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Porsche 911 Speedster to cost £211,599. Image by Porsche.

Porsche 911 Speedster to cost £211,599
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What's all this about?

Last year was the 70th anniversary of Porsche building sports cars, an epoch that began with 1948's seminal 356. Just six years after that original Porker arrived, the 356 Speedster was born. And so, to celebrate both of these facts, here we have a new model of the 991-generation 911, called the Speedster.

Hold on, 991? Don't you mean 992?

Nope, we mean 991. Although the latest 992 variant is already with us, and has even spawned its own open-top derivative in the form of the Cabriolet, the 911 Speedster you're looking at here is based on the 991-generation of Porsche's venerable sports icon. And, more specifically, three particularly delightful examples of the 991: namely, the GT3, the GT3 Touring and the limited-run 911 R.

Oooh, does that mean the 4.0-litre flat-six?

It does indeed. Normally aspirated, this 9,000rpm screamer develops 510hp and 470Nm - that places it neatly between the 500hp GT3 and the more extreme 520hp GT3 RS, and the extra power is delivered via detail changes to the fuel injection, the individual throttle valves and a 10kg-lighter stainless steel sports exhaust, now fitted with two gasoline particulate filters. In even better news for Porsche purists, the Speedster gains the six-speed manual gearbox from a 991.2 GT3, while it also has an armoury of Porsche's multi-letter acronyms and initialisms: PADM, PASM, PTV, PSM PCCB and so on.

Er, could you explain some of these?

Sure thing. PASM is Porsche Active Suspension Management, which - on the Speedster - has a sports tune and is 25mm lower than regular applications. PADM is active drivetrain mounts, to ensure the 510hp 4.0 puts all of its exertions to the road in the most efficient manner possible. PTV is Porsche Torque Vectoring with a mechanical limited-slip differential, while PSM is basically the German brand's name for 'electronic traction control and anti-skid tech'. PCCB is a desirable one; it's the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, standard on the 911 Speedster. Beyond this, there's also rear-axle steering and a set of centre-lock, forged alloy wheels, which are 20 inches in diameter.

What's the performance like?

Blistering. And thirsty. The 0-62mph run is ticked off in four seconds dead, with the top speed rated at 192mph. At best, you'll get 20.6mpg and that's accompanied by 317g/km of CO2. Oof.

How about the aesthetics?

Following on from last year's concept version and then the confirmation of Speedster production, a few things have changed. The 'double-bubble' cowling, which has defined all 911 Speedsters since the first one appeared in 1988 (34 years after the 356 variant...), is present and correct, but it's here made of carbon fibre composite. The rollover system from a 911 Cab is included in the double-bubble panel, and the fabric roof has been upgraded from the simple tonneau cover of the Speedster concept to something that can actually be used day-to-day. Indeed, the Speedster will open up or close itself (mostly) electrically, with only a tiny bit of extra human intervention needed to make it safe from the elements. The carbon-fibre bonnet of the Speedster is 2kg lighter than the 991 GT3's comparable item, while the front wings are made of the same stuff - just like on the 911 R. The front apron is from a GT3, yet it has a completely new splitter design, while the rear bumper and extending, aero-tuned spoiler on the rump are direct lifts from the GT3 Touring. You might also notice the Talbot mirrors of the 2018 Speedster Concept have been replaced with electrically adjustable and heated Sport Design exterior items.

And inside?

Much black leather, found on the side bolsters and head restraints of the full-bucket carbon-composite seats (of which there are just two in the Speedster), as well as on the door armrests and shortened gear lever. Perforated leather clothes the centre panels of the chairs, while the door cards are lightweight items with fabric pulls and stowage nets. In the cluster reside black dials with white needles and green numerals, this being a direct homage to the 1954 356 Speedster, while a logo denoting the 911's model name is spotted on the head restraints, the central rev counter and the exposed carbon door sills of the Speedster. Finally, a plaque behind the seats says which of the 1,948 units in the production run of 911 Speedster you're sitting in.

Ah, so it's a limited build, then? Therefore, how much will it cost?

Yup, limited to 1,948 examples, as mentioned above, and you can probably work out why Porsche alighted on that particular figure. You'll need a whopping £211,599 to secure an example, with the 911 Speedster on sale right now ahead of production starting at Zuffenhausen later this summer. Interested customers can even drop another £9,900 on a Porsche Design Timepieces 'chronograph' (watch) that comes in two Speedster designs and is limited to (yep) 1,948 examples, and/or another £15,302 on the Heritage Design Package. This changes the interior to Black and Cognac with golden details, while the exterior gains 'spears' white graphics on a GT Silver metallic body, plus a load of historic motorsports decals. You can then choose your own two-digit number for the door logo, while the Porsche crests and logos will all be finished in gold.

Matt Robinson - 7 May 2019

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.2019 Porsche 911 Speedster. Image by Porsche.    - Porsche road tests
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