Michael Mauer

Porsche 911 Carrera , In-house design: Michael Mauer, Germany
Manufacturer: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Germany

Special: red dot best practice

Porsche AG, Germany

While manufacturers and designers around the world are being invited to register their works for the “red dot award: product design 2013”, we are presenting you with a selection of the award-winning works from last year’s competition in this special publication.

In 2012, Michael Mauer and his team at Style Porsche received the “red dot: best of the best” for the outstanding design of the Porsche 911 Carrera.

“The Porsche 911 Carrera impresses at first glance with its sharply designed dynamics and sensuous elegance. Typical design characteristics of the Porsche 911 Carrera are skilfully combined with modern elements. The car embodies a maximum of sporting aesthetics”, stated the red dot jury. Besides the highest product distinction in the competition, Michael Mauer & Style Porsche were also honoured with the special title “red dot: design team of the year 2012” – the top accolade for sustainable design policy.

Sporting achievement

When the Porsche 911 Carrera first entered the stage of sports car design 49 years ago, it quickly became synonymous of a sporting driving experience and an upmarket lifestyle. Today, the design of the new Porsche 911 Carrera manages the difficult balancing act of successfully fulfilling these high demands and yet, at the simultaneously, presenting itself as a sports car with an entirely new charisma.

The new Porsche 911 Carrera stands out in particular with its highly sporting and athletic appearance. In order to rejuvenate the new generation of Porsche, the new model features a stretched silhouette and highly exciting, sharp contours. Its sportiness is further enhanced by the definition of distinctively modelled edges. The starting point for designing the new 911 was derived from the idea of altering the proportions of the sports car. The concept focused on a 100-millimetre longer wheel base, a wider front track combined with a reduced height; even the tyres were exchanged for 20-inch wheels. This led to an entirely new shape that in particular optimised height-to-width ratio. Although each single line and radius of the Porsche 911 has been redefined, the car’s aesthetics design language nonetheless maintained the familiar shape.

The characteristic side window design typical of this sports car was also kept, although it now features even more sharply tapered quarter windows. It was thus possible to preserve the so-called Porsche fly-line; in particular, the rear-sloping roof line which flows into the rear wheels and thus highlights where the Porsche 911 Carrera transfers its power to the road.

red dot: How would you define
the term design quality?

Michael Mauer: As turning brand values into a visual experience. Design is thus more than the visual, tactile and functional aspects of the product; design acts as a brand ambassador.

What is the greatest challenge
that you are facing as a designer?

Continuing to write the Porsche success story by respecting its history while also moving forward with topics of future relevance.

What is your design philosophy?
One of our design credos reads: purism – less is more.Therefore, defining proportions is one of the key elements in our design process; only then, for us come styling and the honing of details.