Porsche has announced that its 911 Speedster, the open-top two-seater concept study presented during the 70th birthday of the sports car manufacturer, will be produced as a limited special edition of no more than 1,948 units. The number reminisces the Porsche 356 “Number 1” that received its operating license on June 8, 1948. Production is slated to begin in the first half of 2019.
The distinguishing legacy of the speedometer, which combines open-top driving pleasure with sports performance, was established at Porsche by the 356 1500 America Roadster of 1952. Developed exclusively for the US market, it had a 70-hp flat-four-cylinder engine that could achieve an impressive top speed of 175 kmph. Only 16 examples were built, but it embodied several of the key elements that would later become the signature of the Porsche speedsters such as slot-in windows for the doors, a folding rain-cover top and lightweight bucket seats.
By 2010, eight different series and special models had been created with the ‘Speedster’ byname.
The 1957 Carrera GT Speedster is generally considered to be a highlight of the legacy, while the first 911 Speedster arrived in 1988. The 356 units of the 911 Speedster produced for the 997 series in 2010 saw an end to the production of Speedster variants. Until Now.
The latest drivable 911 Speedster Concept, based on the current-generation Porsche 991, was developed at Porsche Motorsport in Weissach in cooperation with Style Porsche and Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. The car was initially presented on June 8, 2018, in Zuffenhausen as a “Heritage” version. This year, Porsche introduced the second Speedster Concept study in Paris. Its ‘Guards Red’ paintwork is a reference to the 1988 911 Speedster of the G-Model generation.
The 21-inch, cross-spoke with centre lock wheels is another visual highlight. The wheel design is similar to that of Porsche racing cars such as the 911 RSR and the GT3 R. Another race inspired element is the tinted day-time running lights. They are kept red to match the study’s paintwork. Black-chrome and platinum give a distinct gloss to the two Talbot-shaped exterior mirrors as well as the fuel tank cap. In contrast to the previously shown “Heritage” version, the interior of the new version uses partly perforated black leather upgraded with red highlights.
The body of the concept cars is based on the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. The fenders, as well as the front and rear bonnet are made from lightweight carbon fibre composite while the chassis was taken from the 911 GT3. All body components, as well as the entire technology of both the 911 Speedster Concept cars, are identical. This includes the shortened window frames with their lowered cowl top panels and the smaller side windows as well as the carbon-fibre rear bonnet with the double-bubble cover behind the seats. Both cars come with a lightweight Tonneau cover, fitted by Tenax buttons, instead of a convertible soft top.
The Speedster Concept is powered by a naturally-aspirated flat-six engine developing more than 500 hp and capable of engine speeds of up to 9,000 rpm. The drivetrain is a manually operated six-speed gearbox. The exhaust system terminates with titanium tailpipes. The gearbox and exhaust system were provided by the GT development department.
The Speedster will be the first car to be offered with the new Heritage Design Packages. This exclusive accessory line by Porsche Exclusive allows for a higher degree of personalisation for the 911.