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Paris show: Porsche locks in 911 Speedster for 2019

Aussie interest already high for Porsche 911 Speedster now confirmed for production

Porsche logo3 Oct 2018

PORSCHE will farewell its 991-series 911 sportscar with the limited-edition Speedster, which has now been confirmed for production in the second half of next year with a GT3-derived engine, gearbox and chassis that will appeal to Australian enthusiasts and collectors.
 
However, well-heeled buyers keen on the Speedster will have to visit a dealership quickly, as the retro model’s global production run is restricted to 1948 units – a nod to the year that Porsche received the operating license for its first vehicle, the 356 ‘Number 1’.
 
Porsche Cars Australia (PCA) told GoAuto the Speedster will be sold Down Under, and it will look to secure as many examples as possible, “given strong Australian interest”.
 
However, PCA added that pricing will not be revealed until next year. For reference, the 997-series Speedster from September 2010 started from $519,800 before on-road costs.
 
Confirmed at the Paris motor show this week, the open-top, two-seat Speedster has again been previewed in concept form, this time with Guards Red paintwork that pays homage to the 1988 model.
 
The latest Speedster design study is also differentiated from the Heritage concept shown in June by its cross-spoke 21-inch alloy wheels with centre locks, which are similar to those fitted to the 911 RSR and GT3 R racecars.
 
Furthermore, the racing-inspired tinted daytime running lights feature red lamps, while the Talbot-shaped side mirrors and fuel tank cap centrally positioned on the bonnet are finished in black chrome and platinum.
 
Inside, partly perforated black leather upholstery with red highlights features, as opposed to the Cognac 356 light-brown Aniline leather trim used in the Heritage design study. The air-conditioning and infotainment systems remain removed.
 
Nonetheless, fans of the original concept’s look are in luck, with Porsche confirming that the Speedster will be the first 911 variant to be available with Heritage Design Packages, which increase the model’s already high level of personalisation.
 
True to its name, the Speedster distinguishes itself with a steeply raked windshield, shortened window frames, smaller side windows, a wind deflector and a double-bubble cover behind its seats, while a lightweight tonneau roof can be fitted using eight Tenax fasteners.
 
The body of both concepts is based on the Carrera 4 Cabriolet’s but with the addition of carbon-fibre fenders and bonnets that reduce weight, while the underpinning chassis is shared with the aforementioned GT3.
 
Porsche has reiterated that the Speedster’s naturally aspirated flat six-cylinder petrol motor develops more than 373kW of power and can reach engine speeds of up to 9000rpm.
 
As such, the powertrain in question is expected to be the GT3 RS’ 4.0-litre unit that produces 383kW at 8250rpm and 470Nm of torque at 6000rpm.
 
Either way, the Speedster will exclusively send drive to its rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, while an exhaust system with titanium tailpipes is sure to provide a booming soundtrack.
 
As reported, the next-generation 911 is expected to break cover later this year, possibly at the Los Angeles motor show in late November, ahead of an Australian on-sale date in 2019.
 
Sales of the 911 have improved this year, with 370 examples sold to the end of August – an 11.1 per cent increase over the 333 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.

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