February 6, 2023

The Porsche 357 Vision

Porsche Vision 357 in Berlin, 2023. Photo by Porsche AG

From late January to mid February, Porsche is hosting a special exhibition in Berlin entitled “75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars” at the Volkswagen Group’s DRIVE Forum. The main piece of the display is the Porsche Vision 357, a concept car harkening back to the Porsche 356 model line that so defined the brand. The exhibit will also appear at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival and other International events throughout 2023.

75 years ago, in June 1948, Porsche presented their first production prototype - the 356 No. 1 (aka 356/1), marking the birth of a luxury sports car dynasty. It was a two-seater mid-engine roadster with a tubular frame and an aluminium body shell.

A Porsche 356 "No. 1" Roadster and a Porsche 911 901 No. 57 in Berlin. Photo by Porsche AG

The 356/1 prototype would go into production as the 356, with a major destiny fulfilling change - the flat four was moved behind the rear axle in order to make room for two additional seats. With the engine out the back, the shape of the car would change slightly, but the overall lines stayed true to the prototype. 75 years later the rear engine configuration has become synonymous with Porsche. 

Not only does the rear engine layout live on, the modern day Porsche 911 still matches up with the silhouette cast by the 356. 

A 1948 Porsche "No. 1" Roadster, a 1963 Porsche 911 901 No. 57, and the Porsche Vision 357. Photo by Porsche AG

As did the 356, the 357 exhibits some unique and forward looking design features. Door handles that conceal into the body, a windshield that curves into a flush, continuous line with the A pillars and side windows, a four-point headlight signet, and cameras instead of side view mirrors. It rides on 20” magnesium wheels with carbon fibre hubcaps and central locks. At the back, blue titanium exhaust tips frame Porsche lettering and complement the motorsport style decals found on all sides of the car. Process air intakes are placed inside the car by the rear side windows. 

Porsche 357 Vision in 2023. Photo by Porsche AG

One thing the 357 vision does not have in common with its predecessor is power. The 357 is a relative monster, able to kick out more than 10x the power of its forefather, producing 493 horsepower and boasting a top track speed of 315 km/hr. This is achieved with the use of an adapted powerplant from the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six with six valves per cylinder. This system is designed to run on eFuels, a synthetic that is created using captured carbon dioxide and hydrogen. However, company executives have alluded that the 357 is more likely to inform the development of the next Boxster or Cayman than to hit production as a model unto its own. 

Porsche 357 rear view, Photo by Porsche AG

The 357 design, and the society embracing fanfare with which it is being presented, portray an automotive brand that is at once traditional and innovative, ethnocentric and global, and leaves little doubt as to the continued prestige that will be afforded the Porsche name for years to come. 

Left to right: Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, Michael Mauer, Vice President of Style Porsche, and brand ambassadors Lund Svindal and Timo Bernhard with the Porsche 357

To read about the vintage Porsche collection that was on display at Porsche Centre Calgary in the Summer of 2022, click here.