911 Speedster

Speedster generations

“I took a 911 Cabriolet off the line and drove it to my hot-rod shop,” admits Preuninger. That car became a mix-up of Gen1 GT3 and that Cabriolet.

The result of the GT boss’ work was first shown to a select group of customers as far back as 2014 alongside the 911 R concept, which the Speedster shares a lot of DNA with. This new Speedster is a GT department model, a car which, if you take Speedsters at their most elemental, it always should have been. 

Even so, Preuninger admits: “We didn’t focus on every last gram and we’re not concerned about lap times.” While that might be true, a kerbweight of 1,465kg is just 52kg more than a manual GT3.

The Speedster, like the R, is exclusively manual, with no PDK being offered, saving 17kg in weight and pleasing the driving purists among us. There are the same 911 R carbon-fibre front wings, the underbody at the rear being R-derived, while PCCB is standard too.

Those early customers who saw it liked the idea of a properly raw Speedster, doing without any roof, but Preuninger and his team denied them that, fitting a hood, in part to ensure that owners actually use them rather than park them away with delivery miles in collections. And the 1,948 Porsche will build? That’s the year when the first Speedster was built. 

Opening the low, neat roof is simple enough – a button unlatches the hood at the top of the lower windscreen and unclips the buttresses which then spring up from the large clamshell. The clamshell lock is released too, and the huge carbon-fibre panel – the largest Porsche has ever made, and weighing just 10kg – lifts out and back on struts, the hood simply pushed into its stowage area underneath.

Pop down the cover and the Speedster is open, as it should be, the slightly steeper rake and lowering of the screen, as well as that rear, fundamentally changing the look of the 911. It’s very reminiscent of original 356 Speedsters, losing the sometimes-uncomfortable, heavy-looking rear of later 911 Speedster models. There’s also a hint of Carrera GT in its proportions, particularly that rear three-quarter view.

The black stone guards on the flanks fore of the rear wheels were a late – and necessary – addition, admits Preuninger, breaking the visual length while harking back to the G-series models.

You don’t have to have them, and if you’re after an even more retro style then there’s the Heritage Pack plus a numbered, customised Porsche Design timepiece, as is the norm these days.

Forget those, though. Preuninger leans in, says to press Auto Blip and the exhaust button and go and drive it. I argue I’ll do the footwork myself and leave the Auto Blip off, Preuninger laughing and saying: “It’s better than you,” before adding, “and me…”

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What Is The New 911 Speedster Like To Drive On The Road?

A few years ago, we discussed the idea of a GT3 Cabriolet (below). Some of us thought it was a great idea, and others not so much. It took almost five years, but Porsche finally built something that is basically the 991 GT3 Cabriolet that we asked for, but better. Consider the 991.2 Speedster a send off for the chassis. This is among the last cars to be produced on this chassis that was introduced in 2012, and in my opinion that very few asked for, possibly the best of the breed. Porsche perfected the closed-roof GT3 concept with the GT3 Touring. Cut the roof off, strip the body of some extra weight, and slam a shortened windshield on there for good measure, and you’ve got the Speedster.

17 Year Old Kid Designs The GT3 Cabriolet Porsche Really Needs To Build

It still has GT3 suspension bits and that mega 500 horsepower naturally aspirated flat six at the back, only now it has a fiddly manually-operated drop top similar to that found in the 981 Boxster Spyder. Don’t worry about the Speedster’s top, however, it’ll usually be stowed away. The Speedster is meant to be driven with the top down.

Porsche had considered selling this car with no roof at all. While that would have been incredibly ballsy, and would have dropped the car’s mass by a not-insignificant amount, it feels right to have a manual roof to continue the Speedster’s lineage as a pure track-capable road car that can be driven across the country. Lets be honest, if you had purchased a 356 from Hoffman in the 1950s, you would have wanted a roof for your 3500 mile drive home to Southern California, right?

Now, Henry Catchpole has driven every iteration of Porsche GT since the 991 series was unveiled (while I myself have not yet driven the GT2 RS). That makes him perfectly qualified to discuss the merits of the Speedster as a package. In the video below for Carfection, Catchpole will touch on just about everything you’d need to know about the Speedster’s ability to perform. Considering it came from the GT car department, it was bound to be good, but how good?

Don’t bother putting the top up. Get in. Push the Sport Exhaust button. Slam the manual gear lever into 1st. Never look back.

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On a testé la Porsche 911 Speedster (2019) [vidéo]

VIDEO. La saga des 911 Type 991 s’achève avec le lancement d’une ultime déclinaison Speedster. Qu’en penser ? Voici notre essai.

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2019 Porsche 911 Speedster Review

It has been a strange, Porsche dominated few weeks – this is by no means a complaint. A few weeks ago, I was in Trump Land for the New York International Auto Show 2019 to see the Porsche 911 Speedster in its final form, finally unveiled for the first time. I say this having seen […]

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Pure and analogue – the Porsche 911 Speedster

Fuel for the imagination: The new Porsche 911 Speedster celebrated its world premiere at the New York International Auto Show. Guest author Fabian Mechtel shares his thoughts with us.

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