Seventy years ago, Porsche received certification for its very first vehicle, the 356. To mark the special occasion, Porsche has created a concept that pays homage to its early sports cars while packing a modern powertrain.
The Porsche 911 Speedster Concept features a low fly line similar to the 356 Speedster. Like many of Porsche’s early race cars, the concept receives silver and white paintwork, exterior mirrors in the classic Talbot shape, and a 50s-style central fuel tank cap positioned in the front trunk lid. The shape of an “X” is created by transparent and opaque surfaces on the headlight covers, paying tribute to an early practice in which headlights were taped up before races to protect them against damage.
The concept has a lightweight tonneau cover, and it can be attached with eight Tenax fasteners. You won’t find air conditioning, radio, or other modern creature comforts, but you will be able to sit in carbon fiber bucket seats wrapped in brown leather.
A carbon fiber decklid connects behind the front seats, covering supplemental safety bars and featuring two “streamliners.” This harks back to the 911 Speedster from 1988. There are two contrasting black slats between the streamliners that aid aerodynamics. A transparent Plexiglas wind deflector carries the “70 years of Porsche” logo.
Not every part of the car is old-school. The concept’s body was adapted from the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet and its chassis was derived from the 911 GT3. Twenty-one inch rims with high gloss polished pedals are unique to the concept. To keep weight down, a carbon fiber reinforced polymer composite material makes up the fenders, front trunk lid, and rear decklid cover.
The original “Gmünd Roadster” packed a 1.1-liter air-cooled flat-four engine with just 35 hp. Later, the 356 1500 America Roadster, considered the forefather of Porsche Speedster models, featured a 70-hp four-cylinder flat engine. Of course, these powerplants won’t suffice for today’s standards. That’s why Porsche put in a naturally aspirated flat-six that can make over 500 hp. This engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission.