Here's one designer's vision for the turbine-powered Porsche racer of tomorrow.
Race cars move pretty quickly, but so does racing. Fans, drivers, and engineers from just a decade or two ago likely wouldn't believe what modern competition machinery has come to look like today. And by the same token, we probably won't recognize the racing cars that are likely to be lapping the world's circuits in another decade or two. But if this is what they'll look like ten, twenty yeas down the line, consider us excited.
The short-tail (or "Kurzheck") version of the one of Zuffenhausen's most celebrated sports racing prototypes gave Porsche the first two of its record 19 overall victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It's also the car that Steve McQueen (as Michael Delaney) drove in the 1971 cult classic film Le Mans, complete with that iconic blue and orange Gulf Oil livery.
Turner saw fit to adorn his design with the same livery, and even put Delaney's name and Star-Spangled Banner under the window – alongside his own name (with Union Jack) and that of Michael Schumacher (with the Schwarz-Rot-Gold).
The shape, to our eye, looks closer to an enclosed Can-Am racer (like the 917/30 version of the same) – but the rest of the design belongs firmly in the future, right down to the powertrain. The window into the engine bay shows what appears to be a dual-turbine setup. British Racing Motors and American Howmet tried running turbines at Le Mans in the 1960s (with limited success), and Jaguar more recently envisioned powering its C-X75 supercar with micro-turbines.
Maybe Porsche could one day achieve what those companies couldn't. One can only dream, and might as well dream big.