Spotlight on another concept car, less known to the public, the Porsche Tapiro. This concept car was built in 1970, designed by Giorgietto Giugiaro the famous Italian designer who was appointed "Car Designer of the Century" in 1999.
At the end of the 1960s, the collaboration between Volkswagen and Porsche intensified. This led to the creation of the VW-Porsche 914. The four-cylinder versions were branded Volkswagen, while the six-cylinder versions were branded Porsche. The 914/4 was well accepted in the USA, while the 914/6 did not receive the same acceptance in Europe at that time.
From this model, Giorgetto Giugiaro - who had just recently created the company Italdesign - designed a prototype to test a very daring wedge-shaped idea. The lines are frankly abrupt, with right angles and sharp corners. Giugiaro sees a tapir in this very sharp line, which is the reason why he names his concept Tapiro under the Volkswagen-Porsche brand.
The Tapiro is based on the Porsche 914/6 chassis and has gull-wing type doors. It is powered by an air-cooled 2.4-liter flat-six engine developing 220 hp, a 5-speed manual gearbox and an official top speed of 245 km/h. The interior is very puristic. The two occupants are separated by a large central tunnel.
In 1972, this unique model was sold to a Spanish industrialist who drove it daily. At a certain point, the car was destroyed, respectively burned. The circumstances are still unclear. According to some sources, the car was blown up by a bomb placed under the car by a group of union activists to protest the owner's wage policy.
Other sources reported that the car was destroyed in an accident.
Fortunately, the chassis could be recovered and the remains of the Tapiro are now on display at the Italdesign Museum in Turin, Italy.
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