Porsche and Lamborghini are two of the most highly coveted names in the world of motoring. Porsche is the preeminent builder of classy, German sports cars, with an iconic design that everyone around the world recognizes. Lamborghini is the master of Italian exotic supercars, also with a look and style that is instantly recognizable and impossible to replicate. They are both companies that are also looking to the future, delving into electric and plug-in hybrids, and even autonomous cars.
The future is exciting for the automobile industry, even though it may seem a bit scary to some. Change is good, generally, so we look forward to seeing what these master craftsmen of the world’s greatest cars can come up with to challenge all the other brands.
Lamborghini began using concepts in 1967, when Ferrucio Lamborghini enlisted the help of Nuccio Bertone and Marcello Gandini to come up with an extravagant new design. This was due to an influx of Miura sales coming into Lamborghini’s fledgling coffers. Fast-forward 51 years, and we have some of the most outlandish, coolest cars on the planet from that same “small” company. Porsche, meanwhile, has been designing concepts for even longer, and they’ve even recently come out with their own list of their “Top 5 Best Concepts,” in which a few of the cars listed here are included. Some of these cars look like something from a different, futuristic millennium, while some of them look like they already belong on the road. It’s always a crapshoot to see what gets developed, but we hope to see a lot of these cars in the future.
Here are 10 Porsche and Lamborghini concept cars we wish were on the road.
Also in Porsche’s “Top 5 Concepts” article was the Mission E, a sleek, futuristic looking vehicle that is currently being designed as their first fully electric vehicle. This car not only looks futuristic, but it is.
The Mission E will cover over 300 miles in a single charge, and with superb performance.
As it says on their website, “Mission E represents the future. A possible future. A fascinating future… it meets every Porsche standard in terms of performance, fuel efficiency, driving dynamics, and everyday practicality—based on revolutionary technology… it is the 911 of e-cars.” The car will have a combined output of 600 hp, and will catapult from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Expect it by 2020 or so.
Before Porsche builds any future cars, they build 3:1 scale model concepts of the vehicles they’re considering. Such is the case with the Model 90X, which looks like it’s on the road to becoming a real thing. The 90X pays homage to Porsche’s esteemed racing history, with its striking visual elements and emphasis on aerodynamics. If you thought the Mission E looked futuristic, get a load of this thing! Its light-colored front flaps are major elements of the visuals and aerodynamics, according to Porsche. The fanlike wheels add emphasis, and the shape of the hood and coloring of the car pay homage to their track record.
This was another car that was first built as a 3:1 scale, before given the “OK” to begin the concept stages, with the hope of it reaching the production stages in the future. The Porsche Opulence is a four-door, fastback concept that looks like it could be the level above the Panamera.
Its prominent, filled-out wheel arches and clear-cut lines are quite visibly striking.
It has a vitality that is apparent at a standstill, according to Porsche, and the style of this car is meant to define the sedan of tomorrow. Given its concept name, “Opulence,” we have no doubt this sedan will be quite pricey, but will probably be worth the price, especially if it looks anything like this concept.
We’ll admit that this one doesn’t have a very original or unique name, but you need to understand that it isn’t in the production stages yet. The Mission E probably won’t be called that, and the Opulence probably won’t, either. These are just working titles. Anyway, the Porsche Supercar is one of the four futuristic concepts recently put out by Porsche to wow fans. It has a thin body and prominent wheel arches, and looks like something out of TRON. This is supposed to be a machine that flies, not literally, but figuratively on the road. The car rises between its front legs and rear axle, displaying quasi-bionic hips, but a pretty slender waist—this racy description was from Porsche, by the way, as they called this “a flying machine for the streets of Paris.”
The final of the four futuristic concepts that Porsche recently released is dubbed the Porsche Thesis. It’s another super low-slung concept with an “interior that tries to predict the future,” whatever that means, Porsche.
Basically, the concept here is for another French going roadster, and the photos taken were at the Place Charles de Gaulle, in Paris.
The Porsche designer’s idea was to connect the car’s interior closely to its urban surroundings, which would be an ideal setting for this car. We think the ideal setting would be the Autobahn, because it looks really fast… and that would be pretty cool. But they’d rather see it “along the Seine.”
This concept Porsche has its own website dedicated to it. The 908-04 concept car was developed as an homage to the classic longtail Porsche racer, but spliced with modern racing DNA. It’s a retro/modern Le Mans racer at its core, and the car’s subtitle even states, “the Return of the Long Tail.” It was designed by five different people, with the intention of making a modern interpretation of the 1969 Porsche 908 LH. Even though Porsche wasn’t involved with the making of this car, they did send the team responsible an email, saying they’re impressed with the enthusiasm for the brand. They were then invited to share their story on Porsche’s social media outlets. This car is absolutely stunning, and we hope to see it on the track some day.
