To celebrate the upcoming 75th anniversary of its first road car, Porsche’s design team unveiled the Vision 357 concept.
Its primary source of inspiration is a Porsche 356 Roadster, which received its general operating permit on June 8th, 1948, making it the first road car to wear the brand’s crest officially. Thus, the Vision 357 pays tribute to the car that kicked off the brand and looks to the future and how its design might evolve over the following decades.
The base for this concept is fittingly a 718 Cayman GT4 RS. While the Vision 357’s sleek, curvy lines and lack of immediately visible air intakes may allude to a set of batteries powering it, it counts on the aforementioned GT4 RS’ 493 hp flat-six. However, the concept theorizes that e-fuels could power such an engine in the future, a nod to the carbon-neutral synthetic fuel Porsche has been working on in collaboration with the Chilean electro-fuel developer HIF Global.
Aside from theorizing a carbon-neutral sports car, the Vision 357 also showcases the kind of car Porsche could build if it didn’t need to abide by current regulations. Thus we get a curvaceous coupe free of traditional headlights, taillights, and side-view mirrors. Quick-release latches fasten its front compartment, which is one enormous piece that blends its hood and fenders. It cuts off sharply behind the front wheels to allow air to flow uninterrupted.
Drawing inspiration from the Mission R concept, the Vision 357 features natural fiber-reinforced plastic side sills. In keeping with the carbon-neutral theme set forth by its fuel, these aero elements feature sustainable materials, which according to Porsche, are made up of flax fibers from the agricultural sector. A sizable side air intake sits above them and feeds the theorized internal combustion powertrain.
Its rear fenders also feature the cut-off styling behind the wheels, continuing airflow improvements. The Vision 357’s rear is perhaps the most 356-inspired section of this concept’s styling, as it features the now-iconic sloping roofline, which meets massively flared arches. To tie it all together, Porsche added a grille pattern just above the rear diffuser and twin exhaust pipes as a nod to the brand’s first model.
Large graphics on the doors and rear arches draw attention to the 356’s upcoming 75th anniversary while contrasting nicely against the concepts Ice Grey Metallic and Grivola Grey Metallic paintwork. According to Porsche, these were popular colors during the 1950s.
The Vision 357 rides on 20-in magnesium wheels with carbon fiber hubcaps. While these pay homage to the 356 A and 356 B wheels, their aerodynamic disk also shrinks them visually, tying their look closer to the original. As a package, it’s a stunning concept with styling motifs we can only hope will trickle down to the brand’s production cars.
The German carmaker plans to formally unveil the concept this week during Volkswagen Group’s “Drive” forum in Berlin as part of the “75 Years of Porsche sports cars” exhibition. It’ll be open to the public from January 27th, 2023.