If you’ve ever wished for a sneak peek inside Porsche’s Weissach design studio to see some of the top-secret projects in the works, it’s time to rejoice. A new book – titled Porsche Unseen – sheds light on 15 concept cars from Porsche, 13 of which the world has never seen before. The list includes several wild ideas – from a modern-day 911 Safari to a Porsche people-mover – and there’s plenty to cover, so let’s get started.
13 never-seen-before Porsche concepts revealed
List includes a 911 Safari, a 6-seat people-mover
Revealed in the new ‘Porsche Unseen’ book
Porsche Unseen: The spin-offs
The Porsche Unseen concepts are divided into four segments, depending on the type of vehicle. First up are the spin-offs – concepts based on Porsche’s existing sportscars and SUVs.
911 Vision Safari (2012)
Paying tribute to the 911 SC Safari that made its mark on the East African Safari Rally in the 1970s, the modern-day Porsche 911 Vision Safari is based on the 991-generation 911. To make it rally-ready, Porsche gave the 911 a jacked-up (and ‘uniquely soft’) suspension, reinforced wheel housings, bigger bumpers and a stripped-out interior with race seats and a roll cage. It even has a helmet cooler installed behind the seats. While this is a concept, recent spy shots suggest Porsche is indeed aiming to revive the rally-spec 911 with a new-gen 911 Safari.
Macan Vision Safari (2013)
The Porsche Macan is easily one of the best driver’s SUVs in the world, and it can handle the rough stuff fairly well, too. However, Porsche considered stepping things up with a more off-road-oriented version of its smallest SUV, and ended up creating the Macan Vision Safari, which is inspired by the 911 Safari and the 959 Paris-Dakar rally racer. The two-door Macan Vision Safari sits higher than the standard Macan, has beefy tyres housed inside flared wheel arches, and is also equipped with a roll cage.
Le Mans Living Legend (2016)
Fans of the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 have the Le Mans Living Legend concept to thank for the birth of the hardcore sportscar. Inspired by the first Porsche coupe to go racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953, the Living Legend was based on the Porsche Boxster, has front and rear lids that open in opposite directions, a central fuel-filler and an eight-cylinder race engine.
Porsche Unseen: Little Rebels
The ‘Little Rebels’ among Porsche’s secret concepts are models designed bearing the importance of lightweighting and minimalism in mind.
Vision 916 (2016)
Interns around the world will derive inspiration from this one. The stunning Porsche Vision 916 concept was penned by an intern in the Porsche design team, bringing to life the idea of a low-weight, modern-day, minimalist Porsche sportscar. Envisioned to have four wheel-hub electric motors, the Vision 916 was inspired by the Porsche 916 prototype revealed in the 1970s.
Vision Spyder (2019)
The Porsche Vision Spyder concept is an ode to the Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder that competed in the Carrera Panamericana race in 1954. It’s a back-to-the-basics, mid-engined roadster that also contributed design elements to present-day Porsche sportscars.
904 Living Legend (2013)
Remember the funky Volkswagen XL1? The revolutionary two-seater caught the eye of Porsche’s designers – not because of its super-frugal powertrain, but because of its carbon-fibre monocoque chassis. Post some experimenting, Porsche created a prototype named the 904 Living Legend – because of how similar it was to the 904 racer in proportions and dimensions. Powering it is a high-revving Ducati V2 engine making roughly 200hp, which is plenty of power for a concept that weighs just a little over 900kg.
Porsche Unseen: Hypercars
Porsche’s designers have also spent time drawing up hypercar concepts that will define the design direction for the brand’s future hypercars.
919 Street (2017)
Perhaps the most desirable of all of these concepts is the Porsche 919 Street. As the name suggests, it is Porsche’s idea of turning its 919 LMP1 race car into a road-going hypercar, with a carbon-fibre monocoque and a 900hp hybrid powertrain derived from the race car. Porsche confirms it did consider putting the 919 Street into production as a limited-run model but decided against it because of ‘extraordinarily complex’ racing technology, with a team of mechanics needing 45 minutes to just start the LMP1-spec engine.
906 Living Legend (2005)
Inspired by the Porsche 906, the 906 Living Legend was envisioned as the future of Porsche’s super-sports cars. Its body was designed to look like two separate parts inserted into each other, with the gap between the two sections serving as a ventilation duct for the engine.
Vision Formula E (2019)
Porsche’s presence in Formula E compelled its designers to think of a customer version of a Formula E race car, which resulted in the birth of the Porsche Vision Formula E; a lightweight, single-seat racer with a central driving position.
Vision 918 RS (2019)
The 918 Spyder was a revelation, even by Porsche’s lofty standards. The hybrid hypercar from Weissach was the first production car to lap the Nürburgring inside seven minutes, and Porsche did indeed dream up a more dramatic-looking coupe version of it as well, titled ‘Vision 918 RS’.
Vision 920 (2019)
Despite the company quitting the World Endurance Championship’s LMP1 class in 2017, Porsche’s designers continued to dabble with ideas of a Le Mans racer for the future, and the Vision 920 was envisioned as a road-going supercar or even potentially as a race car for LMP1 customer teams.
Porsche Unseen: The future
One of the concepts under this section has already metamorphosed into a production car, while another is a body style one would never expect to see from Porsche.
Vision Turismo (2016)
The Porsche Vision Turismo’s story – which eventually resulted in the birth of the all-electric Porsche Taycan – is a fascinating one. The creation of the Taycan started off with a misunderstanding stemming from the design of the Porsche 918. Michael Mauer, chief designer at Porsche, saw a schematic representation of the 918 on a drawing board and mistook a line showing a contour for a rear door joint – and that’s what kickstarted the idea that materialised in the form of the Vision Turismo. The full-width rear light bar – which is now found on several Porsche models – was first introduced on the Vision Turismo concept.
Vision Renndienst (2018)
Most purists would scoff at the idea of a Porsche people-mover, but believe it or not, Porsche’s designers have flirted with the idea of such a practical vehicle. Named the Vision Renndienst (Race Service), the 6-seater derives inspiration from the Volkswagen race service van of the past. It has a fully electric powertrain, a central driving position and a modular interior.
Which of these concepts would you like to see Porsche put into production? Let us know in the comments.