Porsche has unveiled the new 911 Speedster at the Paris motor show.
The model has been resurrected 16 years and three model generations after it last featured in its line-up – and a hotter, turbocharged version could follow.
The new car is just the third 911 Speedster to be placed into series production and it follows tradition by being based on the existing cabriolet version of the model.
Paying homage to the car that kicked off Porsche’s fascination with the chopped-top look – the 356 Speedster, launched in 1953 – the new 911 Speedster uses standard bodywork but receives a 60mm shorter and more heavily raked windscreen than other 911s.
A plastic tonneau cover behind the cabin also receives a double-bubble treatment reminiscent of that which graced the first 911 Speedster in 1988. The overall appearance is further enhanced by the adoption of the widened rear bodywork of the latest 911 Carrera 4S cabriolet, with its 44mm wider wheel housings.
A flat, manually operated fabric hood is designed to provide some protection from the elements, although it is unlikely to be as sturdy as the standard 911 cabriolet’s automatic roof.
Created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Porsche Exclusive – the company’s in-house personalisation programme – the latest 911 also receives an additional chin spoiler at the base of the front bumper, tinted indicator lamps, blackened headlamp surrounds and windscreen frame, unique side sills and a rear bumper with 911 GT3-style air vents behind the rear wheel arches.
Inside, there is a combination of black leather and colour-keyed elements taken from the Porsche Exclusive catalogue.
Power for the 911 Speedster comes from the same 3.8-litre motor that was unveiled last week in the 911 Carrera GTS, with 402bhp and 310lb ft. But insiders say Porsche could follow the original 356’s plan by introducing a Super Speedster shortly after this car’s launch; it would probably use the 911 Turbo’s powerplant.
Standard equipment on the Speedster includes Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox, a locking differential, adaptive damping and carbon-ceramic brakes.
Porsche plans to produce just 356 examples of the new model. It's due on sale in the UK in January 2011, priced at £144,100.