Porsche resurrects 356 with 500hp Vision 357

Incredible 356 homage gets Cayman GT4 RS power

By Matt Bird / Thursday, 26 January 2023 / Loading comments

Porsche celebrates 75 years in 2023, so we can expect plenty of very special cars over the coming 12 months. Especially as this year also marks 60 years of the 911 and 100 years of Le Mans, the race at which Porsche has achieved so much success.

It’s kicking off with this, the spectacular Vision 357, pitched as the car Ferry Porsche might have created were he starting out again today to make a sports car. The 356 inspiration is pretty clear, though the old-school vibe isn’t limited merely to appearance; where current trends might dictate this 357 is electric and autonomous, the concept is powered by the screaming flat-six found in the 911 GT3 and 718 Cayman GT4 RS. All 9,000rpm and 500hp of it. Which is cool.

As well as ‘outstanding sports car performance’, the Vision concept aims to show how future Porsche design themes might be incorporated into future products. Much like the Gran Turismo car and the Mission R, it’s probably not a stretch to imagine details of this car making it to a future Porsche, even if the next Cayman isn’t likely to go full 356 homage. Porsche makes particular note of the light signature, ‘both progressive and visionary in the way it points towards the future’.

The Vision 357 is painted two-tone Ice Grey Metallic and Grivola Grey Metallic, again harking back the colour schemes that were popular in the 356’s time. They really have gone all in on the classic car cures, too, with a really narrow passenger compartment, an abrupt glasshouse and a tapering tail ensuring it looks, frankly, like nothing else Porsche makes right now. And quite a lot like an old, small, quite cute classic car. Only one with 500hp, and Cup 2 tyres.

There are some motorsport influence, too, including Natural Fibre Reinforced Plastic for the sills (like the Mission R), a ceramic exhaust with titanium tip and the ‘75’ decals just like a racing livery. Porsche suggests that the 4.0-litre engine could run on e-fuels.

“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,” said Michael Mauer, Style Porsche Vice President. “The design study is an attempt to combine the past, present and future with coherency, featuring proportions that are reminiscent of its historical archetype and details that visualise the outlook for the future.” The 357 can be seen at the VW Group’s Drive Forum in Berlin from January 27th; it’ll head to South by Southwest in March, ahead of many more international events during this year. Porsche isn’t going to let 75 years pass without some fanfare, understandably. Given how this Vision looks, and how the regular GT4 RS sounds, it’s got to be worth seeking out at some point in 2023.

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