The Porsche Concept 917 was never meant to go to production, but boy do we want it to happen. Porsche’s reimagined racer concept was built to celebrate 50 years since the Le Mans–winning 917 was introduced. The Porsche 917 is celebrating its golden anniversary (the 917 was introduced in 1969 and won at Le Mans in 1970 and 1971).
Porsche says the concept was developed in just six months by “a small team of designers and engineers” in 2013 and will remain just a study. The red-and-white “Salzburg” livery is taken directly from the 917 that won Le Mans in 1970, as is the racing number 23.
Most people had no idea it existed and didn’t know that Porsche was even thinking of such a design concept. Porsche never built a working model and the car in the images shown here is actually nothing more than a foil-clad study. It’s a representation of the car as far as it got and not an actual car or even a fully-completed concept. That doesn’t stop us from wanting Porsche to make this model into a reality, even if it never actually races.
The Story of the 917 Living Legend Concept
In just six months, a small team from Weissach developed a tribute to the 1970 Le Mans winner. The concept utilises adaptive aerodynamics and is painted the the Salzburg livery of the original. Under the Carbon Fibre skin only state-of-the-art technology is used. The chassis is based on a carbon fibre Monocoque. The front and rear suspension are based on 918 super sports car components, utilizing motorsport-inspired linkages and pushrods. A turbocharged eight-cylinder engine with up to 1,000 PS provides the power. A drivable prototype has, however, never been produced.
The Porsche 917 stays in the memory long after its active service. This is evident not only from the 2013 study, with the shape of its front wings and flat nose. Designers and developers continue to gain inspiration from the multiple race winner and keep reinterpreting the legendary racing car. As early as 1970, when the car was still being raced, designers and developers were working on a model for the automotive future. The Style Porsche design department is answerable for the exterior and interior designs in pre-development projects and series implementation. The department is also responsible for the creation and design of the digital, virtual and physical models as well as for the design quality. The conception, layout and implementation of the designs for special models, market editions and small series and one-offs also fall within the remit of the designers. Their work has a major impact on the Porsche brand.
Engine: 8-cylinder Bi-Turbo
Displacement: 5,000 cc
Power output: 551–735 kW (750-1,000 PS)
Top speed: > 300 km/h / 187 mph+
The 917 concept study is an homage to the 917 from 1970 that achieved the company’s first overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Get a closer look in this video or visit the special exhibition „50 Years of Porsche 917 – Colours of Speed” in the Porsche Museum to see this design study in person.