This year marks 75 years since the first Porsche rolled off the production line. Completed on 8 June, 1948, that first car was a 356 Roadster, and to celebrate its birthday Porsche has created a concept envisioning what a new 356 might have looked like today.
Called the Porsche Vision 357 the car features a similar silhouette and stance to the original, but with the modern underpinnings of a sports car. The drivetrain is that of the current Cayman GT4 RS, meaning a 4.0-litre, six-cylinder engine producing 492 horsepower.
Although using a petrol engine instead of an electric motor, Porsche says how the concept’s engine would be designed to run on the company’s new ‘eFuel’, which is made from water, renewable electricity and carbon dioxide.
“We created a very special birthday present in the form of the Porsche Vision 357, one which uses the 356 as a basis to underscore the significance of our design DNA,” said Michael Mauer, vice president for style at Porsche, said. “The design study is an attempt to combine the past, present and future with coherency, featuring proportions that are reminiscent of its historical archetype and details that visualise the outlook for the future.”
The 357 has similar proportions to the 356, with the rear end sloping sharply away from the roofline and the black A-pillars creating the look of the wrap-around windscreen adopted by the 356 in later life. Modern flourishes include how the head- and taillights are almost entirely integrated into the bodywork, while retaining the same round graphic of the 356.
Porsche points out how there are parallels between the two cars in their paintwork. The two-tone concept uses Ice Grey Metallic on its body and Grivola Grey Metallic around the lower portions, which the company says is reminiscent of the grey tones that became popular in the 1950s.
The car sits on a set of 20in wheels made from magnesium, with carbon fibre hubcaps and central locks that Porsche says are “aerodynamically advantageous”. Other details include the sills, which are made from natural carbon fibre-reinforced plastic, containing flax and also used on the Porsche Mission R, an electric racing car concept from 2021.
As is increasingly common on concept cars, and even those now in production, the Vision 357 has cameras instead of wing mirrors.
Porsche has not spoken about plans to put the Vision 357 into production. However, the car will go on display to the public at the Volkswagen Group’s ‘Drive’ forum in Berlin from 27 January until mid-February. The exhibition space, which is to house vehicles celebrating Porsche’s 75th anniversary, is free to enter. After that, the 357 will be presented at the South by Southwest event in Austin on 10 March.