This tribute to James Dean's iconic 550 Spyder was specially requested by a former Volkswagen Group executive.
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A one-of-a-kind Porsche concept known as the 550one has been unveiled after more than 12 years out of the public eye.

The Porsche 550one was a mid-engined roadster created in 2008 as a modern tribute to the iconic 550 Spyder, a car made famous by Hollywood actor James Dean – who was killed while behind the wheel of his 1955 550 Spyder.

Fittingly, the 550one concept also bears the nickname 'Lil' Bastard', a nod to the moniker Dean lovingly bestowed upon his own 550 Spyder.

The concept was originally commissioned by Ferdinand Piëch, the late Austrian chairman of the Volkswagen Group, and the design process was overseen by Italian car designer Walter de Silva.

After spending over 12 years in obscurity and shielded from the public, three never-before-seen images of the car were shared to de Silva's Instagram page, showing the front, rear and interior of the top-secret creation.

While a production version was long rumoured, the 550one never made it beyond concept form, as the marque focused its energies more on its SUV offerings.

The exterior design of the 550one boasts a trio of side air intakes and large air intakes at the front, with a single central exhaust at the rear.

Inside, there's a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminium pedals, leather door-pull tabs and a six-speed gated manual gearbox reminiscent of the Audi R8.

The images of the 550one have emerged separately to the 15 unreleased design concepts Porsche showcased in November last year – including the 'Vision Spyder' concept inspired by Porsche's 1954 550-1500 RS Spyder.