- The Porsche Vision 357 concept is an homage to the German automaker’s first sports car, the 356, which entered production 75 years ago in 1948.
- Although it’s based on the new 718 Cayman GT4 RS, the Vision 357 echos the classic 356 proportions and the curvy, sleek bodywork of the original Porsche sports car.
- The Vision 357 is packed with unique details, from the delicate headlight and taillight designs to the motorsports-inspired front splitter and comedic decals on the windows and side sills.
Porsche loves to celebrate an anniversary. Sometimes the homages can feel forced, honoring a vehicle or event that has faded from memory or creating a limited edition as a cash grab for customers who just want an exclusive museum piece. However, the Vision 357 concept, revealed in Berlin at the Volkswagen Group’s “DRIVE” Forum, feels truly special and salutes a worthy forebear, commemorating 75 years since the launch of the first Porsche sports car, the iconic 356.
Surprisingly for a concept car released in 2023, the Vision 357 is not electric. Instead, the slinky coupe is based on the bones of the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, including the glorious 4.0-liter flat-six that cranks out 493 horsepower. Porsche envisions the mid-mounted motor in the Vision 357 running on carbon-neutral synthetic fuels—as indicated by the “eFuel” logo on the gas cap—which Porsche has committed to developing in hopes of keeping the internal combustion engines that made the brand famous alive.
But the real focus of the Vision 357 is design. Despite sitting on a modern platform, the 357 retains the 356’s proportions, with a narrow cabin, squat stance, and wide rear haunches. The bodywork is ultra-smooth, lacking the hard creases in the metal that were impossible to create when the 356 first arrived in 1948. The door handles are hidden next to the side windows and the headlights and taillights are barely perceptible, represented simply by a series of dots arranged in circles and rectangles, respectively. The brake light is sneakily integrated into the rear grille that runs from the rear glass down to the diffuser, another reference to the 356.
The Vision 357 also includes nods to Porsche’s motorsport heritage, most noticeably with the “75” racing number adorning the doors and hood. A large front splitter sticks out while the side sills are constructed from natural fiber-reinforced plastic, like on the Mission R concept and Cayman GT4 ePerformance prototype. The concept rides on 20-inch magnesium wheels with carbon-fiber hubcaps that straddle the boundary between the aerodiscs on ’80s race cars and wheels with traditional spokes.
Porsche designers certainly had fun penning the Vision 357, as evidenced by the comedic stickers dotting its body. A little cloud emblazoned with the word “Air” sits on the side glass just ahead of the intake, ordering the surrounding atmosphere to naturally feed the engine. A little Tyrannosaurus rex decal on the side sills stems from conversations the designers had while working on the project, joking that because they were creating a gas-powered concept in 2023, that made the vehicle “like a dinosaur.”
After the Vision 357’s exhibition in Berlin ends in mid-February, it will appear at events around the world. Hopefully, the timeless design also serves as inspiration for the next-generation electric 718 sports cars due in 2025.