The Porsche Vision 357 is a modern reimagining of the iconic 356 – the German car maker’s first ever car
Porsche Vision 357 is one “of many” 75th anniversary presents for German car maker
Porsche has revisited its beginnings with this new design concept, created as one of “many” 75th-birthday presents the sports-car company will be gifting itself over the coming year.
The Vision 357 is a modern take on the 356, which in 1948 became the first production car to bear the Porsche name and went on to provide the framework for the iconic Porsche 911 – which itself turns 60 this year.
The 357 evokes the rakish and narrow design of the 356, also featuring a modern take on its front end, a rounded rear and bullish flared wheel arches.
However, although it “liberated” itself from any regulations that apply to road cars, such as those concerning safety, Porsche opted not to bring back the 356’s iconic split windscreen design.
The 357 wears a special livery with 75th-anniversary logos adorning the doors and the bonnet, giving it the look of a road-going racer.
Michael Mauer, vice-president of Style Porsche, the team that created the concept, called the 357 an “attempt to combine the past, present and future with coherency” while also showcasing “details that visualise the outlook for the future.”
Despite these comments, Mauer wouldn’t confirm whether the 357 provides an immediate look into the brand’s future stylings and said that it doesn’t preview the next-generation 911.
However, he added that “there are elements that maybe will make it one day into production” and hinted these could include the bug-like headlights and body-integrated tail-lights. “It’s one possible solution, or vision, or you could almost say dream,” he said.
Perhaps surprisingly, the 357 doesn’t have an electric powertrain. Being based on the revered Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, it instead has a mid-mounted 493bhp 4.0-litre straight-six engine, albeit recalibrated for running on synthetic fuels.
This represents a very significant upgrade over the Volkswagen Beetle-derived 35bhp 1.0-litre flat four found in the original 356. As in the GT4 RS, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox sends power to the rear wheels, in this case special 20in alloys. Besides the engine, nods to the 718 underpinnings include side-mounted air intakes just behind the driver’s head.
No interior has been created for the 357, Mauer said, but we imagine that one similar to that of the 718 Cayman would be likely if this car were put into production.
Asked if we could ever see this happen, Mauer said “it would be possible”, adding: “We always try to do concepts that aren’t just for the sake of doing something. But again, [the 357] is really born as a birthday present. I would love to have this car as well.”
When probed about what else Porsche might have in store for its 75th-birthday celebrations, Mauer told reporters to “wait and see”.