The production version of the newest 911 Speedster—two concept versions of which were shown last year—has finally been revealed in the Big Apple, and the low-slung two-seater proves to be an embodiment of all things fleet, sleek, and Teutonic.
The familiar Speedster hallmarks are there—the chopped windshield and side windows, the thin, manually operated fabric top—but beneath the carbon-fiber decklid lurks the same naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six found in the GT3 and GT3 RS. The 9,000-rpm powerplant is a screamer; here it produces 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque, and it should sound even more glorious when it’s uncorked in this open-air chassis. Throttle response is said to be even more wicked in the Speedster thanks to its unique adoption of individual throttle bodies as seen in the 911 GT3 R race car.
Only purists need apply; the engine is exclusively mated to a GT-spec six-speed manual transmission, and specifically tuned rear-axle steering and dynamic engine mounts should lend the Speedster a sharp, incredibly focused road demeanor. Rounding out the chassis package are standard carbon-ceramic brakes and 20-inch center lock wheels finished in satin black.
The theme of the Speedster’s trimmed-down bodywork is carried inside, where the cabin is laid out with an eye towards extreme reductionism. Slide into the slim bucket seats—there are no rear seats as in a regular 911 cab—and you’ll need to let go of your attachment to conventional creature comforts. The stripped-down interior features lightweight door panels with netting for storage and minimalist door pulls. Carbon-fiber construction extends to the frunk lid and front fenders. The polyurethane front and rear fascias shave some additional mass, bringing total weight to a svelte-ish 3,230 pounds, roughly 75 fewer than the less hardware-intensive base 991.2 911 Carrera cabriolet. With the 992-generation 911 already rolling out, the Speedster will serve as the coda for the 991.2.
The 911 Speedster’s performance numbers are as compelling as its looks. Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in 3.8 seconds, and it can achieve a top speed of 192 mph. But perhaps the most eye-opening—at least for 99 percenters—is its MSRP. The Speedster, which will be available to preorder beginning May 7 for deliveries late this year, is attached to a starting price of $275,750. Given Porsche Speedsters’ historical propensity for radical appreciation, though, the steep cost of entry is unlikely to deter the rarified 1,948 individuals who will take the plunge on this raucous and pared-down roadster.