The Cayman with a split rear window we never got.
Our extended coverage of previously unseen Porsche design studies continues with a 1:1 clay model that revives the spirit of the 550. Created in 2016, the Le Mans Living Legend is actually a tribute to the lesser-known coupe model rather than the far more popular 550 Spyder. Despite its fixed roof, the low-slung sports car is based on the Boxster and has a clean look much like the recently revealed 904 Living Legend.
While Porsche says the design study is a predecessor of the 718 Cayman GT4 “in the widest sense,” the two cars look significantly different. The Le Mans Living Legend has a less aggressive design, partly because the GT4’s big rear wing has been replaced by an electrically retractable spoiler. Look closer and you’ll notice it has an asymmetrical design as the side air vent louvres behind the window are only on the passenger side.
Gallery: Porsche Le Mans Living Legend
The mid-engined 550 Coupe of yesteryear had a small flat-four engine whereas Porsche envisioned its modern-day equivalent with the “most incredible-sounding eight-cylinder.” We can’t help but wonder whether the company is referring to the naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 installed in the 918 Spyder where it made 600 bhp.
The retro touches are fairly obvious, from the split rear window to the front-mounted centre fuel cap. The quad round headlights are also a visual nod to the 550 Coupe, while the taillights have been reinterpreted to fit Porsche’s current design theme with a full-width LED light strip. The centrally-mounted single exhaust tip of the 1950s race car has made way for a dual setup akin to the 718 Cayman GT4.
The Le Mans Living Legend and 14 other previously unreleased design studies are featured in a new book entitled “Porsche Unseen” and will be exhibited at the Porsche Museum from next year.