The Porsche 356 hasn’t been produced since 1965. It is one of the most iconic cars ever, with thousands made between 1948 and 1965. It was the basis for the design of its replacement; the 911. That design language continues right to today. But now a new Porsche 356 is coming.
It is a new, modern interpretation of the classic 356
It is a modern interpretation of the classic 356. Designed by Bo Zolland, it will be hand-built by a coachbuilder in Poland. For now, it is a one-off, but everyone sees the opportunity it presents. The 356 came as a coupe, convertible, cabriolet, and the ubiquitous Speedster.
Once the working bucks are made they could become the basis for doing one-offs of these other bodies for other customers. And limited production would be a natural. How about 356 of each body? How easy could that be?
A 1980s 911 Porsche is providing the donor chassis
A 1980s 911 Porsche is providing the donor chassis. Power will be from a 3.0-liter Carrera engine putting out 270 hp. A Bilstein suspension and 993 brakes are also part of the project.
It fairly closely follows the design of the original 356 but there are differences. First, it is larger than the original. The top is lower and the rear window is larger. The shape of the top is flatter and the wheel openings are raised into the body more than the originals. And the front fender profile takes on more of a 911 look to it.
The design details take cues from the last 356 C series which began in 1963 and ended with the introduction of the 911 in 1965. What distinguishes the C series from a design perspective are the rolled pans front and rear, as well as the bumpers being more integrated into the body. In the design studies, larger diameter wheels aping different 911 wheels throughout the decades are shown.
The new 356 Porsche has a more contemporary look with these changes
Taken as a whole the new 356 has a more contemporary look with these changes. And that is the point; it is supposed to be a modern interpretation of the iconic 356. In some ways, it is the same design evolution that we have seen with the current 911. It still looks like the iconic 911 sweetened up to look thoroughly modern.
There has not been any information as to how much this one-off will cost, nor when it is expected to be completed. We also don’t know how much of the body will be aluminum versus carbon fiber. Obviously, keeping the weight down will improve performance.
Whether this project becomes more like vehicle production remains to be seen. As it is this is a one-off custom vehicle. But the idea of producing a limited run of this would not only be fun to see but would be successful. That’s because it could only be for those with big wallets so that cost-even in limited production, is no object.