The Porsche Vision Spyder — an Eternal Rebel

Porsche Unseen at #SXSW, Part I

For the first time, Porsche is taking part at the SXSW in Austin, Texas, which takes place from March 11th to 20th. The centerpiece of the Porsche premiere is an installation in downtown Austin where Porsche opens the secret sketchpad of its design department and shines a light on the “Porsche Unseen” studies.
In part one of our #SXSW series we tell the story behind the importance of design visions and the Porsche Vision Spyder.

Why are design visions so important? Porsche Chief Designer Michael Mauer says: “There are two possibilities for continuing to develop as a brand. Either you improve your products from the present, that is to say by evolution, 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 really good place to do exactly that is the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, which takes place from March 11th to 20th. The #SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture. The festival aims to help creative people achieve their goals, a philosophy that fits together perfectly with Porsche, a brand for all those who bravely follow their dreams.

Michael Mauer, Porsche Chief Designer, explains, why design visions are so important

Porsche shows a vision inspired by James Deans legendary Porsche 550 Spyder

This year, Porsche is taking part in SXSW in Austin, Texas, for the first time. The centerpiece of the premiere is an installation in downtown Austin that provides a glimpse into the design process behind the legendary sports cars. Under the motto “A Creator’s Mind”, Porsche opens the secret sketchpad of its design department and shines a light on the “Porsche Unseen” studies. This curated portfolio includes design sketches and completed studies, and will be presented in a custom-built Porsche space close to the SXSW conference center.

Porsche Vision Spyder

Some of these visions are already more than just sketches. Like the Porsche Vision Spyder from 2019, which is on display as a 1:1 hard model in Austin.

The story behind it starts with a Hollywood icon. The eternal rebel James Dean is one of the great heroes of Porsche’s history. His silver Porsche 550 Spyder, to which he lovingly gave the nickname “Little Bastard”, remains in our collective memory up to the present day. However, when they came up with the Porsche Vision Spyder, the Porsche design team was not just harking back to James Dean and his sports car. The Porsche 550–1500 RS Spyder also served as a further source of inspiration for the volumes, dimensions and formal design elements. Hans Herrmann had driven this racing car for more than 3,000 km, north to south through Mexico, in the legendary Carrera Panamericana in 1954 — achieving a class victory and third place overall for Porsche.

Design visions are like a compass, they are symbols of a certain direction of travel

With its spartan cockpit, flat radiator grilles over its mid-mounted engine, red racing stripes and the suggested fins at the rear, the compact sports car quite clearly calls to mind the Carrera Panamericana racer. At the same time, the study served as the basis for further development of the design identity for combustion-engined Porsche sports cars: the vertical arrangement of the headlights at the front as well as other aerodynamic and functional elements such as the angular roll bar were thus adopted as part of the Porsche design language.

Porsche’s representation at SXSW

It is not our goal to realise every idea, but rather to try things out, look outside the box, open up new spaces, to explore the future,” says Michael Mauer. “Some of the visions that we produce cannot be realised at the moment. But they are symbols of a certain direction of travel. Like a compass, they can provide us with guidance on our way. And inspiration.” A source of inspiration on display in Austin at the #SXSW to bring creative minds from all over the world together.

We have summarized all information on Porsche’s program at #SXSW in the Porsche Newsroom. Further information will follow in the Porsche Newsroom.

About this publication: Where innovation meets tradition. There’s more to Porsche than sports cars — we are developing new digital products and services — always with our customers in focus. On our Medium blog, we tell these stories. It’s about our #nextvisions, emerging technologies, and the people that drive our digital journey. If you want to know more, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.




Next Level German Engineering: Where innovation meets tradition. The Porsche technology hub to create tomorrow.

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