These leaked in-house computer renderings are the first definite proof that Porsche is intending to build a direct rival for the sporting three-door Range Rover Evoque.
The Evoque-chasing Cajun is expected to be launched in two years’ time and will be based on the Audi Q5 SUV. As well as a five-door Cajun, Autocar understands that Porsche has already started work on a three-door coupé version.
As these renderings — from an internal styling exercise at Porsche’s design HQ — show, the Cajun coupé is likely to draw heavily on 911 design cues.
Elements of the design are clearly influenced by the iconic 959 rally-raid racer, distinguished by its raised ride height, which will ensure that the three-door Cajun is markedly different from its five-door sister car.
The Cajun will also get a bespoke interior design to distinguish it from the Q5. Much of the interior — such as the instrument pack, climate controls and ancillary switchgear — is likely to be shared with the next-generation Boxster and a new sub-Boxster mid-engined roadster.
Reports from Germany suggest that the Cajun will get a range of Porsche-tweaked Audi engines, including four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol and diesel units. The Cajun will come with the sole option of Audi’s rear-biased permanent four-wheel drive system.
Autocar first uncovered plans for a Porsche compact SUV coupé as far back as early 2006. An inside source revealed that a full-sized clay model had been built for assessment in late 2005 and, at the Geneva show in February 2006, a senior Porsche boss confirmed to Autocar that the three-door SUV was under consideration.
It is thought that Porsche’s engineering arm completed the body engineering for the Q5 and had the option of building its own version of the model, but the project was canned.
It’s not known why, but the arrival of the dramatically styled Evoque may well have contributed to the change of heart. The decision to build the Cajun was made official by Porsche in March.
The Cajun will be Porsche’s fifth model line and will help take the company towards the 150,000 annual sales that boss Matthias Mueller has signalled as a medium-term target.
The addition of the sub-Boxster sports car is part of a plan to aim as high as 200,000 annual sales by the end of the decade.
Expansion at the Leipzig factory to assemble the Cajun, and a new bodyshell facility, will add 1000 jobs at the east German facility. Currently, the Panamera body is constructed and painted by Volkswagen at its Hannover factory.