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Paris show: Porsche unveils stunning 911 Speedster

Sexy… and pricey: Surprise new 911 Speedster will top Porsche’s model range at more than half a million dollars.

Lower-slung Speedster to join hardcore GTS as Porsche expands 911 range at Paris

21 Sep 2010

PORSCHE has lifted the lid on a stunning new swansong for its latest 911 range, just when we thought last week’s hard-core GTS had emerged as the flagship of the current 997-series line-up.

Officially pictured here for the first time is the new limited-edition 911 Speedster, which will make its global debut at next week’s Paris motor show alongside the 911 GTS, before arriving in Australia in strictly limited numbers early next year – priced at a cool $519,800.

25 center imageThat makes what Porsche describes as “the most stunning open-top 911 ever built” precisely $77,000 more expensive than Porsche Cars Australia’s current range-topper, the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet ($442,800).

However, with Australia getting only “a handful” of the 356 examples – in honour of the first Porsche to wear the name, the 356 Speedster of 1953 – to be built globally, the 911 Speedster will also be one of the most exclusive Porsches ever.

Heralded with the catchcry of “very low-slung, very sporty and very rare”, Porsche's latest Speedster features a 60mm-lower and ‘faster’ windscreen and a ‘double-bubble’ soft-top hardcover, which resembled that of the newBoxster Spyder and the first 911 Speedster of 1998.

It also comes painted in an exclusive new exterior hue called ‘Pure Blue’, which can be ditched for 'Carrara White' for no extra cost.

The rear-drive 911 Speedster also boasts the 44mm-wider rear-end of its all-wheel drive 911 siblings, potentially opening the way for an even wilder and more exclusive (and, naturally, more expensive) 911 Speedster Turbo version.

There's also a host of customised design and equipment features that aim to showcase Porsche’s individualisation program, Porsche Exclusive, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2011.

As with all Porsche sportscars, however, what matters most is the trademark ‘boxer’ engine, which in this case is the same more powerful (300kW) version of the company’s 3.8-litre flat-six that powers the upcoming GTS.

As with the GTS coupe, the Speedster comes standard with Porsche’s dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission, which – despite the engine’s 17kW of extra power – produces the same relatively frugal 10.3L/100km average fuel consumption figure as the 911 Carrera S cabrio on which the car is based.

The two-seater Speedster will be available in just one specification that comprises almost all 911 options, including a limited-slip differential, Porsche Active Suspension Management and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes.

The hand-finished cabin features black smooth-finish leather, highlighted by a number of exterior body-colour details, including checkerboard patterns in the centre section of both adaptive sports seats and leather side bolsters.

Apart from its chopped top, flatter manually operated fabric roof, double-bubble hardcover and trademark blue paint job, the Speedster is differentiated from cooking-model 911s by tinted headlights with black rings and a black windscreen surround, among other black exterior details.

The Speedster nameplate - which first appeared on the low-slung 356 Speedster of 1953 - returns to the 911 range for just the third time, 16 years and three model generations after it was last sold.

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