A new 328-page book titled Porsche Unseen gives us a deep dive into 15 of Porsche Design Studio’s little-known concepts created between 2005 and 2019. With these studies mostly kept hidden in the minds of their creators, the company’s hard drives, and the secret warehouses of the Porsche Museum until the book’s release, it includes chapters on “Spin-Offs,” “Little Rebels,” “Hyper Cars,” and “What’s Next?” It’s a detailed look into what else could have come out of Porsche HQ in the last 15 years.
Here are 12 that I could find. Some of the following concepts only exist in the digital space, while others were developed into full-size clays; the 911 Safari concept was pushed all the way to the working prototype stage. Take a peek and let us know which ones do you miss the most from your local Porsche dealership.
Porsche Le Mans Living Legend, 2016
Ladies and gentlemen, that is a flat-eight Porsche engine. Based on the Cayman platform and built into a full-size clay model after 2015’s Boxster Bergspyder concept, the Porsche Le Mans Living Legend is a nod to the 550 Coupe Porsche sent to the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans. While looking like a car Ruf would produce, the most important detail remains that this beefed-up nightmare of even the fastest Alpine A110 is powered by a horizontally opposed, eight-cylinder engine probably tuned to Ferrari and McLaren V8 levels.
Porsche 904 Living Legend, 2013
What happens when Porsche gets its hands on Volkswagen’s tandem-seater carbon fiber monocoque developed for the revolutionary diesel hypermiler XL1? Apparently, its designers will jam a Ducati V2 bike engine under a new carbon body (not unlike Volkswagen with its 2014 XL Sport concept), fitting it with 911 Turbo wheels to get the desired proportions of a classic 904 GTS. An exercise in lightweight engineering.
Porsche Vision 918 RS, 2019
A road-legal evolution of the 918 Spyder that could make a certain 918 Spyder owner called Horacio Pagani wonder about his very own track-focused hypercars.
Porsche 919 Street, 2017
Going all Toyota GR Super Sport Hybrid on us, Porsche took its Le Mans-winning, multiple track-record-demolishing 919 platform to create a 1:1 clay model of a road-going version of this electrified beast. Featuring the same dimensions and wheelbase as the race car, this could have been Porsche’s 900-horsepower hybrid LMP1 prototype for the road.
Porsche Vision 920, 2019
Remember the 918 RSR hybrid race car concept Porsche unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show? It used a flywheel accumulator KERS system. Eight years later, Porsche Design Studio penned the 920, a proposed hypercar for the road, track special, or candidate for a customer racing series.
Neat, yet with Rimac in house and Porsche focusing on rapid electrification, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 918’s successor went fully electric.
Porsche Vision Spyder, 2019
The sports car I really wish Porsche could push further right now than a 1:1 painted clay model. Recalling the lines of the 550-1500 RS Spyder from 1954 with its radiator grille and raw interior, Porsche’s Spyder study explores ideas like the featured futuristic roll bar, which is presumably made of composites. Add the experimental flat-eight of the 2016’s Le Mans Living Legend, or even the flat-six of the Cayman GT4, and we’re in business.
Porsche Vision 916, 2016
Staying in the render zone, behold the design intern project that led to a race car concept powered by four wheel-hub electric motors. Porsche calls it a tribute to the first all-wheel-drive electric race car known as the Lohner-Porsche, developed by Ferdinand Porsche some 120 years ago. This 916 may not be as exciting as the RS6 GTO racing wagon Audi’s design students cooked up recently, yet wheel-hub motors are worth exploring.
Porsche 906 Living Legend, 2005
We all wish for a modern 906 successor to resurface, and 15 years ago, Porsche dressed its rendering in the colors of the 906 that won the 1966 Targa Florio—but that’s where it remained.
Porsche 911 Vision Safari, 2012
What you see here in all its Martini Racing glory is a fully working 991.1 GT3 with even wider arches, 19-inch wheels, and a unique bottom half for the sake of joyful rallying. Porsche has been teasing us with production 911 Safari for ages, and so it’s no wonder that aftermarket companies are already busy coming up with products to fill that void.
Porsche Macan Vision Safari, 2013
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a two-door Macan? Everything about this concept is correct, so I expect no less from Porsche than making this a reality with the upcoming all-electric generation of its smaller SUV. The Macan Safari is almost as overdue as the 911.
Porsche Vision 960 Turismo, 2016
Starting its life as a mid-engine four-door sports sedan, the 960 idea evolved into a four-seat 911 concept before becoming the baseline for Porsche’s Taycan project. Considering that the 2009 Panamera’s development began with the 989 Concept in 1989, this conceptual journey is hardly unprecedented.
Porsche Vision “Renndienst,“ 2018
With Volkswagen currently working on several versions of an upscale electric van, Porsche felt it would also give it a go with a central-drive concept with a modular interior and space for up to six people. A full-size model later, the design team was looking at the promise of the sportiest electric van ever.
The book Porsche Unseen is now available from retailers with the ISBN number 978-3-667-11980-3. The 15 design studies are presented in detail over 328 pages with Stefan Bogner’s photos and text by Jan Karl Baedeker. It is published by Delius Klasing Verlag and is also available in the Porsche Museum shop.
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