At the 2019 New York Auto Show, Porsche unveiled a throwback in more ways than one with the reveal of the production-ready 911 Speedster. The name originates from the earliest days of the Zuffenhausen automaker’s rise into sports car superstardom, harking back to the 356 Speedster of 1955 and the various version of the company’s rear-engine flagship that have spawned since.
Now that the 992-generation of 911s have entered the fray, this Speedster also acts as a final goodbye to its slightly more controversial and forward-thinking predecessor - it was, famously, the first 911 to ditch hydraulically assisted rack in favour of the more efficient, though less communicative, electric steering. That doesn't detract from this new Speedster’s impact, though, and the enhancements the Porsche designers have wrought are nothing short of a feast.
Porsche had already tipped its hand at quite an angle last year when they showed off the car in its ‘concept’ form, and here it seems that nearly all of that made it through the gestation into a series production car, albeit one just limited to just 1,948 units.
We already knew it would feature internals from the 991 GT3, including the suspension components and powertrain therein. Interestingly, the 4.0-litre naturally aspirated high-revving flat-six has had individual throttle bodies fitted to further improve engine response and general zing, but also results in a cleaner fuel burn as well as increased efficiency and, would you believe it, fewer emissions. Drive is sent to the back, which can also rear-axle steering, via a 6-speed manual transmission lifted from the 911 R.
There are also new fuel injectors which run at a much higher operating pressure over any standard GT3 and its new stainless steel exhausts does save some weight, but more importantly helps balance the mass distribution at the lowest section of the car to complement the carbon fibre and aluminium body panels. In all, thanks to 374kW and 470Nm, Porsche claims it needs 3.8 seconds to dispatch the century sprint and a 310km/h top speed.
The Speedster is already packed with nods to Porsche’s racing history as well as those recalling previous generation cars to bear this name, but speccing the car with the optional Heritage Design Package turns up the vintage motif even further, adding a GT Silver Metallic exterior with an interior of two-tone Black & Cognac as well as numerous other callbacks.