Porsche’s authentic Boxster sports activities automobile was presaged by the silver 1993 Boxster idea automobile that carried a strong whiff of the original 1955-56 550 Spyder. , the automobile that actor and cool-guy James Dean nicknamed the “Little Bastard” earlier than assembly his early demise in it? Porsche wasn’t completed flirting with a 550 revival, nonetheless; after the Boxster got here out in 1997, the German automaker rolled out a Boxster 550 Anniversary Edition celebrating the unique sports activities automobile’s 50th birthday. Later, the Boxster Spyder models saved the 550’s concept of a stripped-down, light-weight mid-engine sports activities automobile alive. And simply final 12 months, there was this: The Imaginative and prescient Spyder idea.
You in all probability did not see it, as a result of it is one among a trove of idea vehicles and design research Porsche by no means made public till just lately. However all of the anticipated 550 touches are there: The silver paint, the bulgy fenders, the peerlessly centered two-seat open cockpit. Porsche’s designers even layered the 550 on thick with a license plate that reads “Little Insurgent,” in a nod to Dean’s Insurgent With out a Trigger, in addition to splendidly retro louvering on the engine cowl.
Certain, the Imaginative and prescient Spyder is about what you’d count on a 550 writ in 2019 to appear like. We do not suppose that makes it any much less unbelievable to behold. Fashionable Porsche styling cues such because the full-width single-bar taillight, boxy entrance intakes, and horizontal vent within the hood are all yanked out of present 911 orthodoxy. All of it comes collectively, nonetheless, in a easy, cut-down kind of manner—purposeful and minimalist in the identical manner as the unique, proper right down to the low, frameless windshield and easy inside.
There’s some newness to the considerably squared-off fender peaks entrance and rear that is not harking back to both the unique or any present Porsche, particularly in again, the place the fenders terminate in a kind of exhausting vertical line the place you’d count on the taillights to be. (Look carefully, and that rear-fender-peak therapy nearly resembles the clean entrance finish of Porsche’s different mid-engine light-weight, the 914.) In truth, Porsche says it additionally appeared again on the Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder, a racing automobile pushed by Hans Herrmann to a category victory within the Carrera Panamericana in 1954. This inspiration doubtless explains the tail therapy (which is analogous to the 550-1500 RS) and why Porsche added a cage-like roll hoop association for security—one thing the unique 550 distinctly lacked. Ditto the purple Mobil pegasus logos and cheeky “551” badging and “131” numbering, each being plus-1 past the unique 550 and the 130 numbers worn by James Dean’s Little Bastard.
So the place did this Imaginative and prescient Spyder idea find yourself? Like different recently-revealed ideas, the automaker says it’s utilizing the actual-size research as “the idea for additional improvement of the design identification for combustion-engined Porsche sports activities vehicles,” pointing to the vertical headlights and angular roll bar as examples that had been folded into “the Porsche design language.”