Porsche will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2023. The company's first model, the 356, arrived in June 1948, and the automaker is honouring its past with the new Vision 357 concept. The Style Porsche Team worked to reinterpret the 356 for the modern era.
"The concept car is an attempt to combine the past, present, and future with coherency," said Michael Mauer, Style Porsche's vice president. The 357 adopts the original's proportions while featuring styling details that look toward the future.
Gallery: Porsche Vision 357 Concept
One of the most noticeable things about the concept is its sleekness. There are no door handles – designers hid them in the rear side glass. Cameras replace traditional side mirrors. At the front and back, Porsche hides the lights behind perforations in the body panels while integrating the third brake light into the rear grille motif, one of several callbacks to the original 356.
Early 356s featured a split windscreen with a bar down the middle. While a similar accent isn't present on the Vision 357, Porsche played with the concept's glass, wrapping it around the black A-pillars to unite the three window elements into a single piece and resembling a helmet visor. Twenty-inch magnesium wheels with "aerodynamically advantageous" carbon-fibre hubcaps sit at the corners.
Porsche finished the exterior in a two-tone paint scheme with Ice Gray Metallic covering most of the car and Grivola Grey Metallic accenting the front bumper. Big "75" decals adorn the doors and bonnet, while subtle "357" stickers reside on the front wings/fenders and rear fascia. The company even marked the air intakes in the rear side windows with "Air" decals and arrows pointing to the inlets. The 357 expels its exhaust through bluish-looking titanium tailpipes that have ceramic interiors.
The Vision 357 is a styling concept, putting the powertrain on the back burner. However, Porsche built the car on the 718 Cayman GT4 RS technology platform, lending the concept its naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six engine. It "theoretically draws" 493 bhp (500 PS / 368 kilowatts) from the block. The company says it would design the mid-mounted powertrain to accommodate synthetic fuels, not that Porsche indicated it had plans to produce the car.
The public will get the opportunity to see the concept at a special exhibit in Berlin celebrating 75 years of Porsche sports cars. The exhibition at Volkswagen Group's Drive Forum opens on January 27 and runs until mid-February, with Porsche planning to present the concept at other international events throughout the year.