It's a gorgeous, razor-edged convertible ... But at what cost? After revealing the 911 Speedster as a concept last year, Porsche has announced the limited edition production version's price tag. Based on the 911 GT3 with some touches from the 911 R, it's a sexy beast indeed, but it costs an absolute bomb.
The engine is developed from the one in the GT3, with a tiny nudge from 373 to 375 kW (500 to 503 horsepower) from the 4-liter, 6-cylinder boxer thanks to new high-pressure fuel injectors and individual throttle valves in the intake system that also add responsiveness to the motor. Zero-100 km/h (0-60 mph) will take four seconds flat, and the top speed will be a very adequate 310 km/h (192.6 mph).
Transmission is manual only, with a six-speed 'box that'll keep the purists purring, although it does have automatic throttle blipping on downshifts. You can turn that off and heel-toe the thing to your heart's content if necessary.
Weight is saved not only with the removal of the roof, but with carbon composite hood and wings from the 911 R. The Speedster will roll at a fighting weight of 1465 kg, or 3,230 lbs. The Talbot-style mirrors from the concept are gone, replaced by a more anonymous sport design that won't offend anyone.
With active suspension damping, a mechanical rear diff lock with asymmetric locking, rear-axle steering and dynamic engine mounts, taken from the GT3 and 911 R, this thing should be a proper weapon to drive, and Porsche's torque vectoring and stability control will be very handy on the road.
And then there's the roof. It's a fabric top that part-opens itself at the push of a button. You then manually push it around to complete the process and close the lid. Yeah, really. At least you get those two sexy streamliners behind the seats, they look super cool.
If I was a cynical man, I'd say I want a bit more from my convertible roof if it's going to take the price of my car from US$148,000 up closer to $275k. But hey, Porsche only needs to find 1,948 buyers – a number chosen to commemorate the 1948 356 "No. 1" roadster that kicked off Porsche's sportscar business. And those 1,948 drivers can leave their tops down all day if they like, hanging their arms out the side to show off the specially designed companion watches they shelled out about 11 grand more for.
Nice work if you can get it. Orders are open now.
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