Porsche Will Wave Goodbye To The 991 With A Limited-Production GT3-Based Speedster
Images courtesy of Porsche
Only 1,948 of these new 911 Speedsters will be made—1948 being the year in which Porsche first legally drove a 356 down the road—but it’s not a tribute to that moment alone. It’s more like an exercise in remastering; taking a set of reference points from the company’s history and synthesizing something new but familiar.
Besides the production number’s reference to the 356 that “started it all,” it will have an element of decidedly modern performance too, seeing as its Carrera 4 Cab-based body rides on the contemporary GT3 chassis and moves along thanks to a flat-six making power somewhere around the 500 mark in production form (and probably more than that). Then there’s a little bit of extra nostalgia mixed in by way of natural aspiration and a six-speed manual. On top of that here’s the obvious homage to the 1980s and the G-series Speedster in particular, the links to that car being evident in both the new car’s double-bubble carbon fiber engine cover and the Guards Red paint scheme that’s currently on display at the Paris Motor Show.
So it’s a celebration of 70 years of history, and it’s also one of the last special 991-based Porsches before the 992-generation takes over. It’s the first car that the company will offer with Heritage Design Packages (a new line of accessories from Porsche Exclusive for certain future models, including “modern interpretations of the distinctive themes and colours of its Sports Car history from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s”), but it was also developed in conjunction with Porsche Motorsport. It’s a mixed bag, but it doesn’t seem directionless—it’s okay to have a fast car with three pedals that comes with some high-end options too. It revs to 9,000, some extra options in the brochure should be forgivable.
The new Speedster Concept has been around for a little while now (the red car shown here is the latest version of the concept, which will likely be near-identical to the road car that begins production in the first half of 2019), but with the recent confirmation of the production model coming so soon after last weekend’s announcement of the new Porsche 935, it’s been a busy few days in terms of limited-run P-cars to talk about. That’s not a complaint though, because making building special models on the GT2-and-3 chassis is just a remix that capitalizes on what this company already has in abundance: sports provenance and loyal customers. It’s not like these cars can really cannibalize the history of the Speedster by drawing from it to make a new one, and if you think it’s mostly just a bit of expensive bodywork, then perhaps you’re forgetting what the original cars were all about.
On that subject, those curious about the changes to the body will notice the Talbot-style mirrors and the centrally-located fuel fill on the front hood, the shortened front window frame and side windows, the previously mentioned double-bubble engine cover (made from carbon-fiber composite, along with the front hood and the fenders), but there are subtler changes to the exterior as well, like the unique headlight design (with red tint over the four elements in this case) and the titanium exhaust pipes. In all, it seems like an interesting car that’s a much more proper way to send off the 991 generation than something like 911 with special stitching and a badge, but what do you think?