New 911 Speedster is almost as expensive as the GT2 RS.
Porsche typically offers the 911 in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins does ice cream, and choosing between them can be a task no less challenging than wringing out all the performance they're capable of delivering. But if we had to choose just one version of the iconic German sports car, this would be it.
Previously shown in concept form, Porsche has now detailed the production version of the new 911 Speedster. It's basically a no-frills, open-air GT3, and we have to admit we're crushing on it pretty hard. If only we could get our driving-gloved hands on one.
Where most versions of the 911 have gone turbocharged by now, the new Speedster sticks with a 4.0-liter boxer six, adapted from the outgoing 911 GT3, and naturally aspirated to the tune of 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque. No automated dual-clutch transmission here, either: the Speedster packs an old-school six-speed manual. But it doesn't eschew modernity altogether: it still boasts four-wheel steering, torque vectoring, stability management, active suspension and engine mounts, an auto-blipping shift function, and carbon-ceramic brakes – features that help it hustle to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds flat en route to a quoted 192-mph top speed.
With the wind in your hair, it's bound to feel even faster. Compared to the Carrera Cabriolet, the windscreen and side glass are chopped down. The Cabrio's fully automatic top and the concept's flimsy awning are replaced here by a light-weight manual fabric roof that folds down underneath an entirely unique rear deck. It's the largest piece of carbon fiber Porsche has ever made, with carbon hood and fenders, lightweight door panels, and stainless-steel sports exhaust further helping trim the curb weight down to 3,230 lbs. The aero package is derived from the GT3's and the fan-favorite 911 R, and there's a Heritage Design package on offer as well.
None of it comes cheap, though, by any means. Pricing released for the US market starts at $274,500 (plus a $1,250 destination charge), undercutting the top-of-the-line, record-setting GT2 RS by less than $20k. Factor in another $24,510 for the Heritage pack, and $10k or so if you want the accompanying Porsche Design wristwatch. Deliveries are slated to commence later this year. So if you want to get one, you'd better act fast.
The biggest impediment to ownership, though, may be its scarcity: Zuffenhausen will only make 1,948 examples, in reference to the year in which the original 356 Roadster first debuted 71 years ago at the dawn of the marque's history, before the 356 Speedster that inspired this one first appeared in '54. The order books are opening now, so if you have the means and the inclination, you'd better get your order in quick before they're all sold out.