This S-91x Pegasus Starfighter is the Porsche Taycan’s wildest daydream
If a Porsche Taycan dreamed of being a New Republic starfighter, it would be the Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter. We have this on good authority, too: from a team of Porsche and Lucasfilm designers who worked for six weeks designing a new class of vehicle blending the X-Wing, Y-Wing, and U-Wing with the Porsche Taycan. The resulting creation will be plunked, digitally, into the universe of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Doug Chiang, Lucasfilm’s VP executive creative director, and Michael Mauer, Porsche’s vice president of style of style, set the design parameters: between two and four engines, a maximum crew of five, and a large rear cargo door for passengers. Initially, he suggested the design have a door on either side of the cockpit to look more automotive; but the final design used a Y-Wing-style cockpit and plucked the Taycan’s headlight clusters instead.
As far as the ship’s personality goes—just to anticipate your next question—it’s “a good guy ship,” and while it’s sufficiently edgy for a Star Wars fleet, the light grey color scheme isn’t at all Darth Vader. “We want to go more friendly,” Chiang counsels his collaborative team in the video narrating the design’s journey from sketch to cinema.
After a week of “blue sky” iteration, in which the designers drew whatever their hearts desired, Lucasfilm’s Chiang and Porsche’s Mauer narrowed down the options and set about refining the design. We all know sports cars can’t fly, but from a designer’s perspective, however, the shapes that define the sports car aesthetic can take to the air quite easily—given a healthy dose of CGI.
“The shapes have to be very streamlined, and you need a big engine to convey power,” Chiang explains. Another designers notes that “the closer we brought the engines to the cabin, the sportier and more automotive it really looks.”
After several weeks, the team printed out their ideas, piled a table with glossy print-outs, and broke out the scissors. They made a collage of their favorite design elements and handed it to a CAD wizard to produce a 3D render. Here’s the before and after:
The Star Wars aesthetic seems to have won out, since the most obvious Taycan cues are the headlights tucked within that praying-mantis-esque front, and the main oblong shapes are the canopy and the front profile of the engines. The team didn’t slap jets on a 917, but the seating position does mimic that of the McLaren F1: a center-seated driver flanked by two passengers. Beyond that, we’ll forgive you for not getting strong “automotive” vibes—the wings, you know, aren’t usually a car thing.
Doeke de Walle, an advanced interior style designer for Porsche, can’t help grinning when he says, “Ever since I was small, I was amazed with the spaceship designs. I played with X-Wings—this is definitely a dream project.”
So what’s your verdict on the Tri-Wing S-91x Pegasus Starfighter? Do you agree it’s “elegant, beautiful, and fresh,” as the design team concludes? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.