The original Porsche Speedster - the 356 from 1953 - was a simple, stripped-out thing: a cheaper, lighter alternative to the standard 356. Wanted to go racing? Simply pop out the removable windscreen!
The new 911 Speedster - announced today by Porsche and due to go on sale in the
UK next January - is not a simple, cheap, stripped-out thing. And you
definitely can't remove the windscreen. At least, not without a hacksaw and a
severe impact on its resale value.
Instead, it's a very expensive, slightly shorter, slightly faster version of the Carrera S cabrio. Compared to the standard convertible, the Speedster's windscreen has been chopped by 6cm and sits at a more raked angle. Under that bulbous ‘double bubble' roof sits a folding soft-top - no Boxster Spyder-style umbrella-thing here - operated by hand.
Power comes from the Carrera S's 3.8-litre flat six, tweaked for a bit of extra
power to deliver 408bhp. Which means the Speedster won't be slow: it'll hit
62mph in 4.6 seconds and run all the way to 190mph. Even with the roof down.
That'll be blustery, we should imagine.
So... the price. Right. Ready for this? The Speedster starts at £144,100, which is £15,000 more than a 911 GT2. That's a lot of money. It'll be limited to just 356 examples, presumably because there aren't very many people in the world who are prepared to shell out Lambo Gallardo Spyder money for a 911 Carrera S cabrio with a stubby windscreen.
Or are we being too cruel on the Speedster? Cast judgment!