Not to be outdone by Ferrari's 599 SA Aperta drop-top, Porsche unveiled its own super-exclusive, roofless coupé at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The 911 Speedster is an open-roof two-seater created in honour of the 356 Speedster model of 1953.
Porsche says the car is "significantly different" to other members of the 911 family, despite the fact that it uses the same body as the Carrera 4 cabriolet. In typical Porsche style, however, those significant differences aren't very obvious to the untrained eye. The most obvious differences include the "pure blue" paintwork, a shorter-than-normal windscreen, and a quite unattractive "double bubble" tail.
Under its bulbous, wasp-sting-inspired rear lives the same 3.8-litre flat-six engine found in the 911 Carrera S. This has been tuned slightly to produce 408bhp -- 23bhp more than the engine of the car on which the 911 Speedster is based. Despite the increase in power, though, average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions remain identical, at 27.43mpg on the combined cycle and 242g/km respectively.
That extra 23bhp translates to slightly improved performance. Porsche says the 911 Speedster can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 189.5mph. If these figures are to be believed, the car is 0.3 seconds quicker getting to 62mph than the 911 Carrera S, with a 1mph greater top speed.
All in all then, the 911 Speedster is slightly quicker than the Carrera 4 S, so it's only right that it should cost a little more -- and, by golly, it does. When the car launches, it'll have a price tag of £144,100. That's not so bad considering this is a limited-edition car (only 356 will be made), but it's hard to ignore the fact that you can pick up a very similar Carrera S for just £82,134.
The 911 Speedster will go on sale in January 2011. Check through our photo gallery above for more photos.