Porsche has made 911 Speedsters before, but none quite like this. Witness the 2020 Speedster, a creation of Porsche Motorsport, the department behind the brilliant 911 GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS. Philosophically, it's a lot like the 356 Carrera Speedsters that tore up road courses around the US in the 1950s, and that's a very good thing.
We saw this Speedster in concept form last year, and now it's ready for production. The gas cap in the center of the trunklid and the "Talbot" mirrors are gone, but thankfully, the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six and six-speed manual from the GT3 are still here. Now, the engine has independent throttle bodies like a GT3 R race car, for improved response and what we have to imagine is a magnificent noise. It makes 502 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque, which is good enough to get the car to 60 mph in 3.2 second and on to a 192-mph top speed.
The Speedster is based on a 991 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, though its 3230-lb curb weight is about 200 lbs lighter than the car it's based on. That's thanks to lots of carbon fiber—the hood, front fenders, and the distinctive twin-hoop rear deck are all made from the stuff. Both the front and rear fascias are made from polyurethane, while carbon-ceramic brakes are standard. Even the roof is manually operated to save weight. This Speedster still weighs about 100 pounds more than a fixed-roof GT3, though. The suspension tuning is basically identical to the GT3, though the Speedster gets unique tuning for the rear-wheel steering system.
Buyers will be able to option a Heritage Design package, featuring a unique silver and white two-tone paint, optional door numbers, and a "Porsche" decal running along the side. The brake calipers are painted black, while the 20-inch wheels are finsih in "platinum satin." Inside, the bucket seats are wrapped in Cognac leather. Owners who option this trim will also get an exclusive Porsche Design Chronograph timepiece sporting a Speedster theme.
Porsche will build 1948 examples of the Speedster, the number corresponding to the year its first road car was registered. Unfortunately, it won't be cheap—the MSRP is set at $274,500 a $1250 delivery fee. That's almost double the cost of a GT3, and nearly as much as a GT2 RS. Orders begin on May 7th, and the cars should start arriving at dealers towards the end of this year.