Last month we showed you four previously unseen concepts from Porsche’s inner workings, including the 919 Street that’s basically an LMP1 race car under all the carbon fibre bodywork; the hopefully future Boxster-to-be Vision Spyder; the whacky yet technologically important Vision Renndienst minivan; and the gorgeous Vision Turismo four-door coupe EV, which was in fact a precursor to the brilliant new Taycan that’s now available at Porsche Centre Vancouver. So, without further hesitation, here are briefs on five more.
The awe-inspiring 917 Living Legend was introduced last year as part of Porsche’s 50th anniversary “Colours of Speed” exhibition at the brand’s museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany. It pulls unmistakable cues from the truly legendary 917 KH race car that gave Porsche its first Le Mans win (of an accumulated 19) way back in 1970, the concept even wearing an updated version of that car’s Salzburg red-and-white livery. The 1:1 industrial plasticine model was initially created in 2013 to mark Porsche’s return to the LMP1 class of FIA-sanctioned sports car racing, but for reasons unknown waited six years for a public appearance.
That theme recurs frequently as you’ll soon find out, being that all of the following concepts only debuted this year, with one going all the way back to 2005. The 917 Living Legend and the aforementioned 919 Street are part of Porsche’s “Hypercars” collection, as organized on the brand’s media newsroom (that you don’t need special credentials to peruse through), whereas the previously noted Vision Spyder falls under the “Little Rebels” category to be revealed here soon. The Vision Renndienst (Race Service) and Vision Turismo, on the other hand, are the only two concepts that fall under the “What’s Next?” menu, but certainly that reference has nothing to do with anything coming down the pike for production.
Interestingly, Porsche has expended more energy designing potential hypercars than any other vehicle type, that category filled with four additional concepts. Much of the 906 Living Legend’s design was inspired by the original 906 race car that competed in the 1966 Targa Florio road race, despite having been created in 2005. For instance, the 906 Living Legend’s front lighting elements are found within the cooling ducts, similar to those on the original, while its red and white paint scheme makes reference to the classic racer as well.
“The design process for such visions is very free,” commented Porsche’s Chief Designer, Michael Mauer. “It is not necessary to keep to pre-defined product identity characteristics. For example, the headlights were positioned in an air intake as a futuristic light source. When we were later developing an identity for our electric models, we took another look at these designs. The radical idea of simply integrating a light source in an opening instead of a glass cover seemed appropriate for us. We are now approaching this ideal.” Additionally, Mauer said, “Modern hypercars are greatly dependent on their aerodynamics and openings resulting from the enormous ventilation requirements.”
Moving up to the present day, or at least last year, the Vision E concept is an 800-volt, fully-electric, wholly-enclosed, single-seat, almost open-wheel, track-only hypercar inspired by Porsche’s Formula E racing program, an FIA-sanctioned series that sees top-tier drivers going head-to-head in battery-powered Formula One-style open-wheel electric racers.
The 1:1 hard model actually made it to the development stage, which is quite impressive on its own, and would make for a wonderfully fun, if not very practical, road car.
The 2019 Porsche 918 RS also made it all the way to the development stage. It’s a 1:1 hard model as well, but this one rides on the back of Porsche’s most daunting supercar, the hybrid-powered 918 Spyder.
Of course, this beautiful supercar pays great respect to the 918 Spyder that gave it life, although it features plenty of unique bodywork including a hardtop roof. Sad to say it will never see the light of day outside any sunrays streaming through a nearby window at Porsche’s museum.
Last on the hypercars list is the sensational Vision 920, which owes more to a plausible future than Porsche’s glorious past. Still, the basic concept was to combine established Porsche design elements with the function-first aspects of LMP (Le Mans Prototype) race cars, either for a roadgoing super sports car or a customer race car, possibly for a spec series. The driver sits in the centre of a jet fighter-like cockpit complete with a wraparound windscreen, while the concept’s body incorporates exposed suspension hardware and plenty of aerodynamic ducting.
The four concepts covered here and the previous four we exposed last month are part of a new “Porsche Unseen” project that provides insights to the legendary German automaker’s design processes. As part of the project, a new 328-page table-top book of the same name, with photos by Stefan Bogner and Jan Karl Baedeker’s words, joins a series of stories available in the Porsche Newsroom mentioned earlier, plus a comprehensive three-quarters-of-an-hour-long video found at the end of the previous story, while these cars and others will be displayed at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen museum next year.
The “Porsche Unseen” book, published by Delius Klasing Verlag and made available at Elferspot.com (ISBN number 978-3-667-11980-3), can also be found at the Porsche Museum shop. While you might not be able to procure one in time for a holiday gift, take note that Porsche Centre Vancouver has branded books, calendars, clothing, personal accessories, home and lifestyle items, model cars, and other great gift ideas in the Porsche Driver Selection section of our website. Many of these items are on display in the dealership too, so be sure to check out our online catalogue, give us a call at (604) 736-7911, or visit us in our showroom at 688 Terminal Ave, Vancouver.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Date Posted: December 8, 2020