Last year, Porsche celebrated its 70th anniversary of building sports cars by showing two 911 Speedster Concept vehicles to the public. Now, the production version is celebrating its North American debut in New York. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.0 liter flat-six engine capable of up to 9,000 rpm that is also used in the current 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models, the 2019 911 Speedster develops 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque, accompanied by a highly emotional, racing inspired soundtrack. For the 911 Speedster, this race-bred powerplant has been enhanced with individual throttle bodies that make the throttle response even sharper, just like in the 911 GT3 R race car. To deliver a particularly engaging driving experience highly desired by purists, the 911 Speedster is available exclusively with a GT Sport six-speed manual transmission. 0 to 60 miles per hour happens in just 3.8 seconds, and the top track speed is 192 miles per hour. The 2019 911 Speedster is planned to be available for order on May 7, 2019 and is expected to reach U.S. dealers in late 2019.
The 2019 911 Speedster is the first such model developed by the Porsche Motorsport department, but it is still immediately recognizable as a Speedster. The low-cut front windshield and side windows as well as the manually operated lightweight fabric top are characteristic for a Speedster model and make the car stand out immediately. The two streamliners atop the rear decklid made from carbon fiber are another design highlight rooted in the model’s history.
The interior of the 911 Speedster is characterized by a focus on the essentials of driving. Lightweight door panels with storage nets and door pulls emphasize the dedication to weight reduction. The standard black leather interior can be supplemented with red stitching for the dashboard and the “Speedster” designation in the headrests. With this option, the door pulls are also fitted in red, and the GT Sport steering wheel is decorated with a red 12 o’clock center marker. The interior trim, which spreads to the gear shift knob as well as the door sill guards with “Speedster” model designation, is carbon fiber.
Underscoring its purist focus, extensive measures of lightweight construction help keep the weight of the new 911 Speedster down. The front luggage compartment lid, front fenders and rear decklid are all made from carbon fiber composite material, while the front and rear fasciae consist of lightweight polyurethane. Standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) save about 50 percent from the system weight with grey cast iron rotors. The fabric top does without any automated operation, save for the electrically-operated latch to lock and unlock it. Air conditioning is omitted as standard in the interest of weight savings, but can be added as a no-cost option if the customer desires. Finally, the six-speed manual transmission saves about 9 pounds compared to the seven-speed manual transmission in other 911 Carrera models, and almost 40 pounds compared to a PDK dual clutch unit. With this clear focus on lightweight construction, the 2019 911 Speedster weighs just 3,230 pounds.
The 2019 911 Speedster uses a chassis derived from the 911 GT3 models with a specifically-calibrated rear axle steering system and dynamic engine mounts to deliver a maximum amount of precision, stability and driving pleasure. 20-inch center lock wheels painted in Satin Black are shod with Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires to offer high levels of grip, while standard PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) delivers very powerful and consistent braking performance.
The history of Porsche Speedster models began in the United States.Speedster variants of sports car models, which combine open-top driving pleasure with incredibly distinctive driving dynamics, have been part of the Porsche company history since 1952. The forefather of Porsche Speedster models, the 356 1500 America Roadster, had an aluminum body manufactured entirely by hand. It weighed about 130 pounds (60 kilograms) less than the 356 Coupe and its top track speed of 108 miles per hour (175 km/h) with its 70-hp four-cylinder flat engine was impressive at the time. Featuring slot-in curtain windows for the doors, a folding top and lightweight bucket seats, this car developed exclusively for the US market was built just 16 times and already embodied several key elements of the speedster design.
By 2010, eight different production and special models bearing the “Speedster” name had been created. The 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT Speedster represented a highlight in 1957, and the first 911 Speedster followed in 1988. Limited to just 356 units worldwide, the 911 Speedster of the 997 generation built in 2010 was the latest model to be fitted with the famous designation.
Exclusively for owners, Porsche Design has created a 911 Speedster Chronograph timepiece. The high-performance Flyback-Chronograph with Werk 01.200 movement developed in-house features Speedster specific design elements such as a carbon fiber dial, and a rotor modeled after the Speedster center lock wheel in both design and color. Genuine Porsche interior leather and thread are also used for the perforated black leather strap with red stitching.