Open-topped Porsche evokes the spirit of the original 356 Speedster of 1948.
Open-topped Porsche evokes the spirit of the original 356 Speedster of 1948.
Image: Reuters

While the new 992 generation Porsche 911 has been launched, the outgoing 991 version has not yet completely exited the stage.

At the New York International Auto Show Porsche took the wraps off a Speedster model, which is a lightweight cabriolet based on the 911 GT3 Touring model.

Only 1,948 units of the open-top two-seater will be built and that number is a nod to the first Porsche 356 Speedster launched in 1948.

A handful of these Speedsters will come to SA at a price yet to be announced.

The body is based on the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet but adds a double-bubble cover behind the seats to give it the Speedster vibe.

It will be the first car to be offered with the new Heritage Design Packages, an exclusive accessory line by Porsche Exclusive which allows for an even higher degree of personalisation for the 911.

The power output from the naturally aspirated flat-six 4.0l engine is 374kW, and a high-revving redline of 9,000rpm ensures it sounds as good as it goes. To cater for purists the car is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

The manual transmission’s lighter than the PDK auto, and this forms part of the diet the car’s gone on which also includes lightweight carbon fibre replacing steel in several body panels. Other weight savings include the soft top being manually instead of electrically operated, and the air conditioning has also been deleted.

We did say it was purist, though customers can specify aircon for free if they prefer not to swelter on summer days.

To aid the handling in this purist driver’s car, the Speedster features rear-axle steering which turns the rear wheels, and carbon-ceramic brakes ensure fade-free stopping power.

• This article was originally published by the Business Day. 

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