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Porsche 904 Living Legend

Year: 2013 Development stage: 1:1 hard model

Sometimes good ideas are not so very far away – maybe even somewhere else in our family Group. Volkswagen had been conducting research into an economical one-litre car since 2002, before launching the concept as the limited-edition Volkswagen XL in 2014. Most of all, this study piqued the interest of the Porsche Design Studio due to its carbon monocoque chassis. This was because the lightweight and compact vehicle architecture offered the opportunity to develop a radically small and minimalist sports car. So, as the design team started to experiment with different body styles, they quickly realised, to their utter astonishment, that the car they'd designed had very similar proportions and dimensions to one of the lightweight racing legends from the factory museum – the Porsche 904.

The result was an incredibly compact and efficient mid-engined sports car. With its low cockpit and sculpturally flared wheel arches, it confidently transported the 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.

Porsche Vision 916

Year: 2016 Development stage: 1:1 clay model

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. The stylistic inspiration for the pigeon-blue study was the compact Porsche 916, which was developed as a prototype at the beginning of the 1970s but never went into series production. 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. In combination with its low weight, the technology of this minimalist sports car promised plenty of driving pleasure and just cried out to be tested on the Grossglockner or the Stelvio Pass – just like the first prototypes of the Porsche 356 and 911.

Porsche Vision Spyder

Year: 2019 Development stage: 1:1 hard model

The eternal rebel James Dean is one of the great heroes of Porsche’s history. His silver Porsche 550 Spyder, to which he lovingly gave the nickname “Little Bastard”, remains in our collective memory up to the present day. However, when they came up with the Porsche Vision Spyder, the design team was not just harking back to James Dean and his sports car. The Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder also served as a further source of inspiration for the volumes, dimensions and formal design elements. Hans Herrmann had driven this racing car for more than 3,000 km, north to south through Mexico, in the legendary Carrera Panamericana in 1954 – achieving a class victory and third place overall for Porsche.

With its spartan cockpit, flat radiator grilles over its mid-mounted engine, red racing stripes and the suggested fins at the rear, the compact sports car quite clearly calls to mind the Carrera Panamericana racer. At the same time, the study served as the basis for further development of the design identity for combustion-engined Porsche sports cars: the vertical arrangement of the headlights at the front as well as other aerodynamic and functional elements such as the angular roll bar were thus adopted as part of the Porsche design language.