This imagined Porsche concept is a brilliant revision of the legendary 911, Porsche’s most famous model. It’s no easy task paying homage to such a perfect piece of machinery, mind you.
You can’t mar the iconic design, but you need to balance it with a fresh perspective and a new look, while remaining respectful of the past and unique at the same time.
We think Ege Arguden, the Turkish designer of this car, has accomplished treading that fine line. In his words” The aim of the Porsche 901 was to go back to the roots and capture the essence of the original 911.” The car’s angles are reminiscent of the classic E-Type Jaguar, while the intakes reference the butterfly engines of early Porsche RSR models.
While there are many other Porsche concepts we could throw into this mix, such as the Cayman GT4 Clubsports Rallye, the Mission E Gran Turismo (SUV variant), this one deserves a mention because it could be Porsche’s answer to the future of autonomous vehicles. While companies like Aston Martin and Lamborghini continue to push forward with driver-focused performance cars, one Czech student hopes that Porsche will follow in the autonomous footsteps of Ford and Chevy, with his concept design shown here. It probably looks the most futuristic of the bunch—it steals cues from the Mission E, like the front sloped fascia and single taillight bar, but overall it’s completely unique and awesome.
Finally, we have the most exciting (in my opinion) concept, and one that looks like it’ll actually get made, the 911 Speedster. It’ll probably get made because Porsche actually unveiled the design at their 70th anniversary party.
It’s supposed to capture the brand’s “essence,” while being a unique road car, with a lightweight tonneau cover instead of a traditional convertible roof, and retro-inspired components.
The concept has a flat-six engine that develops over 500 hp, with a titanium exhaust system and 21-inch center-locking wheels with a Fuchs design. Porsche says they plan to unveil it in 2019, and we honestly can’t wait.
In Porsche’s recent article about their own “Top 5 Porsche Concepts” they’ve ever come out with, the Porsche 989 was smack dab in the middle of the list. It was a four-door performance-oriented touring sedan developed between 1988 and 1991. It was never produced, however. The reason for the concept’s existence lies in the sudden popularity of their Porsche 928 model during the mid-‘80s. This prompted executives to consider adding a larger, sporty sedan to their lineup. Little did they know, Porsche diehards would not appreciate this much. Years and years after the 989 was shelved, in 2009, Porsche launched the Panamera, their first four-door car. It’s considered the spiritual successor to the 989 project.
The Lamborghini Portofino was a concept car developed by Kevin Verduyn, one of Chrysler’s chief designers. It was introduced at the 1987 Frankfurt Auto Show as a fully functional, four-door, four-seat sports sedan. It was made with a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, built by Coggiola of Turin, Italy, on a lengthened Jalpa chassis.
Jalpa’s 3.5-liter V8 water-cooled engine was paired with a five-speed transmission.
Only a single prototype of the Portofino was ever produced, and it was heavily damaged during transit in 1991. However, for $300,000, Chrysler had it restored by Metalcrafters in Costa Mesa, CA, and it’s now on display at the Chrysler headquarters. The Portofino was an early example of cab forward styling, that never got off the ground.
In 1998, months before Lamborghini as a company ascended from the uncertainty of multiple ownership, they introduced the Lamborghini Pregunta at the Paris Motor Show. Show-goers didn’t know what hit them. The Pregunta was a modified Diablo at its core, running rear-wheel drive in place of the Diablo’s four-wheel drive system. It got 530 hp from its V12 engine, had a top speed of 207 mph, and could hit a standing kilometer in under 20 seconds. It used two “half-roofs” made from transparent polycarbonate, featured a combat-jet derived cockpit, and used the same paint as a Dassault Rafale jet fighter. It’s a bummer more were never made.
Mercedes used the 1991 Geneva Motor Show as an occasion to debut their W140 S-Class, while a little Japanese tuner from the other side of the show introduced the Lamborghini Sogna. This insane vehicle was based on a Countach and designed by Ryoji Yamakazi.
It was powered by a 5.2-liter V12 engine, and was named after the Italian word for “dream,” which is really what this supercar looked like.
It was hand-built from aluminum, painted green, and came with that 455 hp Countach engine which was good for a reported 186 mph. Lamborghini took a liking to Yamakazi’s design, but never did anything with it, which is a shame.
