One of the most coveted Porsche 911 variants is also one of the most distinctive-looking: the 930S, most commonly known as the “slantnose,” because the nose of the car is, well, compared to a normal 911, slanted. The distinctive feature of the old Slantnose was the replacement of the iconic 911 big round headlamps with pop-up lights. Pop-up lights are quite obsolete now, so how would you make a modern Slantnose? I think I have an idea.
The Slantnose look came from Porsche’s 1976 935 race car, which took advantage of a loophole in the rules to re-design the front fenders to be more aerodynamic, moving the big round headlights into the front spoiler.
Aftermarket suppliers offered kits to make a 911 look like the race car, and in 1981 Porsche decided, what the hell, we like money, too, so they began to offer the “Flachbau” (flat-nose) option for the 911 Turbo (with the Flatnose option, internally known as the 930S) for a pretty hefty charge.
The production Flatnose couldn’t just stick the headlamps in the front air dam like the racing car, so pop-up headlights were used to keep that nose flat and slanted. Well, at least while the lights were down.
In modern cars, pop-up lights are effectively extinct. They act like speed brakes when they’re up and on, killing all that nice aero work, and they tend to be overly complicated, requiring far more hardware than conventional lights.
So, if Porsche wanted to do a modern take on the Slantnose, how could they do it without pop-up headlamps? I think the answer is pretty clear. Well, clear and opaque. I think the solution is Smart Glass.
Smart Glass is, essentially, glass that uses LCD-like embedded particles to, with the application of electric current, instantly go from clear to opaque, and vice-versa. It’s used on windows in fancy hotels and some automotive uses, such as variable-tint windows and panoramic roofs. Here, watch it in action:
Pretty cool, right? What I’m thinking is that instead of using pop-up headlamps, Porsche could make an alternate Slantnose 911 front end that incorporated flush-fitting headlamp units that used smartglass as their outer glass enclosure.
When off, the outer layer is opaque, ideally color-matched to the car’s paint. When on, the glass goes transparent, and the headlamps can be used.
This technology is already here and available and in use in the automotive sector. This could be done! The one thing I’m not certain of is color. I’ve seen Smart Glass applications where the opaque state is black or white, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it in a color, like I’ve crudely mocked up here.
If it can’t be color, I don’t think that’s a deal breaker: modern Slantnose 911s will just come in black or white. I mean, most people are too color-chicken to get real colors as it is, so I think this could still work.
The effect of disappearing headlights should work as well with a smartglass-based system as it ever did with mechanical pop-up lights, but without the mechanical complexity or aero disadvantages when on.
Smart Glass can act so quickly, the indicators could even be behind the Smart Glass, and still be available to work instantly! The only lamps that would need constant exposure would be DRLs, I suppose.
Porsche, you’re welcome to this idea, but you have to give me one if you make it. I want mine in yellow. It’ll be great! Just think of how many old weird-ass shitboxes I can buy when I sell it!