► New Porsche 911 Speedster is go
► 1948 will be built, from spring 2019
► GT3 running gear, 493bhp, less roof
The new 2018 Porsche 911 Speedster Concept is a familiar trope: every generation of 911 reaches maturity, and Stuttgart responds in kind with a sea of GT performance derivatives (think madcap GT2 RS) - and then the really special stuff. The new 991 Speedster falls into the latter bracket. In exclusivity terms, at least.
Because this is peak boulevardier - mixing the showboat of the slinky Speedster style with the running gear of a very serious GT3 sports car. At the 2018 Paris motor show, Porsche confirmed it would build 1948 of them. That's a significant number - marking the year Zuffenhausen started building sports cars.
Although still a concept for now, the lucky few will be able to order one as an ultra-exclusive birthday present for Porsche’s 70th with first deliveries due in H1 2019. If it hasn't sold out already, that is...
We drive 70 years of the great Porsche 911 bloodline
Porsche 991 Speedster: what you need to know
Over to Stuttgart: ‘Porsche will be giving itself an excellent present for the 70th anniversary of its sports cars: the 911 Speedster Concept is a road-ready study of an open-top and particularly exciting sports car’, it crows. For while the company is in fact older than 70, the 356 of 1948 sired a whole generation of rear-engined sports cars - and the current 991.2 generation is the climax of that evolution.
We have already scooped the new 991 Speedster on test at the Nurburgring - see our spyshots here.
It’s a product of the Porsche Motorsport Centre which develops the purest GT2 and GT3 911s. The new car shown in Paris has Guards Red paintwork in a nod to the 1988 911 Speedster of the G-Model generation, and it wears a new design of cross-spoke 21-inch alloy wheels inspired by the 911 RSR and the GT3 R racers.
The drivetrain is virtually stock GT3, sharing the naturally aspirated flat-six developing a heady 493bhp near a heady 9000rpm redline. A GT-spec titanium exhaust is designed to make the most of that sound.
Lower, steeper windows for that 911 Speedster vibe
The windscreen is marginally steeper and shorter than a regular 911’s - and the side windows are correspondingly stubbier too. It helps lend a stocky, poised look, ‘like a 356 1500 Speedster,’ says Porsche.
Read all about the next Porsche 911, the 992
This stance is helped by the Carrera 4 Cabriolet’s wide body and that retro silver/white paint colour works well on this concept car.
The bumpers and both bonnets, front and rear, are all fashioned from carbonfibre reinforced plastic, to keep weight in check. No kerbweight has been issued yet, however.
A carbonfibre rear deck replaces the rear seats, incorporating a classic double bubble reminiscent of the 911 Speedster from 1998, while a plexiglass wind deflector is engraved with a ’70 years of Porsche’ logo (below).
Rain averse: a clip-on tonneau
There’s no full convertible top here, folks. Instead there is a lightweight (read fiddly? Or is that too harsh before we’ve sampled?) tonneau, attached with eight Tenax fasteners. It’s more Los Angeles than London, then, purely in its weather-readiness.
But when a car's this joyful, who cares about niceties like rainproofing?
Browse used Porsche 911s for sale
Inside it’s reasonably stripped-out for a Porsche, with no sat-nav, stereo or air-con - and the seats are carbonfibre-backed buckets with light brown Aniline leather. We expect the production car will let customers go easy on the option delete, as those spending the best part of quarter of a million quid are unlikely to want to sweat it out with no climate control and suchlike.
We’ll update this story in the coming weeks as we learn more about the new Porsche 911 Speedster on the 991.2 generation.
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