The Speedster concept car that the Duke of Richmond drove up the hill to open this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed is going into production after all, Porsche has confirmed at the Paris Motor Show.
Originally built by Porsche Motorsport and Style Porsche as a tribute to mark the company’s 70th anniversary, the latterday 911 Speedster will go into production as a variant of the current 991 family in early 2019. 1948 of them will be available, marking the year in which the first Porsche sports car hit the road.
At the Paris show, Porsche is displaying an updated version of the Goodwood concept, previewing how the production car will look next year. It also previews new Heritage Design Packages to be available from Porsche as a new line of accessories, and which the new Speedster will be the first model to feature.
The heritage element is obvious from the Paris show car with its 1988 Guards Red paint, centre-lock wheels, perforated black leather interior, “bullet” mirrors and centrally mounted fuel filler.
Elsewhere the 911 Speedster ticks all the essential Speedster boxes, with design cues that hark back to the first Porsche 356s and which pay homage to the 911 Speedster of 1988. That means an uncompromisingly open two-seater with chopped-down window frames and carbon-fibre rear lid with double-bubble cover behind the seats. It also means if it rains you will get wet: there’s only a simple fabric tonneau instead of a hood. It is what Porsche calls the “purist Porsche”.
It’s pretty pure underneath, too. Just as with the concept the Duke of Richmond drove, the 2019 production Speedster is based on the awesome 911 GT3. So it gets the GT3 chassis and most important its naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre flat six and six-speed manual gearbox, plus a new titanium exhaust system. The body started out as that of the Carrera 4 Cabriolet, with the transformation into Speedster spec involving bespoke carbon-fibre bumper sections and bonnet and boot lids.
A purist’s Porsche with howling 500PS (493bhp) flat six, 9,000rpm red line and a manual ‘box? Dreams do come true. No price yet but by the time you read this they have probably all gone anyway…