The basic design of the 356 remained the same throughout its lifespan, with evolutionary, functional improvements rather than annual superficial styling changes. Nevertheless a variety of models in both coupe and convertible forms were produced from 1948 through 1965.
Prior to completion of 356 production, Porsche had developed a higher-revving 616/36 version of the 356's four-cylinder pushrod engine for installation in a new 912 model that commenced production in April 1965. Although the 912 used numerous 356 components, Porsche did not intended for the 912 to replace the 356.
From the earliest, 1100 cc Gmünd beginnings, the overall shape of the 356 remained more or less set. In 1951, 1300 and 1500 cc engines with considerably more power were introduced. By late 1952 the divided windscreen was gone, replaced by a V-shaped unit which fit into the same opening. In 1953, the 1300 S or "Super" was introduced, and the 1100 cc engine was dropped.