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Live Pics: Porsche 919 Street Concept Looks Like the Forbidden Fruit at the IAA 2021
Last year, Porsche launched one of the greatest campaigns we've ever seen from a car manufacturer and one that every other brand should adopt. They should, however, wait a few years so it's not that obvious they're copying Porsche, if they want to save some face.

Live Pics: Porsche 919 Street Concept Looks Like the Forbidden Fruit at the IAA 2021

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It was called "Porsche Unseen" and the name pretty much says it all. The Germans were offering the public a peek into what must be a much larger pool of vehicle designs that, for various reasons, never made it past a certain point in their development process. It gives us an insight into what other side projects the company had been working on behind closed doors over the years, as well as providing the odd reason for banging our heads against the wall screaming "why, Porsche, why didn't you build this one?"

The 919 Street concept definitely falls into the latter category - in fact, it might even sit at the very top. Even with the influx of SUVs, Porsche's lineup isn't and has never been short on sports models. However, when it comes to super or hypercars, the Germans aren't necessarily doing as well. They've had the Carrera GT and the 918 Spyder (and maybe the 959 or the 911 GT1 Straßenversion could qualify as well), but other than that, it's one field where you feel like the brand could do better.

If you think about it, the success it's had in endurance racing (most notably at "The 24 Hours of Le Mans") with its hybrid models (picking up the mantle for the VW Group after Audi's TDI race cars) could have provided the perfect opportunity to do so, and judging by the 919 Concept, you'd be right.

The vehicle was developed back in 2017, but you couldn't guess that just by looking at it because it seems just as relevant now as it must have done back then. To be fair, it's only been four years, so why shouldn't it? Or let's put it this way: Tesla revealed the Roadster back in November 2017, so roughly at the same time, but the car is expected to make its production debut in 2023. That means the first-day customers will be getting a six-year-old design, which makes the current four years of the 919 Street seem like nothing.

The prototype that's currently on display at the IAA 2021 (after having previously been exhibited at the Porsche Museum) is a clay model, but it's obvious a lot of work has been put into the project. Everything about the car looks to be just in the right place, and that's mostly because the Street version borrows the tried-and-tested chassis and powertrain combination from the 919 Hybrid race car.

What that means is that the road-going car would have had a 900-horsepower hybrid powertrain, setting it up for another juicy rivalry with Ferrari's SF90 Stradale, picking up where the 918 Spyder and LaFerrari had left off. It made sense in a lot of ways, and these pictures show the exterior design was a guaranteed hit.

Looking at it, you can't help wondering why Porsche didn't go through with it. And then you remember how difficult it is for Mercedes-AMG to find a way of bringing the ONE hypercar to market, which would be the closest thing to the 919 Street you could think of, and you realize Porsche probably decided that it wasn't worth all the drama. Besides, the company is busy pushing out fully electric vehicles instead of hybrids, so we wouldn't be surprised if the brand's next hypercar actually turns out to be battery powered.

The close official ties with Rimac Automobili definitely can't do anything to hurt those chances. However, even if that fictional model turns out to be great - and we see no reason why it shouldn't - it's hard not to look at the 919 Street and regret it that clay never made it to carbon fiber, as it was intended.

 
 
 
 
 

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