The Porsche 356 stands at the beginning of a unique success story. For Porsche's 75th anniversary, Head of Design Michael Mauer and his team have completely reinterpreted the great classic. However, the Porsche Vision 357 is also an ambassador for the future of the brand.
Anyone who hears the name Porsche will most likely go straight to the Porsche 911 as their first thought. Nevertheless, it was the 356 that was the brand’s first production model – from 1948 it defined the rear-engine architecture and the aerodynamically seductive silhouette as a blueprint for all future models. Around 78,000 examples of the Porsche 356 were built up until 1965. The DNA of the original Porsche is also found in the latest Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Nevertheless, the global community has lost sight of the founding myth in recent years while worshipping the air-cooled 911 as the golden calf. At the start of the 75th anniversary year, however, Porsche's first milestone is to be given all the honour it deserves.
The fact that design boss Michael Mauer and his team in Weissach know how to interpret the past of the brand in a highly creative way and even lift it into the future has been known at least since the publication of the most secret studies and prototypes in "Porsche Unseen". Now they’ve done it again - and with the Porsche Vision 357, they’ve taken us on a mental journey through the past, present and future. At the beginning of the project there was the question: What would Ferry Porsche's dream of a sports car have looked like today? The fascinating study that came about as a result is a homage to the monolithic design of the early Porsche 356. The broad shoulders, the narrow passenger cell around which the windscreen curves, the flyline that falls early, the magnesium wheels with central locking –not only for connoisseurs of the Porsche brand it is obvious which iconic sports car was the inspiration here. At the same time, the concept car also gives a glimpse of the future design language and philosophy of Porsche: The light signature of the Porsche Vision 357 with the four-point light signet in the front and the punctiform gradient pattern in the rear, for example, could one day be found in a similar form in the series. The two-tone colour concept of the Porsche 357 with the elegant shades of ice gray metallic and grivolagrey metallic would also suit most of the current production models rather well!
"With the Porsche Vision 357, we have created a very special birthday present that underlines the importance of our design DNA based on the 356," says Michael Mauer. “The study is an attempt to coherently connect the past, present and future. The proportions may be reminiscent of the historical model, and the details visualize a view of the future.” It is only logical that the start number 75 is emblazoned on the front and doors of the anniversary Porsche. Incidentally, under the sculptural shell of the Porsche 357 is the technical platform of the 500 hp 718 Cayman GT4 RS. The study can be seen until mid-February as part of the special exhibition “75 Years of Porsche Sports Cars” at the Volkswagen Group Forum “DRIVE” in Berlin, before it begins its anniversary world tour.
Text: Jan Baedeker, Classicdriver • Fotos: Porsche, Stefan Bogner