Concept Cars

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept celebrates 70 years of good times

There hasn't been a 911 Speedster since 2010.

Porsche

Porsche's 911 Speedster is a unique way to enjoy open-air motoring, and to celebrate the automaker's 70th anniversary of producing gnarly sports cars, there's a whole new one, albeit a concept.

911 Speedsters eschew traditional convertible looks in favor of something a bit sportier. The windshield frame is shorter and more steeply raked, and the windows are also shorter. On this new one, the rear decklid is made of carbon fiber and is large enough to hide safety bars. Instead of a standard convertible top, there's a lightweight tonneau cover that is really only meant to be used when stationary. It's held to the car with fasteners.

Those wing mirrors are something to behold.

Porsche

The Speedster concept puts driving first, and that's evidenced by the fact that Porsche removed the navigation, radio and air conditioning in order to reduce curb weight. The seats are made of carbon fiber, but there's still a tinge of luxury by way of a brown leather interior.

This specific concept is a mish-mash of multiple models. The body was adapted from the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, while the chassis features a load of GT3 inspiration. The headlight covers show the "X" that used to be prevalent in Porsche's motorsports efforts to prevent road debris from cracking the lights. The Fuchs-style wheels have center locks instead of the usual lug nuts, which is a first.

Out back is a naturally aspirated flat-six transmission putting out more than 500 horsepower with a redline of 9,000 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission is along for the ride, as it should be, given the Speedster's history of being a driver's car. While it's technically just a concept, it's drivable, and something tells me that if well-heeled Porsche owners pony up enough dough, it could become a limited-run reality.

The first Porsche 911 Speedster came in 1988, but the idea behind it has existed since 1952, when the 356 1500 America Roadster debuted. The Speedster continued through the 964 generation, and while Porsche technically skipped the 993-generation Speedster, it ended up building two -- one for Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, and one for Jerry Seinfeld. It returned again in 2010, when Porsche built 356 examples based on the 997-generation 911.

At the company's 2018 Rennsport Reunion VI, held at Laguna Seca, Porsche rolled out the Speedster in the flesh for the first time. Still clearly labeled as a "concept" (it says so right on the license plate), company executives at the event made no bones about their intentions to produce the thing. When, and for how much? That we still don't know, but you can check out the gallery for a host of new images of the Speedster plus its predecessor.