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Porsche revives 911 Speedster as concept – for now

Speed demon: The 911 Speedster Concept is motivated by a flat six-cylinder motor – likely the naturally aspirated 4.0-litre unit from the GT3 – that produces more than 373kW of power.

911 Speedster Concept firms for production in time for Porsche 70-year milestone

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Porsche logo11 Jun 2018

PORSCHE has marked the 70th anniversary of its first sportscar, the 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster, with the reveal of the 911 Speedster Concept – a retro drop-top that is firming for production next year.

 

Outed at the sportscar-maker’s celebration over the weekend at its Zuffenhausen headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, the Speedster already looks set for a limited run as a swansong for the 991-series 911, which is due for replacement by 2019.

 

Recently spied testing in Europe, a Speedster engineering mule suggests that a debut is likely set just before the 992-series 911 breaks cover later this year.

 

Furthermore, the new variant is rumoured to be restricted to 1948 units – a homage to the year the aforementioned first Porsche was registered.

 

“The concept study offers a glimpse of a potential series-production version, although this model may not be presented until 2019,” Porsche said in a statement. “A decision on whether to move ahead will be made in the coming months.”

 

When contacted by GoAuto, Porsche Cars Australia (PCA) declined to comment on the production 911 Speedster’s local prospects.

 

Developed at the Porsche Motorsport Centre, the two-seat Speedster Concept combines the body of a Carrera 4 Cabriolet with the chassis and running gear of a GT3.

 

However, true to its namesake, the Speedster Concept adopts a more steeply-raked windshield and shorter side windows to give the sportscar a stockier profile, while a carbon-fibre, double-bubble rear cover connects to the roll-over protection structure behind the front seats.

 

Two aerodynamically honed black slats reside between the humps, while a transparent Plexiglas wind deflector is positioned above with an engraved ‘70 years of Porsche’ logo.

 

A lightweight tonneau cover replaces the traditional soft-top and can be attached using eight Tenax fasteners when required. Milled, gold-plated ‘Speedster’ lettering adorns the B-pillars and rear end.

 

Carbon-fibre is also used for construction of the wings and bonnet, while a 1950s-style fuel tank cap is positioned in the middle of the latter. Contrasting, high-gloss 21-inch Fuchs alloy wheels with centre locks are also prominent.

 

Finished in GT Silver and White two-tone paintwork, the Speedster Concept’s exterior makeover is rounded off by its classic Talbot-shaped side mirrors and transparent-cum-opaque headlight covers.

 

Inside, the infotainment and air-conditioning systems have been removed to reduce weight, while the carbon-fibre bucket seats are trimmed in Cognac 356 light-brown Aniline leather.

 

Motivated by a flat six-cylinder motor – likely the naturally aspirated 4.0-litre unit from the GT3 – the Speedster Concept produces more than 373kW of power, while its engine speeds can reach up to 9000rpm.

 

A six-speed manual gearbox exclusively sends power to the rear wheels, while an exhaust system with titanium tailpipes ensures there is plenty of noise when the top is off.

 

Limited to 356 examples, the last production Speedster served as a send-off for the 997-series 911 in September 2010. It was priced from $519,800 before on-road costs.

 

Sales of the 911 have improved significantly this year, with 276 examples sold to the end of May, representing a 25.5 per cent increase over the 220 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.


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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.