New Porsche Vision 357 Speedster: open-top EV arrives with Mission R tech
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of its first production model, the 356, Porsche has built a roofless EV version of its 357 concept
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the 356 as the first production Porsche, and to celebrate the occasion, the firm is making a full circle with a retro-themed electric sports car. Called the Vision 357 Speedster, the new concept will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week as part of Porsche’s anniversary celebrations.
The design of the 357 Speedster is familiar, not least because it’s largely shared with the existing 357 coupe that debuted earlier this year. Underpinned by a chassis and powertrain derived from the Porsche 718 GT4 ePerformance racer, the 357 Speedster’s classical appearance hides a platform that’s very much next-gen, in contrast to the GT4 RS-based hardtop version.
Exact performance figures haven’t been revealed, but given that the GT4 ePerformance borrows its electric motor and battery technology from the Porsche Mission R to deliver 1073bhp, expect it to eclipse the 493bhp 357 coupe. Power is delivered by two electric motors – one at the front axle and another at the rear – which are driven by a 65kWh (usable) battery pack; like the GT4 ePerformance and the Mission R that preceded it, the 357 Speedster’s powertrain tech foreshadows Porsche’s future road car programmes.
The GT4 ePerformance weighs in at less than 1550kg and achieves a 0-62mph time of around 2.5sec, but there’s no word on whether the 357 Speedster matches those figures. Whatever the case, it’s likely to use the same motorsport-derived suspension hardware and 900V electronic architecture for rapid charging.
With flowing bodywork that’s clearly guided by the 356 Speedster, the 357 Speedster integrates modern aero solutions into its retro form with a large front splitter, rear diffuser and a deep undercut behind the front wheels to guide air along the flanks.
A passenger-side tonneau cover recalls classic sprint racers of the 50s and 60s, as does the Speedsters' slim frameless windscreen. A set of 20-inch magnesium wheels with carbonfibre accents hint at the 357’s modern underpinnings, as does its bare carbon single-seat interior, alcantara steering wheel and transparent instrument panel.
The Vision 357 Speedster is the centrepiece of Porsche’s Goodwood appearance in 2023, which will see it showcase its most iconic models from past and present as the event’s celebrated marque for this year.