Porsche sheds light on never-before-seen cars it designed but didn't build

One is inspired by James Dean's 550 Spyder

Porsche mystery sketch
Porsche mystery sketch
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Porsche is declassifying top-secret information about some of the cars created by its design studio in recent years — but never built. Although these prototypes are still shrouded in darkness, they provide unique insight into the minds of the men and women tasked with creating the next generation of the company's sports cars.

Posted on social media, the first image shows the outline of a roadster inspired by 1950s race cars, according to the firm, which strongly suggests it was envisioned as a modern variant of the 550 Spyder. It takes the form of an open-top two-seater with a short windshield, pronounced wheel arches, and a fixed roll bar. The position of the vents strongly suggests the car is mid-engined, though we don't know if it's based on the 718 or built on its own platform. Similarly, your guess is as good as ours when it comes to what this convertible is powered by.

Making the sketch a little bit lighter reveals an interesting detail: The license plate reads Little Rebel. While this is pure speculation, we're guessing that's a reference to actor James Dean (1931-1955), who starred in a movie named "Rebel Without a Cause" and famously drove — and died in — a 550 Spyder he nicknamed Little Bastard.

Also posted on social media, the second sketch shows a race car developed for privateers and based on the 919 Hybrid that competed in the FIA's World Endurance Championship (WEC) from 2014 to 2017, and won three consecutive editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans starting in 2015. Here again, the car's full design is intentionally hidden, but the same light trick shows a rear end that looks only slightly tamer than the 919's.

Porsche will continue to release never-before-seen sketches of unbuilt cars on its various social media channels through November 2020. They're grouped under the hashtag #PorscheUnseen, so following along is easy.

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