Paying homage to the first Porsche model to bear the Speedster name – the 356 Speedster – Porsche has announced that a new 911 Speedster will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show in early October. Significantly different from other members of the 911 family, this two-seat roadster features a 2.36” (60 millimeter) lower, more raked windscreen and the characteristic speedster double-bubble hardcover for the manual soft top. Helping to define the striking profile of the new 2011 911 Speedster, the 1.73” (44 millimeter) wide-body from the AWD 911 models makes the rear-wheel-drive only Speedster stand out even more. The production run of this special car will be limited to 356 units worldwide, with approximately 100 heading to the U.S.
The new 911 speedster combines the classic features of the now well-known Speedster series with improved performance over the current 911 generation: The 3.8-liter flat six engine delivers 408 horsepower (hp), 23 hp more in comparison with the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, yet is EPA rated the same at 19 mpg city / 27 mpg highway. The 2011 Speedster reaches 0-60 MPH in 4.2 seconds with Sport Chrono Plus and has a top-track speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) – all courtesy of Porsche Intelligent Performance.
The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission transmits power to the rear axle with a limited-slip differential lock, also included as standard equipment. A six-speed manual transmission is not available. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) are standard, too. Add to that exemplary protection for driver and passengers in the new 911 Speedster as Porsche engineers improved the rollover protection system which is standard in all open-top Porsche cars.
In 1953, the Speedster series was launched as purist sports car based on the Porsche 356. New York Porsche importer Max Hoffman envisioned a lightweight 356 cabriolet that would look and perform in America like no other sports car. The car Porsche created had two sports bucket seats, doors with slide-in plastic windows and a shortened, elegantly curved windscreen and proved to be quite popular, especially in southern California.
In 1988, the second Speedster, this time based on the 911 Carrera, celebrated its revival with an added feature: the characteristic double bubbles. In 1993/1994, the next evolutionary stage of the 911 Carrera was ushered in with the third Speedster edition.
The conception of the current Speedster comes from Porsche Exclusive – the department specializing in individualization of all Porsche cars and limited production models like the 911 Speedster. The 2011 Speedster heralds the 25th anniversary of Porsche Exclusive which will be celebrated in 2011, and once again, demonstrates the small-series competence of Porsche Exclusive after the European success of the 2010 911 Sport Classic. Living up to the Porsche Exclusive standard, the 911 Speedster features almost all optional equipment of the 911 series and its appeal also comes from its meticulously hand-finished interior in black smooth-finish leather with numerous exterior color painted details exclusive to the Speedster. These include decorative designs with checkerboard patterns in the seat center-section of the adaptive sports seats suggestive of a checkered flag, and the leather side bolsters in the exterior color.
The sporty flavor is further enhanced by the exterior color “Pure Blue” which has been developed exclusively for the Speedster, providing an intriguing contrast with the tinted front lights, black headlight rings, black windscreen surround and other black decorative designs. Upon request, the Speedster is available in Carrara White, at no extra cost. It also features a special front apron, specific sideskirts and a distinct rear apron.
In the U.S., the 911 Carrera Speedster will be available beginning in early 2011, MSRP will be $204,000.