PGO Cévennes Water Snake concept: French carmaker builds its own Porsche 356

Have you ever wanted a car with the classic styling of a Porsche 356, and all of the modern conveniences? France’s PGO Automobiles has you covered.

Behold the Cévennes Water Snake concept, an enhanced version of the retro Cévennes roadster PGO has been building since 2005.

If you think the 911 is for gutless poseurs, you’ll find a lot to like in the Cévennes’ styling. The 356 cues are pretty heavy, with a little Daihatsu Copen thrown in.

The Water Snake concept builds on the stock Cévennes’ extroverted styling with a new body kit, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and BMW-style “angel eye” LED headlights.

The interior gets a leather-wrapped dashboard, quilted leather seats, and carbon fiber trim, to remind drivers that they’re still in the 21st century.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a rear-mounted, air-cooled boxer-four powering this sports car. Instead, power comes from a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder form BMW. It’s mounted in the middle of the chassis, which explains the Cévennes’ slightly askew proportions, although it will probably improve handling.

Don’t expect to be going anywhere too fast in the Cévennes, though. Maximum output is 181 horsepower, controlled through a six-speed manual transmission.

Given the Cévennes’ styling, it’s not surprising that PGO started off building replicas of classic Porsches and other European sports cars in the 1980s. It launched its first bespoke model, the Speedster II, in 2000.

The Cévennes came along in 2005, and PGO launched a shooting brake version called the Hemera in 2008.

However, neither car is sold in the United States, so buyers looking for a retro sports car experience without any of the retro sports car inconvenience will have to stick with the Mazda Miata.

What do you think of the PGO Cévennes’ retro styling? Tell us in the comments.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: