Concept Cars

Porsche built a modern-day 917 concept and it's stunning

It's part of a new Porsche Museum exhibit celebrating 50 years of the 917.

Heavens.

Porsche

Porsche blew minds when it debuted a 935 reimagined for the modern day, complete with the guts of the latest 911 GT2 RS. Now, a new Porsche Museum exhibit will show off yet another modern-day take on a classic, and this one might be even better than the 935.

Porsche on Monday showed off the first public picture of its modern-day 917 design concept. In the press release, Porsche said a small group of designers and engineers sought to recreate its hallowed racer with a modern twist. It never made it to the track, of course, but now it'll be on display at the Porsche Museum from May to September, on display in public for the first time.

It's unclear when Porsche actually built this. It looks as modern as any Porsche, with sleek lines evoking the curves of the original 917. Yet, the headlights look pretty close to those on the 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar, and the wheels were taken straight from the 918's concept. That's because the concept was designed and built in 2014, Porsche confirmed via email, just ahead of the 919 Hybrid's FIA World Endurance Championship debut, and right around the time the 918 Spyder made its way to owners. Given the success of the 919 Hybrid that followed, the car stayed as a concept, tucked away until its public debut this year.

Porsche's 917 was the first car to give the automaker an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970, a feat it followed up with another victory in 1971. Depending on the variant, power comes from a flat-12 engine in one of three different displacements. Its final hurrah came in 1973, with the 917/30 Can-Am variant, which completely dominated Can-Am racing. It was also the car Steve McQueen drove in Le Mans.

The whole Porsche Museum exhibit will be on display from May 14 to Sept. 15 at the Porsche Museum in Germany. In addition to this concept, Porsche will show off 13 other exhibits that include 10 different 917 models, as well as technical exhibits and racing posters. There'll also be some 917-specific merch on offer, including a barbecue apron styled after the "Pink Pig" 917/20. I'll take five of those, please.

Originally published March 11.
Update, March 12: Added confirmation from Porsche regarding when the concept was built.

Porsche also went to great lengths to restore one of the original 917s to its 1969 glory. That's dedication to history.

Porsche