"Porsche Unseen" - Concept cars that never saw the light of day


Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2004
Oslo, Norway
Mostly my feet, occasionally a Tesla
Porsche has recently shown of some of their concept cars, that were made in house, but never shown to the public until now.

1) 919 Street:
Created in 2017, the spectacular hypercar uses the same carbon fiber monocoque and 900-horsepower hybrid setup as the LMP1 racer from which it also inherited the proportions and wheelbase. Coincidentally, the 919 Street reveal coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Carrera GT celebrated this week by Porsche, which makes us wonder why the clay model isn’t being turned into a road-going production model.



2) 904 Living Legend
[...]this gorgeous 904 Living Legend dates back to 2013 when the company built a fullsize scale model, but it’s only now the ultra-light coupe is seeing the light of day. What is it? Well, it’s obviously a modern tribute to the 1960s 904 / Carrera GTS as its name implies, but with a secret underneath its curvaceous body.

It’s actually a Volkswagen in disguise, specifically the ultra-frugal XL1 launched as a limited-run production model in 2014. The VW Group had been toying around with the idea of an extremely efficient car since 2002, and Porsche’s design team eventually took notice of the XL1’s carbon monocoque chassis. They started sketching a small, back-to-basics sports car and “quickly realized, to their utter astonishment” that it looked worthy of the "904" name.
The biggest surprise is in the engine bay where there’s no four-pot or flat-six, let alone a V8. Porsche’s engineers downsized the powertrain recipe to a V2 inherited from a motorcycle. If you recall, VW developed an XL Sport concept back in the day and it too had a V2, a 1.2-liter engine from the Ducati 1199 Superleggera. It produced 200 horsepower and revved all the way up to a screaming 12,000 rpm.



3) Le Mans Living Legend
Created in 2016, the Le Mans Living Legend is actually a tribute to the lesser-known coupe model rather than the far more popular 550 Spyder. Despite its fixed roof, the low-slung sports car is based on the Boxster and has a clean look much like the recently revealed 904 Living Legend.

While Porsche says the design study is a predecessor of the 718 Cayman GT4 “in the widest sense,” the two cars look significantly different. The Le Mans Living Legend has a less aggressive design, partly because the GT4’s big rear wing has been replaced by an electrically retractable spoiler. Look closer and you’ll notice it has an asymmetrical design as the side air vent louvers behind the window are only on the passenger side.
The mid-engined 550 Coupe of yesteryear had a small flat-four engine whereas Porsche envisioned its modern-day equivalent with the “most incredible-sounding eight-cylinder.” We can’t help but wonder whether the company is referring to the naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 installed in the 918 Spyder where it made 600 horsepower.



4) Vision 920
Porsche has a history of blending its race cars with its road-going ones. The German automaker is iconic for its pursuit of pure performance even after the introduction of the Cayenne and Macan crossovers. The Porsche 911 GT2 RS and GT3 RS embody that blending, though Porsche has thought bigger. Porsche created the Vision 920 to take its sports-car-for the-road mantra to the next level, and we're seeing it now for the first time.

The 920's design looks better suited for Le Mans than McDonald's, and that's no accident. The 920, created last year as a 1:1 scale model, is one of Porsche's "most extreme visions of a super sports car" the company has recently developed. Porsche wanted to design a car for the road and the track based on the LMP1 race cars, just like its own Porsche 919 LMP1 racer, and it succeeded. The final result is a single-seat racer with a central cockpit that screams, "Take me to the race track!"



5) 906 Living Legend
Porsche created the 906 Living Legend in 2005, and it reached the 1:1 hard scale model development stage. The swoopy design took inspiration from the 906 racecar that began competing in 1966. Both vehicles share an incredibly low nose that rises at the fenders to make room for the wheels. The front corners of the concept evoke the location of the original racer's headlights, but since modern LED lamps can be much smaller, these elements now function as air intakes. Along the side, the rear fender extends outward from the rest of the flank of the body to create a large air inlet.

6) Vision E and 918 RS
The Porsche Vision E concept was supposed to capitalize on the marketing opportunity from the brand's Formula E entry to create an electric, track-only hypercar. The vehicle made it to the 1:1 hard model development stage.
Like the Formula E car, the Vision E is a single-seater but with a fully enclosed cockpit in this case. The design features a semi-open-wheel layout that exposes as much of the mechanical parts as possible while retaining small portions of bodywork that attaches the fenders to the body.

While the Vision E is a clean-sheet design looking towards the future, the Porsche Vision 918 RS takes the brand's last supercar and sharpens it as much as possible. In 2019, the concept got to the 1:1 hard model development stage.


The design team took the bones of the 918 Spyder and installed an aerodynamically optimized body, in addition to enhanced drive and chassis technology. In comparison to the original, the RS has a lower nose with a large duct near the base of the windshield. The opening in the front fascia is quite a bit bigger, too, and there's a prominent splitter. There are now skinny, vertically oriented headlights on the fenders.

The doors feature a complex shape where they connect to the rear fenders, and there are prominent side sills. The rear fenders have vertical fins that evoke similar pieces from some Porsche 917 racecars. Between the fenders, the roof dips steeply downward, which appears to be for directing air to the rear wing and massive diffuser.




7) 911 (991) Safari and Macan Safari
In the second half of October, a rather mysterious Porsche 911 prototype was spotted at the Nürburgring with an unusually high ride height. It didn’t take too long for people to speculate a Safari-like version could be in the works as a modern-day interpretation of the 911 SC Safari. Fast forward to the present day, it has come to our attention that Porsche has been toying around with this idea for a long time.

The 911 Vision Safari was developed in 2012, but Porsche waited until now to reveal the car. It’s actually a drivable prototype and was used on the gravel surface at the company’s Weissach test facility. Chief Designer Michael Mauer rode shotgun in the wonderful contraption, and he was left impressed with the 911 on stilts: “I have rarely had so much fun before!”

Much like its ancestor, the 911 Vision Safari was engineered with a raised suspension and chunky wheel housings able to take more abuse on a rough road. The front and rear bumpers were beefed up as well and the roof received a light bar for better illumination during a hypothetical night rally event.

We can’t see what’s inside, but Porsche says there’s a stripped-out cabin with racing seats and a roll cage. Interestingly, the engineers fitted a bespoke shelf behind the seats to hold the driver’s helmet, which would be cooled down between two rally stages courtesy of a built-in fan.

The Macan Safari from 2013 follows the same recipe: increased ground clearance, muscular wheel arches, and off-road tires. Notice anything different about the crossover? Yes, it’s been turned into a three-door vehicle. It’s not actually a working prototype as Porsche only built a fullsize scale model of the rugged crossover, envisioned with AWD, a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and an off-road driving mode.




8) Vision Spyder
As we suspected, the Vision Spyder is a modern-day interpretation of a classic model, namely the 550-1500 RS Spyder from 1954. That “Little Rebel” license plate is a nod to James Dean’s 550 Spyder aka the “Little Bastard” to further bridge a connection with the classic sports car and its solid racing pedigree.

It stays true to Porsche’s latest design language while adopting retro-inspired cues from the 550, specifically the tiny windshield and the vented engine lid in the back. The two-seater interior has been stripped down to the bare essentials and there’s an “ultra-modern roll bar” developed specifically for the Vision Spyder. Mind you, this isn’t technically a real car as we’re dealing with a 1:1 scale model as part of the company’s series of designs created between 2005 and 2019.



Lots of very nice stuff there, but out of all of them, I think it's the 904 I would most have liked to see go into production, with the 718's engines or electrified.