A new book called "Porsche Unseen" details never-before-seen design studies of concept cars developed from 2005 to 2019 that were, until now, kept under lock and key in the Porsche design vaults.
The iconic automaker released the book as "an exclusive insight into its design process – from the very first drawing to the finished model ready for series production," the company explains in a press release.
Amongst the 15 vehicles showcased in the book are an experimental super sports car that eventually became the blueprint for the Porsche Taycan, a streetcar version of a Le Mans racer, a family van based on an old Porsche-VW van hybrid, and a Formula E hypercar.
1. Porsche's Le Mans streetcar
Included in "Porsche Unseen" are some pretty stunning concepts of 15 different cars. The book reveals that Porsche at one time may have actually had plans to develop a road version of its record-breaking 919 Le Mans car.
The Porsche 919 Street concept, developed in 2017, used the technology of the Porsche 919 Hybrid as its basis. The car promised to "make the exhilarating driving experience of the LMP1 race car available to amateur drivers," Porsche explained.
Under the 919 Street's outer shell are a carbon monocoque and a 900 PS hybrid racing drivetrain used by the Porsche 919 at Le Mans. The streetcar concept also retained the dimensions and wheelbase of its race car progeny.
2. The Porsche Taycan blueprint
The Porsche Vision Turismo, developed in 2016, was first developed as "an experimental study of a super sports car with four doors and a rear engine," Porsche explains.
Interestingly, the company decided that the Vision Turismo idea could be even better implemented with a purely electric drive. The Porsche Vision Turismo ended up serving as a blueprint for the development of the Porsche Taycan.
3. The 917 Living Legend
The Porsche 917 Living Legend concept, developed in 2013, is based on the Porsche 917 KH used by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood to win the first overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans in 1970.
The Living Legend is a modern interpretation of that winning car that also uses the Porsche 918 Spyder as its technical inspiration. The car exhibits high wheel arches to emphasize that sports car feel.
4. The Vision Spyder
The 2019 Porsche Vision Spyder is a nod to the Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder from 1954 with its distinctive radiator grilles over the mid-engine and its red graphic elements.
Though the concept was based on a car from the 50s, Porsche says it was actually developed in order to "further develop the design identity of Porsche and provide a pool of ideas for future details." One example of such an idea is the concept's ultra-modern roll bar that makes it truly stand apart from its 50s precursor.
5. Porsche's 'space shuttle' family van
The Porsche Vision "Renndienst", developed in 2018, is the "free interpretation of a family-friendly space concept for up to six persons," Porsche explains.
The design team developed a family van to look like a futuristic "space shuttle." The interior contains a comfortable and modular travel cabin, while the driver sits in a central driver's seat.
Due to an all-electric drive technology located in the Porsche van's underbody, passengers are to experience quite a spacious interior.
6. A 'radically light' Formula E hypercar concept
Unsurprisingly, some of the most out-there concept designs in "Porsche Unseen" are those of hypercars. The 2019 Porsche Vision E, for example, was developed as a "radically light single-seater racing car for private racers," Porsche explained in a press release specifically detailing the hypercars from the book.
The impressive hypercar is based on the Porsche 99X Electric, the Porsche Formula E vehicle that entered its maiden Formula E season last year.
7. The Porsche 906 Living Legend: two cars in one
The Porsche 906 Living Legend is a spacy-looking vision of a super sports car, using design cues and proportions from the Porsche 906.
One of the car's main innovations is an aesthetic one: a ventilation duct for a powerful mid-engine gives the visual impression of a modular car, with two bodies pushed together to create one seamless hypercar.
"People all over the world love the timeless and innovative design of our sports cars," explains Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche AG. "Visionary concept studies are the foundation of this success: they provide the pool of ideas for the Porsche design of tomorrow, and combine our strong tradition with trailblazing future technologies."
"Porsche Unseen" provides a tantalizing look inside the design process that takes place in Porche's singular design and idea "epicenter" studio at Weissaach.
As Porsche explains in its press release, even if its concepts never hit the road, its design vault "secures the innovative capability of future Porsche models and also provides an evolutionary reference to the rich history of Porsche."
This rich source of concepts has us dreaming about what might possibly be next in store for Porsche's innovative design studio.