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Seeing the Unseen

cover of the book Porsche Unseen

Porsche Unseen: Design Studies

Mauer’s bold statement is simple: Porsche is where the future of automotive design is being shaped, literally.

By Glenn Oyoung

Wed, Jul 21, 2021 12:00 PM PST

Porsche Unseen - Design Studies

Authors: Stefan Borgner and Jan Karl Baedeker

Pages: 328-pages, hardcover

Publisher: Delius Klasing

ISBN:   978-3-667-11980-3

The opening quote in Porsche Unseen: Design Studies says “For many years the Silicon Valley for the automobile industry has been in Zuffenhausen and Weissach.” Zuffenhausen is home to Porsche’s factory and Weissach is where design boss Michael Mauer leads a cadre of geniuses in crafting the future of the storied marquee at the Porsche Design Center. Mauer’s bold statement is simple: Porsche is where the future of automotive design is being shaped, literally.

image of a page spread from the book Porsche Unseen, with a sketch of a Porsche.
Sketches and memorabilia from Porsche Unseen

Porsche Unseen is not a coffee table book. It’s a 328-page, beautifully shot, E-ticket into the dreams of world-class designers tasked with imagining Porsche’s future – with no limitations like pedestrian safety or economies of scale to hold them back. If you are a Porsche fan, a car lover, or just someone who admires breathtaking design, this is the book for you.

image of a Porsche 911 from the pages of the book Porsche Unseen
Porsche 911 Street

For the first time, readers are granted access to the secret archives of the Porsche Design Studio. These skunkworks projects are not aimed at “morgen” (tomorrow), they are visions of “übermorgen” (the day after tomorrow). Leave it to designers to be the coolest kids in describing their mission. As you turn the pages, you can see this is not marketing-speak or hyperbole.

image of a Porsche Boxter Bergspyder from the pages of Porsche Unseen
Porsche Boxter Bergspyder

For Porsche Design, the day after tomorrow we’ll still be racing. It’s no surprise that so many concepts are racecars are racecars-turned-streetcars given Porsche’s motorsports DNA. Standouts include the Porsche Boxster Bergspyder (2014), a tip of the hat to Porsche’s lightweight Alpine racing cars from the 50s. Another motorsports-related concept, the Porsche 911 Vision Safari (2012) is a modern interpretation of the beloved 911 Safari and Porsche 953 that won at the East African Safari Rally and Paris-Dakar Rally. Other cars I’d like to add to my stable are the world’s fastest daily, the Porsche 919 Street (2017), the jaw-droppingly gorgeous 917 Living Legend (2013), and one of my absolute favorites the Porsche Vision “Renndienst, or Racing Service (2018). I implore Porsche to make the last one perhaps on the upcoming ID BUZZ EV van platform!

image of a page spread in in Porsche Unseen feating a Porsche Vision Turismo
Porsche Vision Turismo

The racing-heavy vision, of course, translates eventually into Porsche’s streetcars. Who amongst Porsche’s customers has not turned the key while simultaneously envisioning themselves as the Stig? While the concepts in Porsche Unseen look out of this world, reviewing concepts like the Porsche Taycan against the road-going production versions is a reminder that much of what is envisioned by the creative geniuses in Weissach does ultimately make its way into production in Zuffenhausen.

Of the many books that I’ve reviewed from publisher Delius Klasing, Porsche Unseen stacks up at the top of the top. I highly recommend it for any car enthusiast who appreciates the uber-future.

About The Author

Glenn Oyoung's profile picture

Glenn Oyoung

Glenn Oyoung is a marketer based in Los Angeles. Glenn’s lifelong passion for cars is rooted in playing with Hot Wheels, and has continued into 1:1 scale. He’s the former marketing director of American Racing, author of ‘vehicular alphabet books’ “C is for Car” and "P is for Petersen" in collaboration with the Petersen Automotive Museum. His passion for cars extends to his role as the founder of the monthly car meet Carcadia at Route 66, the most diverse car meet in the San Gabriel Valley.

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