Anticipated 991 Speedster Revealed As Concept
As part of its 70th birthday celebrations in Zuffenhausen tonight Porsche has released official details of a 991 Speedster Concept, a vehicle many industry experts had predicted would be launched as a fully fledged production model later this year. Porsche says the car ‘forges a link between the very first 356 Roadster and the Porsche cars of today’. It is the first time Porsche has used the Speedster name since the 997 of 2010.
Developed at the Porsche Motorsport Centre, the birthplace of the latest 911 GT2 and GT3 RS, the Speedster Concept is said to ‘offer a glimpse of a potential series-production version, although this model may not be presented until 2019’. That’s undoubtedly Porsche attempting to disguise the fact that a production-ready version is already tooled and that it is likely scheduled for unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show early next year. The new Speedster borrows elements of the GT3, chiefly its 500hp flat-six engine which revs to 9,000 rpm coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. The chassis of this car is essentially a GT3 offering, 21-inch Fuchs-style centre locking wheels sit in each corner. Porsche’s GT department developed an exhaust system with titanium tailpipes.
The 911 Speedster has been around, on and off, since 1988. Its signifying characteristics include shorter window frames, an inclined windscreen, and a special ‘double bubble’ rear deck cover – in this instance made of carbon fibre. The body for this car is lifted from the Carrera 4 Cabriolet, although the wings, front bonnet and rear cover are made of lightweight carbon-fibre. Two contrasting black slats between the ‘humps’ add an aerodynamic element, a transparent Plexiglas wind deflector features an engraved ‘70 years of Porsche’ logo.
As has been the case historically, the 911 Speedster Concept features a lightweight tonneau cover instead of a convertible top. In a further bid to save weight the PCM and air-conditioning systems have also been deleted. The car’s bucket seats are made of carbon, the light brown trim is representative of a classic 356 interior. The 1950s-style central fuel tank filler cap positioned in the middle of the bonnet harks back to days gone by, so too the classic Talbot shape of the exterior mirrors. The headlights are intended to mimic a cross-like effect – a nod to a taping practice prevalent in motorsport years ago.
Porsche built just 356 units of the 997 Speedster so we can expect the eventual production version of this car to run to a limited number of examples, perhaps even as few as 70 to represent its 70th birthday milestone.