Porsche’s next-generation hypercar gears up with retro styling

The 917 concept from the German carmaker takes its design cues from the 50-year-old car driven by Steve McQueen in Le Mans

The Porsche 917 is something of a legend. The car, developed to do battle with the Ford GT40 and Ferrari P at Le Mans, enjoyed a fast-track through the design process, free-reign over the carmaker’s chequebooks and subsequent wins at the 1970 and 1971 Le Man 24 Hour races.

This year, the icon celebrates its 50th birthday — and Porsche are marking the occasion in inimitable style. 

Porsche’s next-generation hypercar gears up with retro styling

Finished in the white and red livery of the Porsche Salzburg 1970 Le Mans 24 hours-winning 917, this new concept is being showcased at a special exhibition in Stuttgart’s Porsche Design Museum until September — and highlights the aerodynamic sculpting of the original.

The latest iteration of the racer also features white stripes to accentuate the sweeping curves, high wheel arches and a rear spoiler supported seamlessly by rising sides.

Porsche’s next-generation hypercar gears up with retro styling

Unfortunately, and unlike last year’s equally striking GT2 RS 935, this 917 will never reach the production line, and is destined to remain a showpiece forever. But Porsche have promised more investment in the ‘hypercar’ class — so we could be looking at a blueprint for the carmaker’s higher-end output.

Porsche’s next-generation hypercar gears up with retro styling

The original 917 featured in the film Le Mans, starring Steve McQueen. That particular Porsche was sold in 2017 at auction for $14 million, but ten similar restored models will be sitting alongside the new concept at its new home in the exhibition.

So, if you’re heading over to Stuttgart any time soon, make sure you pay this example of futuristic Porsche design a visit — and celebrate the half-century of a motorsport icon.

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