2010 Paris Auto Show
What is it?
2011 Porsche 911 Speedster
What's special about it?
Porsche is reviving the legendary Speedster name on a limited-edition, open-top version of the 911 created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the firm's in-house individualization operation, Porsche Exclusive.
The new car is only the third 911 Speedster to go into production, following on from models launched in 1988 and 1993.
To be unveiled at the Paris auto show alongside the similarly powered 911 Carrera GTS, the 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster is planned to be produced in a limited run of just 356 — a figure harking back to the original 356 Speedster that went on sale in 1953. So yes, the production run will be small, but the majority of those 356 Speedsters are earmarked for North American sale.
Adopting the styling cues of the very first Speedster, the new model receives a flamboyant appearance with a unique "chopped" windscreen that has been lowered by 2.4 inches and is more extremely raked than that used on other 911 models. It also gets the wide-body rear end of the 911 Carrera 4S cabriolet.
A plastic cover for what Porsche describes as a "flat, manually operated fabric hood" sits behind the two-seat cabin. The double-bubble design was first seen on the 3.2-Carrera-based 911 Speedster in 1988.
Further distinguishing features include a spoiler below the front bumper, blackened headlamp surrounds and windscreen frame, clear lens turn signals, wider side sills and a rear bumper with vertical air ducts behind the rear wheel arches.
The interior boasts a combination of black leather and various fittings from the Porsche Exclusive catalog. Buyers can choose between two exterior colors: Pure Blue, which has been developed specially for the new car, or Carrera White.
The 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster is powered by the latest version of its 3.8-liter flat-6 cylinder engine. As recently confirmed for the 911 Carrera GTS, it delivers 402 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The only gearbox available is a seven-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox with a locking rear differential.
No official performance figures have been revealed but officials at Porsche's Zuffenhausen headquarters in Germany confirm the 911 Speedster dips below 5 seconds in the sprint to 60 mph and reaches a top speed in excess of 186 mph. Average fuel consumption is put at 22.8 mpg (U.S.) on the combined European cycle.
Edmunds.com says: A chop top from the factory? That's our kind of 911, not to mention a fitting send-off to the 997 series before the new 991 shows up next year. — Andreas Stahl, Contributor