New Porsche 550-Inspired Machine to be Unveiled at the Quail

I’m an unabashed fan of the Porsche 550. It has been my dream car since I was 15 years old. So I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that I was very, very skeptical when I heard that French design group Vintech was embarking on a modern “tribute” to the design aesthetic of my beloved Spyder. Although I haven’t seen a complete photo of the finished P550 yet (these are 3D renders you see here of the complete car), you can bet I’ll be looking her over with a rather critical eye.

That said, I have to admit that these renders are rapidly growing on me. The team has been releasing some images of her carbon fiber form on their blog in varying levels of concealment and so far I’m enjoying what I see. If you had told me a month ago that a car with the 550’s body lines but is a hardtop with gullwing doors would be appealing to me… Well, I sure wouldn’t have believed you. I might have been downright offended.

“Keep those Mercedes design queues away from the Spyder”, I would have said. “Those lines just don’t work as a hardtop”. Hell, even Porsche’s own Carrera Panamericana 550 coupe, in my opinion, pales in comparison to her topless sisters. Then again, if these renders are to be believed, maybe Porsche should have considered this option for the doors; and this roofline works to my eye far better than Porsche’s coupe.

The fact that they’re going with an air-cooled 4 cylinder sure doesn’t hurt matters either. That the engine shares some visual design connections with the 547 4-cam is an added bonus. That it is claimed to offer 300hp from the 3.0 liter boxer in a machine that weighs only 1200 pounds is simply fantastic.

What do you think? Am I alone in my growing attraction to Vintech’s little machine? Perhaps I should reserve judgement until the final reveal at this year’s The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering.

I guess we’ll know when the sheet is pulled back this Friday. More information on the project to hold you over until the reveal on the Vintech team’s blog.

Now if Vintech just wants to send one over for a test drive, I’ll be happy to give you a full report.

Update: whelp, now that the cover is off and she remains lovely, Vintech announced that it’s a one-off and they won’t be selling them, nor the lovely powerplant they’ve assembled for it. I can’t help but wonder what the point of it all is. At least produce the engines.

DISCUSS (5 Comments)

  1. Heath

    Mixed feelings – looks great, but so does the original 550. If everything goes ‘retro’ then how does new styling come about? Then again, looks great…

  2. JP

    Design “queues”??? Good thing this is not a blog about the English language… As Heath is saying, this is growing on me too…

  3. Harlo

    You may be right, JP. Usually the “queue” form of the word is used when in befits its origins from the French for “tail”—as in lining up in a queue. The “cue” form of the word is used in various other situations, but most commonly when signaling a beginning (an actor’s cue, for example).

    Google seems to favor your interpretation. I liked that Vintech was following a Mercedes design inspiration, or being it’s tail, or following in a queue… but yeah, when I say all that it sounds ridiculous.

  4. JP

    Your blog is insanely good BTW…a weekly reader for me. Sorry about the quip about the wrong word…

  5. Harlo

    No worries, JP. I need all the editorial help I can get. 🙂

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