Inside The 2020 Porsche 911 Speedster: A Classic Racer Reimagined
Got a quarter million dollars to spend? (Well, a little more actually.) Like cars that are highly collectible? Love a convertible ride? If all those are a yes, then you should consider the new Porsche 911 Speedster, a car that has the automotive world very excited. The all-new 911 Speedster is an homage to the classic 356 Speedster, which was first built in 1948 and served as Porsche’s inaugural production car.
Versions of the 356 Speedster were built until 1965 when it was replaced by the Porsche 911. In all, only 76,000 356 Speedsters were produced by Porsche. Now, the company is bringing the beloved speedster back with the new 911 model. And Porsche has announced that they only plan to build a total of 1,948 (a nod to the year 1948) of the new 911 Speedster, ensuring that it will be a hot collectible for years to come.
“Gorgeous” is the word that instantly comes to mind when talking about the exterior styling of the Porsche 911 Speedster. It very much looks like the Speedster of yesteryear with its convertible top, rounded headlights, and smooth backside. People will have no problem telling, at first glance, that this is a convertible Porsche.
Reviewers have gushed over an engine cover that’s been called “slick as snot,” as well as the clam shell cover. There’s also a swept windshield up front that’s shorter than the standard 911s. Not surprising that the 911 Speedster has been called the “prettiest Porsche” ever built.
Models and Prices
As you would expect with a limited-edition vehicle such as this, the new Speedster does not come in multiple trimlines. There is basically one model and it is more than sufficient for most Porsche aficionados and car enthusiasts. There’s some color options for the exterior and interior, but mostly the guts of the car will remaind the same.
That said, there is a “Heritage Design” package that provides some add-ons to the Porsche 911 Speedster in the form of extra decals, stickers, trim paint, and a handful of other cosmetic upgrades — including a racing number on the front hood. Available additions include decals along the sides, a Porsche crest on the front hood, and wheels painted in Platinum Satin or Silver, gold “Speedster” badges on the rear fascia and sides, and white “Porsche” lettering round off the Heritage Design package.
The cost of the 911 Speedster is not for the faint of heart. Porsche is asking $275,750 for the new Speedster, over $100,000 more than the 911 GT3 that it’s based on. It’s even $90,000 more than the GT3 RS, which starts at $187,500. Keep in mind that minor upgrades to the new 911 Speedster such as decals, red interior stitching, upgraded wheels, LED headlights, heated seats, upgraded leather trim interiors, BOSE sound system, and optional air conditioning (Porsche dropped standard AC to keep the weight down) will push the price of the 911 Speedster well north of $300,000. However, given the limited production run on this car, many of these optional upgrades might retain their value.
Engine and Performance
Here’s where the rubber meets the road – literally. The new Porsche 911 Speedster is powered by a 4.0-litre flat-six engine that cranks out 9,000 rpm and produces 346 pounds of torque. The engineers at Porsche designed the engine based on the 911 version of the formidable GT3 Coupe, using essentially the same engine and chassis.
Oh, did we mention that the engine can pump out 502 horsepower and hit 60 miles an hour in 3.8 seconds? The top track speed for this car has been clocked at 192 miles per hour. Make no mistake, despite its good looks, the Porsche 911 Speedster is a performance vehicle. It has been built for the road. Or more precisely, the track.
Inside, the 911 Speedster is classic Porsche. It features an all black leather interior with optional red accents. A GT sports steering wheel and sports make any driver feel in control. And with the convertible design, the Speedster provides infinite headroom. Consoles and controls are within easy reach and have been called “intuitive” by reviewers. All-and-all, the interior of the new Speedster delivers and provides the feeling of style, elegance, and cool that owners would expect from this vehicle that costs this much money.
Features and Equipment
When it comes to technology, the Porsche 911 Speedster is firmly rooted in the 21st Century. Owners get the patented “Porsche Communication Management” (PCM) system that comes with an online navigation module that provides real-time traffic information. There is also a Connect Plus module and Track Precision app, that enables people to display, record and analyze detailed driving data on their smartphone. In terms of safety features, the new Speedster boasts the cross-drilled ceramic brake discs of the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) that provides what Porsche calls “formidable braking performance.” With a 500-horsepower engine, owners will likely need stellar brakes.
It’s almost unfair to judge a car like the 911 Speedster on its fuel economy. After all, who buys a $300,000 Porsche because it’s good on gas? Still, to get a sense of what you might end up paying at the pump, the Porsche 911 Speedster average 21 miles per gallon combined city and highway driving. City driving alone, this car gets 19 miles per gallon and highway driving is estimated at 26 miles per gallon. Porsche estimates that owners will spend about $2,500 per year on gas, based on 15,000 miles driven per year.
- Looks and performs like a classic Porsche Speedster
- Engine performance is amazing and meets expectations
- Comes with advanced brake system
- Price is prohibitive at $275,000 plus
- Limited add-ons and upgrades (mostly cosmetic, very expensive)
- Not the best car to own if your concerned about fuel economy
The Last Word:
By all accounts, Porsche has nailed it with the new 911 Speedster. This is a car that is an instant classic. It looks, feels and performs like the classic Porsche Speedsters of the 1950s and 1960s. But make no mistake, at a starting price of $275,000 (and with a limited production run) this is a vehicle for the extremely wealthy people or avid collectors. The rest of us can stare and dream, though.