Porsche's new 357 concept pays tribute to brand's first sports car

By dpa | 27 January 2023

BERLIN: As electric mobility, self-driving cars and other major innovations come closer to changing how many of us get around, Porsche is taking a moment to stop looking forward to the future of mobility.

Instead, the luxury manufacturer is now celebrating the debut of its first sports car 75 years ago with a new concept car that marks the premiere of the 356 No. 1 roadster in the summer of 1948.

The new Vision 357, unveiled in Berlin in January, traces the same design contours as the legendary two-seater, albeit only as a showpiece.

The No. 1 was the first car to receive a general operating licence under the Porsche name, initially as a roadster, and then went into large-scale production as a coupé.

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And despite being a company history throwback, this concept has plenty to tell us about where the company is headed, design chief Michael Mauer says.

Built on the chassis of a 368 kW/500 hp Cayman GT4, this silver roadster is supposed to represent what Ferdinand Porsche's dream car would have looked like today.

Mauer's design team has adopted key 356 details such as the wrap-around windscreen and the characteristic grille, but at the same time has broken new ground with the use of modern lights and built-in cameras instead of exterior mirrors.

The Vision 357 may look sharper, drive faster and deliver better overall performance, but in one respect the original is still vastly superior. Some 78,000 models of the original 356 were built between 1948 and 1965. So far the new 357 has a model count of one.

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