Porsche celebrates its 70th anniversary with the 911 Speedster concept
The first Porsche sports car, the Porsche 356 'No. 1' Roadster received its operating permit on June 8, 1948, and established Porsche as the carmaker we know it to be today. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of this event, Porsche has unveiled the Porsche 911 Speedster concept. Although a concept as of now, the Speedster could make it to production in 2019.
First off, the 911 Speedster gets a stockier profile, reminiscent of the Porsche 356 1500 Speedster. This is by way of its shorter window frame, a more inclined windscreen and similarly shortened side windows. The 911 Speedster Concept's body has been lifted from the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, but the wings, front bonnet and rear cover of the concept are made of carbon-fibre. The rear cover is a unique design incorporating a double bubble element, a traditional design feature in Porsche's Speedster line since 1988. This hides a roll-over protection structure and comes with two contrasting black slats between the 'humps', adding an aerodynamic touch. A transparent Plexiglas wind deflector featuring an engraved '70 years of Porsche' logo adds to the look.
The 356 inspiration continues with the 911 Speedster concept using a lightweight tonneau cover instead of a convertible top. The weight-saving traditionally seen in Porsche's Speedster cars is seen in the interior, where the navigation, radio and air conditioning systems have all been removed. The full bucket seats are made of carbon, and the light brown Aniline leather covers in Cognac 356 are inspired by older Porsches.
The silver and white paint job is a callback to Porsche's early racing cars like the 550 Spyder. This theme continues with details like the 50s-style central fuel tank cap in the middle of the front bonnet, the classic Talbot shape of the exterior mirrors or the unique design of the main headlights. The transparent and opaque surfaces on the headlight covers are a nod to the practice in early sports car racing of taping mirrors to protect from damage. Milled, gold-plated Speedster lettering on the B-pillar and the rear complete the look.
Underneath the retro bodywork, the 911 Speedster Concept is using the chassis from the track-oriented 911 GT3. The Speedster concept also uses the 4.0-litre flat-six from the GT3, making 500PS and 480Nm. This is paired with a six-speed manual and an exhaust system with titanium tailpipes. The car sits on 21-inch rims in Fuchs design with contrasting high gloss clover-leaf details.
Porsche says this concept follows in its Speedster tradition of cars beginning in 1952 with the 356 1500 America Roadster. This is the latest in a long line of cars following this brief because of its focus on open-top driving pleasure and distinctive driving dynamics. The Speedster nameplate has been seen on eight models ending with the 997-991 Speedsters in 2010.
Other than this concept, Porsche is also planning a number of events to commemorate its 70th anniversary. In a special exhibition at the Porsche Museum, the company is highlighting its development of sports cars over the last seven decades. A number of other events centred around fans, employees and customers are being organised. To round things off, this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed will also celebrete the anniversary, as will the Rennsport Reunion in California. The celebrations will end with a"Sound Night" event which will be held for the first time in the Porsche Arena in Stuttgart in October.
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