You haven’t seen these 15 top-secret Porsche concept cars before

What would a street-legal Porsche 919 Hybrid look like – or a new Porsche 550? And could there ever be a van from Zuffenhausen? Usually, Design Chief Michael Mauer answers these questions behind closed doors. For the new book “Porsche Unseen” he has unveiled some of the brand’s most secret concepts.

2013 Porsche 904 Living Legend

Based on the vehicle architecture of the Volkswagen XL one-liter car, this lightweight and compact concept car transported the proportions and purist design idea of the legendary Porsche Carrera GTS from 1963 into the present day. A high-revving V2 motorcycle engine would have been a suitable power plant for the Porsche 904 Living Legend, which barely weighed more than 900 kg.

2005 Porsche 906 Living Legend

The Porsche 906 served as the model for the proportions and body design for this vision of a super sports car. This is shown, for example, by the red contrasting bonnet of its front end and by the layout of its headlights, which immediately bring to mind the legendary old racing car and its unforgettable outing in the 1966 Targa Florio.

2019 Porsche Vision Spyder

Inspired by James Dean’s “Little Bastard” and the Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder that raced the Carrera Panamericana in 1954, this compact sports car evokes the spirits of Mid-Century motor racing with a spartan cockpit, flat radiator grilles over its mid-mounted engine and red racing stripes. At the same time, the study served as the basis for further development of the design identity for combustion-engined Porsche sports cars..

2012 Porsche 911 Vision Safari

In the 1970s, the Porsche 911 had already proved its astonishing off-road capabilities in the legendary East African Safari Rally. Paying tribute to the legendary off-road sports car with a contemporary re-interpretation, the Porsche 911 Vision Safari was created in 2012 on the basis of the 991 generation of the 911. With its raised suspension, reinforced wheel housings, massive bumpers and a spartan rally cockpit with race seats and roll cage, it fully reflects its historic rally predecessor. 

2013 Porsche 917 Living Legend

Porsche has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 19 times to date, but the Porsche 917 KH in its Porsche Salzburg red-and-white livery occupies a very special place in the brand’s history. In 2013, to mark the return of Porsche to the LMP1 class, the development team in Weissach developed a modern interpretation of the Porsche 917. The Porsche 918 Spyder served as a technical basis for the drive and chassis architecture. However, the concept study very clearly evoked the winning car of 1970 with its dramatically flared wheel arches, its cockpit which extended well forward, its almost unending rear end and of course its red and white racing colours.

2017 Porsche 919 Street

One of the fastest and most successful racing cars of the 21st century, the Porsche 919 Hybrid won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in succession – from 2015 to 2017. After Porsche announced its departure from LMP1 racing, Michael Mauer’s Weissach design team decided to crown the success story with a limited special edition of the Porsche 919 Hybrid for the race track. The Porsche 919 Street was developed on the basis of the existing technology, promising to make the exhilarating driving experience of the LMP1 race car available to amateur drivers.

Under the outer shell are the carbon monocoque and powerful 900 PS hybrid racing drivetrain that helped the Porsche 919 to achieve victory at Le Mans.

2016 Porsche Vision 916

How minimalist can a Porsche be in current times? An intern from the design team answered the question with this really rather appealing little vehicle concept inspired by the Porsche 916 prototype. The Porsche Vision 916  is powered all-electrically by four wheel-hub motors – a tribute to the first all-wheel drive Lohner-Porsche race car, which automobile designer Ferdinand Porsche developed all the way back in 1900. 

2016 Porsche Le Mans Living Legend

The Porsche 550 has remained etched in our memories above all as an absolutely purist Spyder. However, the first sports car from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen that was designed especially for motorsport actually started its career at Le Mans in 1953 with a closed roof. In 2016, this pioneering low-slung racing coupé served as the Porsche design team in Weissach's inspiration for an extreme road sports car based on the Porsche Boxster. the front and rear lids open in opposite directions, refuelling takes place via a central filler at the front, and the large air intakes in the rear side windows indicate what race engine is installed – the most incredible-sounding eight-cylinder.

