As the CES 2020 is wrapping up, what was your favorite announcement of the entire week?
Despite the later successes and established iconic design, the 911 Spyder remains for Porsche and the whole automotive landscape, some sort of unicorn; an unreplicated, dreamlike beast. This, along with the overall challenge of rethinking the Porsche design led to Project 411.
Sticking to timeless cues of the ‘50s-’60s, like aligning the headlights with the front wheels or a smoothly wrapped bodywork are part of the formula that makes the general Porsche design so iconic. Those same principles were used in rethinking the 911, this time with an electric power plant, contemporary lighting system, electronics, and mechanics.
Another aspect that went through the re-thinking process was the character of the modern supercar; exposing the dual nature of a sports/racing/fun vehicle and ultra-fast, autonomous cruiser.
Hypercars of today are cool, but reaching 400 Km/h on a runway is pretty useless. The 411 is designed with a new primary scenario, creating a new class of vehicle; the luxury highway cruiser.
The concept envisions a not-so-distant future where, with the perfection of autonomous driving, some highways will allow higher speed limits in this mode. Removing the human error from the equation will allow safe cruising at speeds of 200, 300 or even 400+ Km/h, giving business people and the likes a viable alternative to flight as well as a real reason for boasting about that exotic car.
The interior follows smoothly and organically the curves and lines of the general design language. Smooth, minimalistic curves are sculpted by narrow bands that seem to protrude from the dashboard and embrace the occupants with the two seats. Even though the headroom is pretty restricted for optimal aerodynamics, the interior offers ample legroom for the primary use scenario of the car; autonomous cruising.
To achieve the performance and range needed at sustained high speeds, the concept may make use of inductive, on-the-go charging, where the road is provided with inductive charging stripes underneath the tarmac. The relatively small car battery is kept constantly charged this way, making the vehicle literally suck the power from the road as it goes, similar to electric trains.
To allow for extreme efficiency, the original design of the P411, from mechanics to tires, is all about smooth acceleration and straight-line efficiency. However, it will allow for a little stress in curves, adding some real fun in the driven mode.