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Porsche 911 Speedster concept marks 70 years of history

  • Meet another Speedster in the Porsche mould
  • It’s ‘the essence’ of what the brand means
  • No top – just a tonneau cover for the rain
2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche
2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche

ATLANTA, Georgia – Porsche has unveiled a beautiful concept as part of the 70th anniversary of its sport cars: a 911 Speedster Concept as a drivable vision of a particularly exciting open-top sport car.

”It links,” Porsche says, ”the very first Porsche 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster, which received an operating permit on June 8, 1948, with today’s Porsche cars. The purist concept and historically accurate execution clearly reflect our essence.”

Each element of the car is said to emphasise a pure driving experience: the powertrain comes from current GT models and the package was developed at the Porsche Motorsport Centre in Weissach, Germany – birthplace of the 911 GT3, 911 GT2 RS and, most recently, 911 GT3 RS.

2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche
2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche

The Speedster Concept celebrated its world premiere as part of an official “70 years of Porsche Sports Cars” anniversary celebration in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.

‘PRONOUNCED STANCE’

The automaker says the characteristics of the Concept include a shorter windshield frame / greater windscreen angle and shorter side windows. ”These features,” it’s said, ”give the concept an even more pronounced stance reminiscent of its predecessors, such as the Porsche 356 Speedster.”

A carbon-fibre rear decklid connects behind the front seats (see image) to cover supplemental crash bars and has two “streamliners”, described as ”a traditional element of this sport-car design since the first 911 Speedster in 1988”

Contrasting black slats between the “streamliners” claim an aerodynamic touch and a transparent wind deflector carries an etched ‘70 years of Porsche’ logo.

2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche
2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche

Like the historic original, the 911 Speedster Concept has a light tonneau cover in place of a convertible top. It’s intended to cover the interior when parked and is attached using eight Tenax fasteners.

The Speedster philosophy also defines the cabin, from which the navigation, radio and aircon have been removed to reduce weight. The bucket seats are carbon fiber, covered in light brown leather similar to the car’s classic predecessors.

READ MORE Porsche features on Carman’s Corner

The shell has been adapted from the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. The fenders, front boot lid and the rear deck lid cover of the concept, however, are carbon-fiber reinforced polymer. Traditional GT silver metallic and white paint recalls Porsche’s early race cars – as do many other details, such as the 1950s-style central fuel-tank cap up front, the classic exterior mirrors and the unique headlights.

2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche
2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche

Transparent and opaque surfaces on the headlight covers resemble an “X” – a nod, Porsche says, to a practice prevalent in Porsche’s early years in motorsport. Back then, headlights were cross-taped to prevent shattering under the assault of track gravel.

UNIQUE FUCHS-DESIGN RIMS

The wide B-pillars and the rear fascia have milled, gold-plated, Speedster lettering and the whole package rides on state-of-the-art components: the chassis has been derived from the 911 GT3, the . 21” Fuchs-design rims are unique to the Concept – the first time Fuchs-design rims have been fitted with centre locks.

The GT development department produced the exhaust system with titanium tailpipes and the power train  spins a six-speed manual transmission driven by a non-turbo, flat-six, engine capable of more than 350kW and a rev limited set at 9000.

…AND A LITTLE HISTORY

The history of Porsche Speedsters began in the United States… variants of open-top sport-cars with distinctive driving dynamics have been part of Porsche  since 1952 withe the forefather of Porsche Speedster models (the 356 1500 America Roadster) had a hand-made aluminium body that weighed only 60kg –  less than the 356 Coupe – and its top track speed of 175km/h from a 52kW flat-four engine was impressive for the time.

2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche
2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche

The car, with slot-in curtain door windows, a folding top and light bucket seats, was developed exclusively for the US market and its features are included in the latest Speedster.

SPEEDSTER ROAD MARKERS

By 2010 eight different production and special models bearing the “Speedster” name had been created. The 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT Speedster was a highlight in 1957; the first 911 Speedster followed in 1988. Limited to 356 units worldwide, the 911 Speedster of the 997 generation built in 2010 was the latest model to be fitted with the famous designation.

WHY ’70 YEARS OF PORSCHE’?

”The exhibition at the Porsche Museum,” the automaker says, ”is showcasing (June 2018) numerous stories and milestones with which Porsche has decisively influenced the development of sport cars since 1948 and continues to do so today, highlighting outstanding Porsche developments through seven decades.”

The brand is also celebrating the anniversary with activities around the world right through 2018. On June 9 Porsche invited fans to its Sport-car Together Day at sites around the world. During the weekend of June 16-17 the brand will host employees, residents of Zuffenhausen district, and prospective customers at a celebration in and around the Stuttgart factory.

2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche
2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche

The Festival of Speed, (July 12-15 at Goodwood in England will celebrate the anniversary, as will Rennsport Reunion VI at the Laguna Seca racetrack in California from September 27-30. The celebrations will conclude with a “Sound Night” event to be held for the first time in the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart on October 13 2018.

So, if you’re in England, Germany or California…!

2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche
2019 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER CONCEPT. Image: Porsche

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