As may have been mentioned once or twice already today, it's the 70th anniversary of the very first Porsche sportscar, the 356, reaching roadworthiness. Obviously the landmark hasn't gone unnoticed in Stuttgart either, and what better way to celebrate than with a new model? Whatsmore, unlike certain previoushistorically-inspired releases which, to be frank, equated to little more than some new paint and a numbered plaque, what Porsche has revealed today is of genuine interest.
We've seen spyshots of the 991 Speedster already, and had a good guess at its underpinnings, but now we have detailed information on the car beneath the camo, one described as a "road-ready study" offering "a glimpse of a potential series-production version."
Developed by the Porsche Motorsport Centre - the same lot who honed both the GT2 RS and GT3 RS - the Speedster Concept is based on a 991.2 GT3, with body shape of the car roughly borrowed from the Carrera 4 Cabriolet. Sitting on 21-inch centre-locking Fuchs wheels, it's powered by the familiar naturally-aspirated flat-six engine putting out over 500hp at up to 9,000 rpm via a six-speed manual transmission.
It isn't just a convertible GT3 though, far from it: the more steeply inclined windscreen and shorter window frames synonymous with Porsche Speedsters are joined here by a unique iteration of the rear 'double bubble' cover which is crafted from carbon fibre - as are the wings and bonnet. A Plexiglas wind deflector sits between the instantly recognisable humps and features an engraved '70 years of Porsche' logo, while the B-pillars sport gold-plated Speedster lettering.
In line with its predecessors, the 911 Speedster Concept features a lightweight tonneau cover instead of a convertible top, from beneath which the sat-nav, air-con and radio have all been removed, while the seats are full bucket carbon items.
There are a few more subtle details which further set the Speedster Concept apart from regular production Porsches as well. The 50s-style central fuel filler cap, classic Talbot shaped wing mirrors, titanium tailpipes, GT Silver and White paint - reminiscent of Porsche's early racing cars - and the headlight design, which is pleasingly nerdy. Opaque surfaces on the headlight covers are said to produce a "cross-like effect" in a nod to the practice of taping headlights before races to protect them from stone chips. A lovely touch, but one you can bet against making it to the production car.
Speaking of which, a decision on whether to move ahead will be made "in the coming months" although even if the green light is given (and Porsche doesn't have a history of releasing meaningless concepts), we certainly won't see a production car before 2019. If you can't wait that long for your Speedster fix, however, the 70th anniversary celebrations are set to continue at this summer's Goodwood Festival of Speed. If you want to see the car in person, that's most likely the place to do it.
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