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Go back a few years and you may have heard rumors of Porsche heading into Formula One. That never came to pass - or at least, it hasn't yet - but that doesn't mean that it wasn't close to happening. That's how committed to returning to top-level motorsport competition Porsche has become recently.
Autosport reports that just as Porsche was merging fully into the Volkswagen Group, Zuffenhausen was weighing its options for a factory racing program. Le Mans was its favorite, which makes sense, as it remains far and away the most successful constructor in the history of the famous endurance race. But the strategists at Porsche were worried that its new corporate overlords at Volkswagen wouldn't support two LMP1 programs and would favor Audi, which has positively dominated the modern era of endurance racing, coming second only to Porsche in the number of Le Mans victories it has scored to date.
Porsche's Plan B was reportedly to head into Formula One, although it isn't clear if the German automaker was intent on starting its own team, buying an existing one or merely providing engines to other teams. Porsche fielded its own cars in F1 in the late 1950s and early 60s, and returned as an engine supplier with TAG to power McLaren in the 1980s, powering Niki Lauda and Alain Prost to the World Championship in 1984 and 1985.
Porsche has released another batch of images of its LMP1 competitor preparing for its debut season in 2014. This isn't the first we've seen of the new car, as June saw four images of the new racer undergoing testing. Where those images looked merely like someone taking pics during the test, the 11 new images seen above have all the hallmarks of highly polished PR shots.
That aside, the camo-covered cars still provide another look at what the new LMP1 car will look like when it arrives next season. The taillights follow the example set by Audi, by vertically mounting ultra-thin LEDs on the tips of the rear wing, while the LED headlights sport the four-prong look that Porsche has been pushing of late. Besides those two items, its difficult to make out many details due to the amount of camo.
Porsche's LMP1 effort will be focused on the FIA World Endurance Championship, which will see the revered brand return to the top flights of the 24 Hours Of Le Mans with F1 ace Mark Webber behind the wheel. As we've mentioned before, the German brand has set up a dedicated microsite that will cover its newest racer's progress.
"Well this is stupid." On the surface, that was our reaction to this video, as well. Why would you compare the hottest Porsche Cayman with a crossover of any kind, even if it is the 400-horsepower Macan Turbo?
We're guessing because it'd be bloody good fun, as evidenced Auto Express's latest track battle. To be fair, there is some interesting stuff here. The two do have a similar starting price, separated by less than $3,000 here in the US market. And, factoring in the Macan's hefty horsepower and torque advantages - 60 horsepower and 126 pound-feet - does make for a slightly interesting comparison.
We won't spoil the verdict, so check out the full video from Auto Express, and then let us know what you think in Comments.