New Porsche 911 Speedster reportedly in the worksTue, 12 Nov 2013
When European-car importer Max Hoffman suggested to Porsche that the American audience might like a cheaper, open-top version of the company's 356, Stuttgart responded with the Speedster. And while every Porsche partisan is a special snowflake -- some love road-going racers like the 904, others can't imagine life without a roof-rack-equipped 912, others go gaga for anything with a legit, lift-off Targa top, and some folks just really, really, really love 924s -- the Speedster's the light, lovable kid brother for which any fan of the marque has a measure of affection.
Porsche knows it, and as such, they've introduced limited Speedster models of every 911 series since the 3.2 Carrera -- except for the oft-maligned 996 (which is still loved by its proponents, IMS-bearing issues aside). The most recent Speedster was a dumpy, bulky thing with all-wrong proportions and out-of-place 930-style rock shields. It reeked of cynicism.
Journalists cringe at the prices on Porsche's option sheets -- and how can one not, when an Alcantara-clad shift knob will ding you a sum closer to $900 than $800? Fans -- whether they have the cash or not -- let it slide. “That's Porsche,” they rationalize. “You pays your money and you takes your choice.” Though the 997 Speedster sunk the hearts of plenty of Zuffenhausen faithful, the cars still sold. Certainly, every limited-run Porsche that's not a homologation special is some sort of cash grab. But many of them, like the 997 Sport Classic and the new 991 50th Anniversary Edition, are lovely vehicles with sublime aesthetic touches.
So with hesitation, we bring you the news that Porsche's apparently working on a new 911 Speedster due in 2015. Germany's AutoBild reports that it'll get a thin, manually operated top suitable for emergency weather conditions, a la the recent Boxster Spyder's itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny scrap of bikini fabric.
At any rate, we hope the 991's ample lengthiness will result in a sleeker sort of Speedster. AutoBild says Porsche's planning to build 550 of them, in tribute to the mid-engined 550 Spyder. Apparently, they figure the market's bigger than 356 cars.
By Davey G. Johnson