19th September 2012
They were the first choice for demanding motorists until the 1960s: English coach builders such as Hooper, H.J. Mulliner & Co., Park Ward, Tickford and many others.
They manufactured special coaches mostly for the luxury brands Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce, all custom-tailored to the customers' individual preferences. The constantly progressing shift to unibodies made it increasingly difficult to realise one's own coach concepts. A once flourishing industry became extinct.
The good old English coach builder tradition is now being resurrected with the new MERDAD Collection Coupé, a superlative two-door SUV that was created based on the latest Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
The all-wheel-drive car impresses with fascinating design and exclusive appointments, but that's not all. Powered by an eight-cylinder Biturbo engine that produces 670 hp the four-seater accelerates from rest to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds and reaches a top speed in excess of 300 km/h.
The exclusive interior features power seats that slide forwards to facilitate access to the rear seats, and was manufactured by German specialist Mattes Interieurtechnik.
The conversion from four to two doors was developed by the MERDAD Collection engineering team. The objective was to retain the distinctive silhouette of the Cayenne, but to give it a more coupe-like design by doing away with the two rear doors. The standard wheelbase of 2895 millimetres remains unchanged.
To that end the German SUV is rebuilt from the ground up. Numerous components such as the doors, 20 centimetres longer than the original, and the rear side walls with new B-pillars that moved further to the rear had to be made by hand by the experienced coach builders and like the production body shell had to be hot-dip galvanised.
To retain the high rigidity of the base car numerous reinforcements hidden from sight had to be integrated into the body shell. The result is impressive with the MERDAD Collection conversion to two doors reflects highest quality standards.
The coupe version also necessitated a new interior design. In German specialist Mattes Interieurtechnik from Bietigheim-Bissingen MERDAD was able to win a partner that has been considered the top address for exclusive interior refinement for the past two decades.
To make the coupe even more striking it can be upgraded with the MERDAD Collection wide-body version that is available for all current Porsche Cayenne models. The precision-fit detachable parts not only add 90 millimetres to the width of the SUV, but also lend it an even more dynamic appearance.