Porsche Vision 357 Speedster: Open-air EV concept, GT4 Clubsport bones


The mark the 30th anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Porsche is bringing a fresh concept that blends something old and something new. Called the Vision 357 Speedster, the open-air roadster inflects the brand’s pursuit of all-electric sports cars with a bit of classic Porsche history.

Porsche Vision 357 Speedster exterior front end high

Squint, and you can see a touch of the 356 Speedster in the body lines, which is very much The Point. The Vision 357 Speedster is the next evolution of the Vision 357 Coupe, which debuted earlier this year as a celebration of Porsche’s 75th anniversary. That car was styled specifically to be a modern adaptation of the 356, featuring a pronounced curvature to the rear of the car, a bubble-like cockpit, and carbon-fiber wheel covers that sort of look like the bolt-on rims that the early drum brake-equipped 356s used.

But since the 356 came in both open-air and coupe form, chopping the top of the Vision 357 was the next logical step. “The Porsche Vision 357 is a nod to the first Porsche model line, Ferry Porsche’s dream sports car. And since the 356 has burned itself into the collective brand memory as both a convertible and a coupé, the same logic applies to the concept car: there can only be two,” said Michael Mauer, vice president of Style Porsche, in a press release.

Porsche Vision 357 Speedster exterior high rear three quarter

Both cars share similar bones donated from the 718 GT4 sports car, but there are some key differences: The coupe version takes its main structure from the 718 GT4 RS, including that car’s wailing 4.0-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six engine. The Speedster, meanwhile, gets its underpinnings from the 718 GT4 e-performance, which means that instead of a combustion engine, it gets the electric motors and battery technology from the Mission R.

The Vision 357 Speedster boasts a host of neat touches such as a stubby windscreen that lacks a cross-member over the top, which was a common treatment of the front glass on classic speedsters. There’s a tonneau cover for the entire passenger side as well, also a fixture of olden-day speedsters.

Dashes of tech do appear in this decidedly throw-back design, too. Cameras replace side-view mirrors on the car, fixed forward onto the front fenders rather than to the doors. The front and rear lights are integrated into the bodywork, appearing almost hidden until they actually turn on.

Porsche Vision 357 Speedster interior steering wheel and control

The interior has been shaved down with a decidedly minimalistic approach. The carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CRFP) seat is integrated into the monocoque of the car, with synthetic padding applied for a modicum of comfort. Below the exposed carbon weave dashboard, you’ll find a few straps in place of a glovebox; if you must carry accessories, secure them here.

While just a concept now, don’t be surprised if sometime soon it turns into a new mass-market, all-electric Porsche 718. We’ve already received confirmation from company CEO Oliver Blume that it’s due in the middle of this decade. The question is whether the Boxster and Cayman EVs will fully embrace a new design direction or seek to comfort its buyers in the warm familiarity of the past.




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