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Porsche: concepts mules and prototypes

Before any new model goes into manufacture the design – in various stages of finalisation – has to go through practical testing. These vehicles are prototypes, recognisably and most often visually identical to the subsequent production vehicle.

Far less frequently these days, where more extensive research and dynamic development can be carried out with software simulations, a manufacturer experiments with a radical new idea by building some of the technology into the preceding model. These cars are often referred to as ‘mules’.

In the past, the need to keep particular experiments confidential even led to some mules wearing total disguises to fool both press and competitors.

Examples of this at Porsche include the Audi 100 Coupe, into which Weissach shoehorned the 928’s V8 and running gear; later the 928’s innards would also be built into an Opel Diplomat.

Concepts are used by manufacturers to float an idea, to test acceptability of a particular design or style. A phenomenon which in today’s homogenised and regulated auto industry has become unusual, the most successful example in Porsche history was the Boxster concept, greeted with standing ovations when it was revealed in 1993.

That the resultant Boxster – which would closely prefigure the new 911 – was so similar to the concept was a tribute to Porsche’s original design, achieving homologation with a minimum of compromises which usually dilute and sometimes completely spoil the original idea.

The real workhorses of pre-production are, of course, the prototypes, masked these days if their makers want to hide them by an astute application of chequered tape, which brilliantly sabotages visual perspective.

Of the thousands of prototypes built, virtually all of them are subsequently broken up, occasionally to the dismay of auto historians. In deference, however, to the interest they generate, Porsche has selected a handful of the more remarkable prototypes it has kept, and sometimes displays them at the Museum at Zuffenhausen…

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2020 Porsche Macan Turbo Revealed with 440hp

Porsche has this morning confirmed the expansion of the Macan range with the introduction of a new Porsche Macan Turbo. Turbo models are generally the top of the range when it comes to non-RS Porsche. The new model follows the refresh of the Macan range and injects some performance back into the SUV. Porsche’s entry […]

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Nouvelle Porsche 911 Carrera : les photos de notre essai

C’est en Allemagne, à Stuttgart, que notre journaliste-essayeur se trouve depuis ce jeudi afin de prendre le volant de la toute nouvelle Porsche 911 Carrera type 992, dans sa version Cabriolet.

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Formula E : voici la Porsche 99X Electric

La saison 6 de la Formula E s’annonce intense avec l’arrivée de Porsche et de Mercedes-Benz qui rejoindront Audi et BMW du côté des marques originaires d’outre-Rhin. La Porsche 99X Electric vient ainsi d’être dévoilée dans ses moindres détails. Elle sera pilotée par Neel Jani et André Lotterer. Souvenez-vous, en juillet 2017 quelques semaines après […]

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Et voici le nouveau Porsche Macan Turbo !

Macan

 » Plus fort, plus rapide, plus agile «  annonce le communiqué officiel de Porsche, qui dévoile la version musclée de son petit SUV Macan présent au prochain salon de Francfort, en attendant une nouvelle génération électrique. Plus de puissance Un an après son restylage, le Macan met enfin le Turbo et embarque le nouveau 6 […]

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