The Lamborghini Egoista was the company’s ode to celebration, overindulgence, selfishness, and, of course, egotism. It was conceived by VW Group’s design chief, Walter de Silva, and was meant to “represent hedonism taken to the extreme.” There are flaps upon flaps on the body, some that flip open and some that close depending on the driving conditions. Its rear intake cooled the 600-hp V10 engine, while LED clearance lights lit up the front with “bulls eye” side indicators, hidden “eagle eyes” in the front intakes to scan the road ahead, and aeronautical, antiradar material used in the body. That’s right—it used materials usually only found in the construction of submarines. We’re all living in 2018, while Walter de Silver is over here living in 3018.
You have to love the simple, sleek names that tend to go into Lamborghini titles. The Estoque is a perfect example of a cool sounding word that perfectly represents its sleek looking body.
This beauty made its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, as a surprise four-door, four-seat Lamborghini saloon that could take on cars such as the Porsche Panamera and the Aston Martin Rapide.
It was five meters long and two meters wide, and the show car used the Gallardo’s 5.2-liter V10 engine, producing just under 560 bhp. Though it was a big hit at first, Lamborghini eventually shelved the idea in favor of the Urus SUV. What fools!
Naming anything “Raptor” immediately adds a level of cool that isn’t usually found in a car. But Lamborghini went above and beyond here. They used the base of a four-wheel drive Diablo, then collaborated with Zagato in 1996 to bring us this double-bubble roofed monster. In fact, the car didn’t even have doors! The entire middle of it swiveled up and forward to allow an uneasy ingress into the seats. Underneath that sat the 500-bhp V12 engine from the Diablo, but without any ABS or traction control. It was built with a heap of carbon fiber onboard, meaning that it was ultra lightweight. Unfortunately, the Zagato Raptor never saw the light of day, production wise.
Okay, maybe this isn’t the most elegant concept design Lamborghini has ever come up with, but it’s still interesting. The Athon was named after the Egyptian’s worship of the sun, and was built by Bertone and designer Marc Deschamps. It explored a theme close to Bertone’s heart, in the way the glass surfaces were integrated into the bodywork.
The cabin was forward set, there was a tall rear deck, and it was finished in gunmetal grey. Sure enough, this thing looks like it belongs on a battlefield.
Underneath was the Lamborghini Silhouette, itself derived from the Urraco. It used a 3.0-liter V8 producing 260 bhp, with four Weber carburetors and a five-speed manual gearbox. A few years back, this very concept car sold for €347,000 at auction.
If I’m being honest, it looks like the Lamborghini Asterion is already a real car. It looks a bit like an Aston Martin Vanquish mixed with some sort of Ferrari, which is just the kind of thing Lamborghini it likely going with. The overarching concept of the Asterion has already been approved, so the designer director, Filippo Perini, is in a race against time to get it past quality control and into production. It’s almost certain to make it to full production, where it will be one of the most significant concepts in the company’s 50-plus year history. Why? Because it’s a plug-in hybrid. It will also have one of the most powerful engines of any Lamborghini—with the engine and motors combining for 910 bhp. We can’t wait to see how fast this thing can go (and how often it’ll need to be charged).
The Lamborghini Marzal was a one-off, four-seater gullwing concept that featured a prototype straight-six engine. It was shown at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show, and the car was named after a strain of fighting bull.
It used a transversally-mounted six-pot engine, essentially the rear bank of the Miura’s V12, and produced 175 bhp that would never be enough in any other Lambo.
The chassis was an extended Miura chassis, with a pair of long gullwing doors and large windows and a smoked glass roof. It paved the way for the Espada, and this very concept car sold a while back at auction for the whopping sum of €1.5 million. Ferruccio Lamborghini himself objected to the car’s doors, saying, “a lady’s legs would be there for all to see.” What a gentleman.
The Lamborghini Terzo Millennio was the result of the exotic car company teaming up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to build something that would “rewrite the rules on super sports cars” for the third millennium. It’s a car that future generations of enthusiasts could stick a poster of on their bedroom walls. This is a car of the future, absolutely, so much so that the technology to power it hasn’t even been figured out yet. This electric hypercar is meant to be “self-healing” and self-driving. It’s meant to use supercapacitors for power, with the ability to have peak power, regenerate, and have limited degradation over the car’s lifetime. We can’t wait to see if this thing can and will actually be built.
Sources: topgear.com, roadandtrack.com, porsche.com, christophorus.porsche.com, digitaltrends.com, motor1.com, carscoops.com