Porsche has released a concept car to celebrate 75 years since the name Porsche first appeared on a vehicle. Ferry Porsche, son of the company’s founder, affixed the surname to a tiny, hand-built aluminum prototype called the 356 Roadster on June 8, 1948.
The Porsche Vision 357 takes its name as a successor to those 356 models that won Porsche notoriety. But it’s neither based on that open-top roadster nor, as you might otherwise expect, on the quintessential Porsche 911. Instead, it comes with a coupe body that looks part Panamera, part Nissan 350Z, and is built on a 718 Cayman GT4 RS platform.
Its designers seem unbothered by the gap between inspiration and end result. Porsche’s design department has been perceived as “just repeating itself with the 911,” Michael Mauer, the chief designer at Porsche, told reporters via a video call on Jan. 16. Mauer didn’t want to do that. “It was not really a long, philosophical, strategic discussion. The 356 was the starting point for the sports car brand of Porsche. We wanted something connected to the future.”
The debut follows another year of record-breaking results at the Stuttgart, Germany-based company. In the first three quarters of 2022, Porsche reported a 40.6% leap in operating profit, to more than €5 billion ($5.5 billion). The company predicted a strong 2023, final results for which are forthcoming. It delivered 70,065 vehicles in North America in 2022, its best year ever.