Full slate of images show the forgotten Porsche study from every angle.
Porsche is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary 917 this year, and in the process has unearthed this forgotten concept. After showing us bits and pieces along the way, the German manufacturer has finally released a full slate of five images showcasing the unearthed show car. But it's what it might do next that has us looking forward.
Design chief Michael Mauer told Autocar that Porsche could follow a similar retro formula with its next hypercar that's slated to take the vacated place of the departed 918 Spyder at the top of the company's lineup.
"If you launch a new hypercar then you can go extremely modern in your thinking or maybe just go back to our sports car roots and take inspiration from some of the many icons in our history," said Mauer. "When you look at the 917 Concept then, personally, I love it. You look at it and you immediately make the connections."
The 917 concept is said to have been created by a small team of designers and engineers at Porsche several years ago to mark its return to top-flight endurance sports-car racing.
It's inspired by the original 917 with which Zuffenhausen chalked up the first of its many wins at Le Mans, and even wears the same red and white Salzburg livery as the initial race-winner. Ultimately the automaker opted to move up the unveiling of the 919 Hybrid LMP1 instead, and secreted away this concept, unseen by the public until now, when it's taking part in a special exhibit at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart.
As striking as it may be, though, we wouldn't count on it previewing Porsche's next hypercar just yet.
"But as a designer who believes that the next hypercar should point to the future, I'm not so sure," added Mauer. "There is always the option to look into history, but sometimes you can also take the option to create some history."
Plans are in the works in Zuffenhausen for a new hypercar, which could follow the 918's lead and adopt a hybrid powertrain – or alternatively go fully electric, which could take a little longer to develop. Whatever provides its motivation and inspiration, we're looking forward to seeing what Porsche has in store for us.