Five Porsche concept cars you might not have heard of
Meet some of the lesser-known Porsche models
Blue Porsche Vision GT concept car on the streets
The new Porsche Vision GT is, perhaps, one of the brand’s best-known concept cars, but here are five you might not be so familiar with
The names of all the great Porsche sportscars and racecars down the years are etched on our minds. However, particularly in recent times, the cars that we see on our roads or driven on racetracks are influenced by lesser-known concept cars – frequently revealed several years beforehand – that you might not have heard of. The newest Porsche concept car, the Vision GT, was created exclusively for Gran Turismo 7 on the Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 by designers from Porsche and the game developers, Polyphony Digital. A Porsche concept car built for the digital realm.The Vision GT may be a virtual concept car, but as this list shows, previous concept cars have given us exciting early insights into future Porsche vehicles. Some of them can be found in Porsche Unseen – a collection of design studies from 2005 to 2019 – published for the first-time in book form. Here we delve into a selection of some of the great Porsche concept cars of recent times.1. Porsche Mission R
Red and white Porsche Mission R racing car concept
The Mission R all-electric racecar is capable of producing 1088PS
Racing is still the beating heart of Porsche. And with the Mission R concept, unveiled in 2021, the company presented its vision for customer racing in the future. It’s a fully electric Porsche racecar made from innovative materials, and with the sort of eye-popping levels of acceleration and power that you would expect from the people who brought you the award-winning Taycan all-electric sportscar.Through competitions like the Carrera Cup, Porsche dominates customer car racing around the world. The Mission R was designed to showcase what a one-make, all-electric racecar series of the future may look like. Its head-turning looks are derived from an innovative use of materials – the vehicle is constructed chiefly from natural fibre reinforced plastic, a material made from flax fibres obtained from farming, while the roll cage is a carbon fibre composite. And its power comes from two electric motors – like the Taycan – powered by a 900-Volt battery, that can produce more than 1088PS in qualifying mode, 680PS in race mode. The result? A 0-100km/h time of under 2.5 seconds. With the Mission R, customer racing has an electrifying future. An extremely fast one.2. Porsche 984 concept
Porsche 984 concept in an underground garage, lit by neon lights
The Porsche 984 is a compact, lightweight and aerodynamic roadster
Between 1984 and 1987, the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach, Germany, was busy working on a top-secret prototype called the Porsche 984. Conceived as a lightweight, aerodynamic roadster, it was designed to provide an affordable entry-point into the Porsche range. Porsche engineers wanted the 984 to major on fun, so the weight was kept low and the engine power modest. It also featured a folding hard-top roof, quite the innovation at that time. Unfortunately, the project was shelved because of the plummeting US dollar in 1987.3. Porsche Le Mans Living Legend
Silver Porsche Le Mans Living Legend concept sat on tarmac
Inspired by the 550 Coupé, the 2016 Le Mans Living Legend was a pointer to the future 718 Cayman GT4
The 550 Spyder is one the most iconic cars ever produced by Porsche – but the first sportscar out of Zuffenhausen to be designed for racing was in fact a hard-topped version, the 550 Coupé. And it’s the car that provided the inspiration for the extraordinary looking Le Mans Living Legend.Revealed in 2016, it was based on the Boxster as an extreme version of a road-going sportscar, but the nods to the 550 Coupé are readily apparent in its design. The central fuel filler in the bonnet. The way that the bonnet and rear open in opposite directions to each other. And the louvred air vent on the passenger side. Based on the Boxster, the Le Mans Living Legend would prove to be the exciting inspiration for the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4. It’s another example of why design concepts are so important – as not just a showcase for new technology, but often as a visual and exciting guide to what lies ahead.4. Porsche Vision Renndienst
White Porsche Vision Renndienst concept car with doors open
The Renndienst’s side windows are designed asymmetrically, with one side closed and the other featuring sliding doors
Last year, Porsche created a book, Porsche Unseen, featuring 15 never-before-seen design studies. One of those cars was the Renndienst. Styled on the VW racing service van (‘renn’ is a shortened form of the German word ‘rennen’, or racing, while ‘dienst’ means service) that was used by the factory racing team, this futuristic minivan has room for six people and features a modular travel cabin. Importantly, this being a Porsche, the Renndienst is more than just a practical bus. Combining sportiness with comfort, the driver sits in a central lounge chair, which gives the passengers a greater view of the road ahead and takes up less cabin space than a conventional row of seats. The 2018 Renndienst also features all-electric drive and autonomous capability and hints at an exciting future for the sportscar brand.5. Porsche Panamericana
Porsche Panamericana concept car in underground car park
The Panamericana concept car would influence the 911 Targa and Boxster
Don’t be confused by this concept car’s title. The Panamericana is a fabled Mexican roadrace, deemed by many as the toughest of them all in its 1950s heyday, whose name would later famously act as inspiration for the naming of the Porsche Panamera Sports Saloon and Sport Turismo. The Porsche Panamericana, however, was a roadster concept study that would turn out to be one of the best birthday presents that Ferry Porsche ever received.On the occasion of his 80th birthday in 1989, Ferry was presented with a study – the Panamericana – that would prove to be revolutionary. Based on the 911 (964) Cabriolet, its horizontal roof could be opened with a zipper. Like the chunky tyres with which it was fitted, this highly individual design feature didn’t make it to the two cars it would later influence – the next 911 Targa and, even more importantly, the first ever Porsche Boxster. The Boxster proved to be stunningly successful and is now deemed by many as the car that set Porsche on its exciting future course.
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