It was Porsche’s 70th birthday last year, and to celebrate, it made itself a new Speedster. No Porsche is more American than the Speedster the idea originated with the company’s US distributer many decades ago so Porsche chose America as the place to debut the production car. If you know your Porsches, a Speedster needs no explaining; for the rest of us, it’s a sports car to drive on a sunny day. The windscreen has been cut lower than normal, as have the side windows. The manual soft top is pretty rudimentary and really meant to live under the streamlined rear deck lid.
So it’s a 911 for extroverts in places with good weather, but there is a little more to the new Speedster than that. Chopping down the glass and replacing the roof with something that’s really only for emergencies means the Speedster is a fair bit lighter than any other 911, and less mass means better performance. And it certainly should perform; this one was developed by Andreas Preuninger and his boffins at Porsche Motorsport.
The engine is taken from the GT3 and GT3 RS, so it’s a 4.0L naturally aspirated flat-six that revs to 9,000 and delivers 502hp (374kW) while doing so. There are no flappy paddles in sight; this one is only available as a six-speed manual.
Porsche says the order book for the $274,500 Speedster opens in May, and it’s only going to make 1,948 of them.