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2008 Porsche 550one Concept Revealed by Italian Designer Walter de Silva

The former head of design at Volkswagen is pretty accomplished as an automotive designer. Walter de Silva is responsible for many cars, a list that includes the final incarnation of the Beetle, the Amarok pickup truck, and concepts like the Lamborghini Miura from 2006 and the Egoista. During his tenure at Volkswagen, the 69-year-old Italian has also penned a one-off Porsche inspired by the ultra-rare 550 Spyder from the '50s.
2008 Porsche 550one Concept by Walter de Silva 17 photos
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550one is how this concept is called, nicknamed “The Little Bastard” after the 550 Spyder owned by James Dean. According to de Silva, the idea for this project came from Austrian business magnate and VW head honcho Ferdinand Piëch, who ultimately decided not to reveal the car to the public.

Styled after the 911 up front, the 550one is gifted with a mid-engine layout and Boxster underpinnings. The center-exit tailpipe is a little bit on the underwhelming side of a six-cylinder boxer engine, more so if you glance over the louvers on the rear deck. Another quirk of the one-off roadster is the gearbox, a gated manual that appears to be sourced from the Audi R8.

In true Porsche fashion, the interior features handle straps instead of proper handles and the tachometer is featured in the center of the instrument cluster. Despite the minimalist theme of the cabin, the roofless 550one is also gifted with air conditioning, buttons on the steering wheel, and a multimedia system. As for the finishing touches, those would be the pop-out door handles and the vents right between the doors and rear deck.

Walter de Silva hasn’t mentioned anything about suck-squeeze-bang-blow, though, but we do know the concept has been completed in 2008. For that model year, the Boxster S used to sport a 295-PS (291-hp) engine with 3.4 liters of displacement while the 911 Carrera S leveled up to 381 PS (376 hp).

In other words, the R8 from which the gated manual is borrowed is more potent than both boxers at 420 PS (414 hp) from 4.2 liters and eight cylinders.



 
 
 
 
 

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