Back before Dr. Ferdinand Porsche became associated with names like 911 and Carrera, he and his son Ferry were hard at work on a high performance hot rod VW known as the 356. The sports car was Porsche’s first production automobile, produced from 1948 thru 1965 and turned out to be a very successful vehicle. With the current trend of downsizing in search of more efficient lineups, Porsche is preparing to bring back the classic 356 as the automaker’s new entry level offering.
The new 356 will be based on the same steel and aluminum platform as the upcoming Audi R4, and contrarily to previous rumors won’t be as much of a bargain as we all thought, with prices expected to start around $55,000. The 356 is expected to be one of the first Porsche models to be fitted with a boosted boxer four cylinder engine, a unit that is currently under development. In an interview with AutoCar, Porsche’s marketing boss Klaus Bening said "That there is a clear trend towards downsizing, using smaller powerplants and supercharging. We will find our own conclusion to downsizing." The new Porsche 356 is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2012 and Porsche hopes to sell over 75,000 units per year.