Porsche Celebrates 50 Years of the 917 With a Modern Take on the Original

Automotive News 13 March 12, 2019 by

In 1969, Porsche unveiled its famed 917 race car at the Geneva Motor Show. Now 50 years later it’s celebrating the car’s anniversary with an absolutely stunning concept.

Simply called the 917 Concept Study, it’s a remarkable take on the classic racer. Unlike the modern 935 that made its debut last year however, this is more than just a retro redo on a modern 911.

Instead, Porsche designers have taken the essence of the 917 and distilled it into a modern interpretation. It’s low, sleek, and looks a bit like an elongated 918 Spyder. Nonetheless, there are elements that harken back to the original,  like the bulging wheel arches and swooping canopy.

To cap off the car’s look, it also sports a modern take on a classic livery too. With a bright red body and flowing white stripes, it mimics the livery on the 1970 Le Mans-winning 917.

Past that scant information and the single picture, we don’t know much else. Sadly, since it is simply a design study, chances are it doesn’t have a drivetrain or even an interior.

Also, as a design study, it means the chances of the car ever seeing production are pretty much nil. We wouldn’t be disappointed if Porsche used it as a base for a GT1 Le Mans entry in 2020 or beyond though…

But for now, the 917 Concept Study will find its place at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. There it will join 10 other original 917 race cars in an exhibit named Colours of Speed – 50 Years of the 917.

Sitting alongside the 917 will also be the very first 917 chassis. It’ll look as factory fresh as it did in 1969 too. This is thanks to a comprehensive restoration from Porsche to bring 917-001 back to its former glory.

If you’re interested in checking out the design study 917, the original race, or any of the other 917 cars, you won’t need to wait long. The exhibit opens on May 14 and runs through September 15.

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