targa tops in the 1990s.
The last of these prototypes was the 918 Spyder Rolling chassis. Shown to a small batch of journalists back in 2011, this monster set the stage for what is arguably Porsche’s most technologically sophisticated sports car.