Porsche has launched a small edition of a 911 Speedster that, the company says, pays homage to the first Porsche that bore the name - the 356 Speedster - and only 356 will be built.
Porsche 911 Speedster zooms in
It will have its world premiere at the Paris auto show in early October.
The two-seater is, Porsche says, very different to the rest of the 911 family. The windscreen is 60mm lower and more raked, the flat contour of the sporty manual hood and the characteristic double-bubble hardcover for the soft top define the car’s striking profile.
It all makes the body of the car, with its 44mm wider rear, stand out even more.
The new 911 Speedster claims to combine the classic features of this type of Porsche with further improved performance: the 3.8-litre flat six delivers 300kW, 17kW more than the 911 Carrera S, and at 10.3 litres/100km is no less efficient than the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet without Powerkit.
The seven-speed DSG transmission sends power to the rear axle through a standard differential lock. Suspension management and ceramic brakes are standard, too, and add, Porsche says, exemplary safety for driver and passengers along with an improved rollover protection system.
The concept for the current Speedster comes from Porsche Exclusive – the company-owned "enhancer" specialising in car individualisation. The 911 Speedster heralds the 25th anniversary of Porsche Exclusive in 2011 which will again demonstrate the small-series competence of Porsche Exclusive after the big success of the 911 Sport Classic.
Living up to that standard, the 911 Speedster has almost all the optional equipment of the 911 series along with its hand-finished interior in black leather with many exterior colour painted details exclusive to the Speedster that include decorative chequered patterns in the centre section of the sports seats reminiscent of a winner's flag and leather bolsters in the exterior colour.
The Speedster can also be ordered in white but all versions have a special front apron, specific sideskirts and a distinct rear apron.
The Speedster series was launched in 1953 as a pure sports car based on the Porsche 356 with two bucket seats, doors with slide-in plastic windows and a shortened, elegantly curved windscreen. In 1988 the Speedster based on the 911 Carrera celebrated its revival with an added feature: for the first time the hood compartment lid had the characteristic double bubbles.
In 1993/1994 the next evolutionary stage of the 911 Carrera was ushered in with yet another Speedster.
In Germany the 911 Speedster, including country-specific equipment and 19% VAT, will cost 201 682 euros - about R1.89-million - and will be launched in December, 2010.