How McQueen might have shot this special edition Porsche
It's half a century since Steve McQueen began shooting "Le Mans" — and the most famous film sequence featuring a 911. We recreate it with a Targa 4...
Fifty years ago, Steve McQueen began shooting the epic "Le Mans" — and the most famous film sequence featuring a Porsche 911. Fast forward to 2020, and we reckon the new Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition would be a shoo-in at the auditions.
When a picture tells a thousand words: McQueen relied on the power of imagery when it came to the character Michael Delaney. During the first half hour of the film, not a word is spoken, as Delaney arrives at La Sarthe in his Porsche 911 S. The car is the star of this legendary intro and it's the same at the 2020 photo shoot – the new Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition takes centre stage.
With 331 kW (450 hp; 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition: Fuel consumption combined 10.3 – 9.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 235 – 227 g/km), this special model offers two and a half times as much power as the 1970 film original. The backdrop for the shoot is modelled on the famous Porsche workshop near the track in Teloché, where the team was based during the 24 hour race until the 1980s.
In "Le Mans", the German Johann Ritter is one of McQueen’s rivals. Ritter’s helmet from the shoot half a century ago now sits on the cherry metallic paintwork of the new Targa 4S. While a first gen' 911 sits in the background, the latest 911 interpretation presents its tail end, featuring a continuous strip of lights and four silver sport tailpipes. The boot lid grilles in glossy black and decorative elements illuminated in white are the calling card of the Heritage Design Edition, which has been limited to 992 vehicles.
During filming of the movie, a Porsche 908/02 Spyder camera car captured some of the incredible racing of the real 24-hour race of 1970, where Richard Attwood and Hans Herrmann took victory for Porsche. These historic scenes are seamlessly interwoven into the film's storyline.
The Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition is a loving nod to Porsche history, with gold-coloured lettering on the Targa bar and the rear. The unique interior features club leather and corduroy in Atacame Beige and the instrument cluster and Sport Chrono stopwatch also borrow from the past.
The finale – and a furtive glance at the guest star in the studio: a first-generation Porsche 911 Coupé. The garage door then opens and releases the new 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition onto the road, where it will write its own story.
"Le Mans" premiered in Indianapolis, where McQueen had grown up, in 1971. It wasn't a box-office success – it was deemed too experimental for its time, but it has become a cult classic.
Have you seen it? Let us know what you think of Steve McQueen's "Le Mans" in the comments below.
911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition: Fuel consumption combined 10.3 – 9.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 235 – 227 g/km