Johannesburg - Porsche’s 911 Speedster is billed as a purist salute to unadulterated driving pleasure and soon well-heeled South Africans will be able to experience that for themselves on the exact roads that you see in the accompanying international promo pictures.
Porsche South Africa has put a price tag of R5 161 000 (with a three-year/100 000km Driveplan) on the Speedster ahead of the first units docking here in the third quarter of 2019. Steep it is, but that does buy a whole lot of exclusivity, with limited numbers being available locally, from a global pool of just 1948 units.
The Speedster is based on the outgoing 991 series and is the last of that bloodline, and the distinctively styled roadster takes its 4-litre normally aspirated flat-six heart straight from the 911 GT3.
To recap, this means 375kW pelted out at a screaming 8400rpm (and it’ll rev all the way to 9000, if you must), while maximum torque of 470Nm is produced at 8400rpm. Not exactly earth-shattering figures, but then this car is more about the driving experience than straight-line speed and besides, it’ll still shunt you to 100km/h in four seconds flat (at sea level), according to Porsche’s official quotes. That’s if you’re dexterous with the gears - the Speedster is available only with a six-speed manual gearbox and power is also transferred the good old fashioned way, through the back wheels.
The Speedster’s chassis is derived from the GT3, including a specifically-calibrated rear axle steering system and dynamic engine mounts, and the car rolls of 20-inch alloy wheels.
Now that’s what you call a diet
Harking back to the aluminium-bodied Porsche 356 ‘1500 America’ Roadster of 1952, the Speedster’s purist ideals can be seen in just about every design detail, from the low-cut windscreen to the two carbon fibre streamliners on the rear deck lid. Even the soft top roof is manually operated in order to save weight. Carbon fibre body panels and standard Ceramic Composite Brakes also aid that cause.
It’s a similar kilo shedding story inside, where you’ll find lightweight door panels with storage nets, incorporating ‘pulls’ in place of handles, while the seat frames are made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic.
But would you do without air conditioning to have a lighter car?
Porsche has omitted that from the standard features list, along with the touchscreen infotainment system, but you can have both features fitted at no extra cost if you’re not prepared to take the purist thing that far.
The result of this extreme diet? A kerb weight of 1465kg, according to the spec sheet.