Porsche reveals Vision 357 concept for 75th anniversary
Porsche marks 75 years of building sports cars in 2023, with a host of celebrations planned.
To kick off the festivities, the company has revealed a special retro-inspired concept car, called the Vision 357.
Its name references the 356 No.1 Roadster: the first Porsche sports car to be granted a general operating permit on 8 June 1948.
Retro-futurism on show
Designed purely as a concept car, the Vision 357 has been ‘liberated from the regulations’ that apply to regular production vehicles. The result is an extreme one-off, based on the same platform as the raucous Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS.
The Style Porsche team has given the Vision 357 a narrow cabin sat atop widened bodywork: an obvious nod to the shape of the Porsche 356. Its wraparound windscreen and black A-pillars are meant to evoke the shape of a visor on a racing helmet.
The car’s lights are mounted beneath bespoke perforated covers. Itsheadlights blend Porsche’s modern ‘four-point light signet’ with a traditional round design. A central grille pattern at the back of the Vision 357 pays homage to the engine cover of the 356.
Classic looks, modern materials
Despite its retro inspiration, the Vision 357 makes use of modern materials. Natural fibre-reinforced plastic (NFRP) makes up the side sills, magnesium is used for the 20-inch alloy wheels (with carbon fibre aero covers), while the exhaust is made from titanium and ceramic parts.
The Vision 357 also borrows its mid-mounted flat-six from the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. Notably, unlike the rear-engined Porsche 356 production car, the original No.1 Roadster prototype also had a mid-engined layout.
However, the 500hp output of the 4.0-litre engine in the Vision 357 slightly exceeds the 40hp of the first 356…
A 75th birthday present
Porsche chose a two-tone finish for the Vision 357, with Ice Grey Metallic and Grivola Grey Metallic paint used for the bodywork. Both colours mimic the grey tones popular during the 1950s.
Michael Mauer, vice president of Porsche Style, commented: “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”.
The Vision 357 concept will be displayed at the Volkswagen Group’s ‘DRIVE’ forum in Berlin. It takes pride of place at a special ’75 Years of Porsche sports cars’ exhibition, and is on show until mid-February.
John Redfern writes for Motoring Research