2018 Porsche Vision “Race Service”

What can a Porsche look like where the focus is on the experience of space? Is such a car even compatible with Porsche's brand values? Michael Mauer and his team answered these questions in 2018 with an unusual automotive vision. The Porsche Vision “Renndienst” is a free variation of the family-friendly van for up to six people that combines sportiness and comfortable travel in a completely new way.

 In the interior, passengers find an extremely comfortable and modular travel cabin. The all-electric drive technology is also located in the underbody to save space. Of course the Porsche Vision “Renndienst” is still only an idea but such experimental visions are of essential importance for Porsche. They help to explore new possibilities and question accustomed ways of thinking and conventions.

2019 Porsche Vision 920

Even after Porsche left LMP1 racing, Michael Mauer’s design team remained fascinated by the legend of Le Mans and experimented with race variations for customer sport and road use. The Porsche Vision 920 was designed as a super sports car for the road or as a possible racing car for customer motorsport based on the LMP1 race cars. The driver therefore sits in a central cockpit while the car's body floats just above the ground, with deep air ducts running through it. The red-and-white Porsche Vision 920 is without doubt one of the most extreme visions of a super sports car that has been developed in recent years in Weissach.

2013 Porsche Macan Vision Safari

The Porsche Macan is at home on the world’s boulevards but, under its elegant lines, there is a proper off-roader that is just waiting to be unleashed in the dust and mud. Inspired by the brand’s great off-road icons – the Porsche 911 Safari and the 959 Paris-Dakar – the design team in Weissach therefore fitted the Porsche Macan Vision Safari on correspondingly chunky tyres. As a sportily proportioned three-door with increased ground clearance and a hatful of rugged accessories, the sporty off-roader would be ready to leave the tarmac.

2014 Porsche Boxster Bergspyder

A tribute to the Porsche 909 Bergspyder, the lightest racing car ever campaigned by Porsche, this concept car showed that the 981-generation Boxster was also ideally suited to conquer the switchbacks of the Alps. Freed of all the trappings of comfort, with a shallow windscreen, distinctive roll bar, single seat for the driver and a helmet shelf instead of a passenger seat, the 1,130 kg Porsche Boxster Bergspyder was ready to tackle the mountains. 

2019 Porsche Vision 918 RS

The Porsche 918 Spyder is a sporting milestone in the brand’s history. But how could this unique success story be continued? In this project, the design team in Weissach concentrated on the idea of a super sports car that is at home both on the race track and the road. With enhanced drive and chassis technology and a dramatically designed, aerodynamically optimised body, the Porsche Vision 918 RS would be the ultimate version of the latest super sports car from Weissach.

2016 Porsche Vision Turismo

Not every successful series production model is developed in a linear design process. Sometimes there can be a series of coincidences and unexpected alignments of the stars that lead a designer, via a few detours, to the final destination. The Porsche Vision Turismo started its life with the idea of a mid-engined super sports car with four doors, before it was reconsidered as a four-seated Porsche 911 – and finally served as a blueprint for the all-electric Porsche Taycan. 

The Porsche Vision Turismo also set new trends in terms of style: the continuous light bar with the Porsche logo at the rear was adopted as a fixed element in the brand identity and it can now be found on almost all models.

2019 Porsche Vision E

Right now, Formula E is probably the most innovative racing championship in the world. Porsche therefore seized upon the idea of further expanding the area of customer motorsport and offering private individuals a car for the race track that would come as close as possible to a modern Formula E racer in terms of performance and driving dynamics. The Porsche Vision E has been designed as a radically lightweight, single-seater race car for the track. With its central seat position and 800-volt technology, it would without doubt offer privateer drivers an otherwise unattainable driving experience.

Order your copy of the new book „Porsche Unseen“

In their new book “Porsche Unseen”, Jan Baedeker and Stefan Bogner take their readers on a journey behind the scenes of Porsche’s top-secret design studios in Weissach. So sit back, relax and let Chief Designer Michael Mauer unveil previously unseen concept cars and walk you through the design process. You can order your copy of “Porsche Unseen” in the Classic Driver Shop.