The design process: from the first drawing to the drivable prototype
The design process starts with a sketch. This is visualised in the next step as a 3D model. As soon as an idea is to be developed further, small models are produced in a scale of 1:3, then followed by hard models in the scale 1:1. “The virtual world is the first step, but you especially have to experience the unusual models in reality in order to understand whether a car has small, large or surprising proportions,” says Michael Mauer, Vice President Style Porsche. In contrast to the development of a production model where several models are always developed with different styling formats, the vision projects, on the other hand, concentrate on a single vision model which serves as a protagonist for the central idea.
The Porsche 550 has remained etched in our memories above all as an absolutely purist Spyder. However, the first sports car from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen that was designed especially for motorsport actually started its career at Le Mans with a closed roof. The 78 PS, around 550 kg, mid-engine sports car made its debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953. Helmut “Helm” Glöckler and Hans Herrmann were behind the wheel. In 2016, this pioneering low-slung racing coupé served as the Porsche design team in Weissach’s inspiration for an extreme road sports car based on the Porsche Boxster.
This extreme road sports car based on the Porsche Boxster is reminiscent of the groundbreaking Porsche 550 racing coupé that started in 1953 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The front and rear bonnet open in opposite directions and fuel is supplied via a central nozzle at the front. At the rear is an eight-cylinder engine with excessive sound development.
As a result, it is clearly possible to discern the race track origins in the design of the Porsche Le Mans Living Legend: the front and rear lids open in opposite directions, refuelling takes place via a central filler at the front, and it proudly wears its racing start numbers all round. The large air intakes in the rear side windows indicate what race engine is installed – the most incredible-sounding eight-cylinder. In the widest sense, the race-oriented Porsche Le Mans Living Legend is a predecessor of today’s Porsche 718 Cayman GT4.