Porsche Unseen: Design Studies

JUST THE PHYSICAL STATISTICS on the book are impressive — five pounds, 328 pages, 190 photos and images. High-quality paper. The contents are equally impressive.

Porsche Unseen: Design Studies is true to its title and shows precisely that of 15 different cars from the automaker’s studios in Weissach in the period from 2005 to 2019. The vehicles range from drivable models, to 1:3 or full-scale models. I always enjoyed seeing the dream cars done by American car companies from the ‘50s and ‘60s. The automobiles in this book though are just plain awesome. Getting the freedom to design cars like this must be exhilarating and inspiring.

Chief designer Michael Mauer is quoted in the book saying, “There are two possibilities for continuing to develop as a brand: either you improve your products from the present, that is to say step-by-step. However, it is difficult to be really innovative in this process. Or you give free rein to your creativity. The idea is to let your thoughts jump to the day after tomorrow, and to then move back from there to tomorrow.”

A lot of the designs take their inspiration from significant Porsche cars from the past. One is inspired by the 906 of the mid-‘60s and is called Porsche 906 Living Legend. Mauer said about this design, “When we were later developing an identity for our electric models, we took another look at these designs.”

Another interesting concept is the Porsche Vision done as a full-size hard model. “When walking past, I saw a schematic representation of the Porsche 918 on a designer’s drawing board in our studio,” said Mauer. “A line had been redrawn with a felt-tip pen to clearly show the falling contour. From the corner of my eye it looked like a rear door joint. I was astonished!”

So, Mauer got to work developing a mid-engine sedan, the Porsche Vision Turismo, as a hard model in 2016. It pioneered the continuous light bar connecting to the Porsche logo at the rear, a feature now part of Porsche design language, as well as the current front-light set-up. This design was very influential to the Taycan design.

This is a beautiful book with stunning photos and minimal but informative text. A worthwhile addition to my library although, like anything with Porsche on it, not cheap. But worth it!

Porsche Unseen: Design Studies
By Stefan Bogner
Published by Delius Klasing Verlag Gmbh, 2020
$94.58, available at Amazon.ca

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