Consider what it would be like to be given the opportunity to glimpse behind the scenes, into Porsche’s inner design sanctum, where the Porsche designers imagine the models of the future. There are 120 designers who work in the Porsche Design Studio, the epicentre where Porsche’s models of the future are dreamed up and created, and it is a closely guarded area where access is restricted.
Here Porsche has done the opposite of what many other major manufacturers around the world have done, and that is to locate design offices in different locations in order to tap into the expertise where their markets are. Instead, Porsche has deliberately elected to bring those designers to Porsche’s home town, and that is because the company’s history and heritage resides in Stuttgart and Weissach. It is here that those designers would be best able to examine in detail those models which have made Porsche what it is today.
It goes without saying that the general public will never get a look in at what design goodies Porsche has stashed away in this department. And so, with this in mind, the book Porsche Unseen has been released by Delius Klasing Verlag giving Porsche enthusiasts a rare look into this world. One very lucky photographer, Stefan Bogner, together with author Jan Karl Baedeker, were given such access to compile this publication for Delius Klasing and Porsche. Interviews with Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche AG, and Porsche Chief Designer Michael Mauer, reveal the processes involved in bringing into reality the creations that might just grace the roads of tomorrow.
The timeless and innovative design of Porsche’s sports cars has only been made possible through these visionary concept studies. “These are the foundations of this success: they provide the pool of ideas for the Porsche designs of tomorrow, and combine our strong tradition with trailblazing future technologies,” CEO Blume said. In an attempt to open a window to this world for the Porsche enthusiast, this publication has lifted the covers off fifteen very different sports cars, revealing spectacular visions and early design studies under four segment headings: Spin-offs; Little rebels; Hyper cars; and What’s next?
“When it comes to the visions we develop, it is not about bringing every car onto the road. Instead, it is more a question of establishing creative space and a relationship with the future,” said Michael Mauer. This can be achieved in one of two ways, firstly: where you continue to develop step-by-step as a brand, but it is difficult to be really innovative in this process. Or you give free rein to your creativity by letting your thoughts jump to the day after tomorrow, and to then move back from there to tomorrow. Based on this idea, Porsche develops the product and brand identity which characterises and secures the appearance of all models in the long term.
So, just what have those Porsche designers been busy with behind closed doors? Some examples include:
Under the category, Spin-Offs; the Porsche Boxster Bergspyder, Le Mans Living Legend and 911 Vision Safari are explained. The Boxster Bergspyder looks back at the 909 Bergspyder, the Le Mans Living Legend is an evocative look at the 550 Coupe while the 911 Vision Safari 911 Safari Rally cars of the ‘70s, but on steroids.
In the Little Rebels section, you have the 904 Living Legend, the Porsche Vision 916 and the Porsche Vision Spyder. Can you imagine a modern take on the shapely 904 from 1964 – the result is absolutely stunning! The Porsche Vision 916 is a minimalist all-electric concept driven by four electric motors mounted in the wheels, just like the 1900 Lohner-Porsche designed by Professor Ferdinand Porsche. The Porsche Vision Spyder is a take on the 550 Spyder of James Dean, named ‘Little Bastard’ but this concept also incorporates design cues from the 550 Spyder that participated in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana.
In the same way, the section Hypercars explores some of Porsche’s more extreme high performance sports cars, using design language from the period, with a twist that looks into the future. Consider these: 919 Street, 917 Living Legend, 906 Living Legend, and more. What’s Next? looks at the Vision Turismo, a 4-door concept that looks very much like a 911 and the Vision ‘Renndienst’. This latter vehicle is not just your ‘Racing Service Vehicle’, it explores a whole lot more by way of the special experience as it concerns future mobility. This concept tips its hat to the VW Kombi van of the 1960s, but offers a whole lot more.
As the reader can imagine, this book is mostly about the visual offering, but each model presented is accompanied by text explaining the origins and the inspiration for that model. The layout of the book is clean and impressive, as you might expect from a book about vehicle design. It is a large book comprising 328 pages, but it is unquestionably an impressive piece of work allowing the reader a look behind the curtain at what Porsche designers get up to.
Should you buy it?
Being the first publication that gives you a peek into the previously hidden world of Porsche design, it is certainly worth buying. It is a high quality publication, and you might just come away with a fresh view on the direction of Porsche’s future designs. What more could you want?