The unpublished Porsche 960: the one that inspired the Taycan

At the beginning of 2010, a sketch by a Porsche designer will catch the attention of Michael Mauer (above beside the Taycan). The sketch will turn into a development project for a four-door Porsche, but there is no mention of an electric car yet. The pattern of the Porsche design is explained.

Not all successful series production models are developed in a linear design process. Sometimes there can be a series of unexpected coincidences and alignments of the planets that lead a designer, by a few detours, to the final destination. The story of the Taycan Porsche – the brand’s first fully electric production sports car – also began with a misunderstanding.

“While passing through the design office, I saw a schematic representation of the Porsche 918 on a designer’s drawing board in our studio. A line had been redesigned with felt pen to clearly show a new profile”, recalls Michael Mauer. “I was stunned!” At a glance, the sketch captures the design pattern that pushes the project forward.

The idea of a four-seater super sports car was born. The next question was that of the appropriate drive train to enable the particularly sporty proportions to be achieved: Could this athletic design be powered by a rear-mounted engine? Or should it be fitted with a rear engine in the brand tradition, like the first Porsche 911?

“In view of the question of proportions and the emergence of the theme of electric mobility, we soon realised that the idea was a perfect match for a purely electric powertrain,” recalls Michael Mauer. The first stage in the evolution of the Porsche Taycan (below) was therefore developed from a four-seater super sports car with a combustion engine imagined in a central position!

The Porsche 960 Turismo has also set new trends in terms of style: the continuous light bar with the Porsche logo on the rear has been adopted as a fixed element of the brand identity and is now found on almost all models. The new visual identity for the electric vehicles was also developed and defined on the basis of the headlights in this style study.

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