Did it really move closer to production or is Porsche trying to fool us with the same concept in a different color?

Back in June, Porsche celebrated 70 years since it unveiled its first production car with a Speedster concept based on the current 911. Come October, and the German firm introduced a new concept car of the same variety, also stating that a limited-edition production car will follow in 2019. The two concepts are very similar, which made us wonder whether Porsche is trying to milk the Speedster ahead of its introduction as a production model.

Is this new concept a more production-ready version of the first car, which was already pretty close to a standard 911? Let’s find out by comparing the roadsters inside and out.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior

Just like the previous concept, the second Speedster is based on the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet and shares many features with its production sibling.

Front

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Up front, we can see the same black-painted trim around the side vents, a black splitter, and a black-chrome fuel cap on the trunk lid. However, the second concept misses the quick-release pins on the hood, as well as the two-tone color. But we’ll talk about this later.

Porsche also changed the headlamps.

While the first concept had the 911's old and simple headlamps, the revised concept sports the more modern four-point LED lights.

These have a red tint. The transparent surfaces that resemble the shape of an "X," a nod to the era when automakers used to tape up headlamps before races to protect them against stone chipping and from shattering, are also gone, unfortunately. Both the front fenders and the trunk lid are made from carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer in order to save weight, just like the previous concept.

Side

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Moving onto the sides, we can notice the same main elements that turn the 911 into an authentic speedster. The windshield is shorter, and it’s angled heavier toward the seats. Obviously, the side windows are also shorter, while the deck lid features two flying buttresses. The hoops and the seats are separated by a carbon-fiber. The Talbot-shape side mirrors also harken back to Porsche models from the past. However, Porsche replaced the Fuchs-style rims with more modern looking cross-spoke wheels. Measuring 21 inches, they’re similar to those seen on the 911 RSR and GT3 R race cars.

Porsche also added black trim on the rear fenders, just behind the doors, likely to simulate the massive vents usually seen on mid-engined race cars.

Both the "Porsche" lettering above the side sills and the "70" on the doors are gone, as the second concept doesn’t feature a race-inspired livery.

Rear

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Unlike the front end and the sides, the rear section of the new concept is identical to its predecessor.

They’re just painted in different colors. Other than that, we can see the same transparent plexiglass wind deflector between the rollover hoops and the revised decklid that no longer features the usual grille above the engine. There’s also "Speedster" lettering on the rear fascia, this time around in silver instead of gold, and a pair of center-mounted exhaust pipes made from titanium. Porsche continues to use the lightweight tonneau cover that protects the interior from bad weather while the car is parked.

One of the very few features that set the new concept apart is the paint. While the previous show car had a two-tone, race-inspired livery, the new concept is finished in the familiar Guards Red paint. Porsche says this is a reference to the 1988 911 Speedster.

Interior

Meet the Porsche Speedster Concept, A 500-Horsepower Six-Speed Monster Interior
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Just like before, Porsche didn’t have much to say about the interior, but it appears to be identical to the previous concept, which in turn was based on the standard 911 Carrera with minor modifications.

As the Speedster was designed as a pure driver's car devoid of amenities that add unwanted weight, the German firm removed the navigation, radio, and air conditioning systems.

To add sportiness but also cut down even more weight, Porsche replaced the standard seats with full buckets made from carbon-fiber.

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept I vs Porsche 911 Speedster Concept II
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But here is where things start to differ.

While the first concept had its interior wrapped in light brown leather as a tribute to the company's speedsters from the 1950s, the new show car comes in a two-tone layout combining black and red.

The red hide can be seen on almost all of the surfaces that were brown in the first car, like the center sections of the seats and armrests. However, the side bolstering of the seats, the lower dashboard, and some elements from the door panels are black.

In addition, while the first car had matching stitching for both the black and brown panels, the new one features a lot of red stitching and piping on the black surfaces. There’s plenty of it on the seat bolsters and headrests, the upper door panels, the steering wheel, and the upper dashboard. In addition, Porsche replaced the aluminum trim atop the glove box and the one on the center console with gloss-finished carbon-fiber. Finally, the black leather is partly perforated.

Drivetrain

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept I vs Porsche 911 Speedster Concept II
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Just like its predecessor, the new Speedster concept hides a 911 GT3 drivetrain under its Carrera 4 body.

So power comes from a 4.0-liter flat-six that cranks out "more than 500 horsepower." Official figures aren’t yet available, but we do know that the 911 GT3 cranks out exactly 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, while the GT3 RS generates 520 horses. Based on the "more than 500 horsepower" claim, the Speedster should have the same power rating as the GT3 RS.

Things are a bit different in the transmission department though. While the GT3 RS is equipped with a PDK transmission for fast sprints, the Speedster is fitted with the six-speed manual transmission.

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept I vs Porsche 911 Speedster Concept II Exterior
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Details are limited, but it should also feature all the other upgrades found in the GT3 RS, including a rear-axle steering system, dynamic engine mounts, ceramic-composite brakes, and the Chrono Package.

Performance-wise, it should be able to hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, to go with a top speed of around 185 mph.

The fact that the drivetrains in the two concepts are identical confirms that Porsche wants to build the production Speedster on 911 GT3 RS underpinnings. And this is great news!

Final Words

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept I vs Porsche 911 Speedster Concept II
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To answer the first question, Porsche actually made some changes and isn’t just trying to fool us with the same concept in a different color. The Speedster has definitely moved closer to production. Actually, it seems 100-percent ready to hit the assembly line, which makes it somewhat weird that Porsche called this second vehicle a "concept study." By eliminating the race-inspired livery and some minor changes, Porsche basically turned the first concept into a full-blown production. The reason why it wants this new vehicle to be a concept too remains a mystery. It’s probably a marketing thing...

Further Reading

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept I vs Porsche 911 Speedster Concept II
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Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche Speedster Concept II.

Porsche 911 Speedster Concept I vs Porsche 911 Speedster Concept II Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche Speedster Concept I.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Exterior Spyshots
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Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Porsche 911 Speedster

P.S.
The concept study, presented during the 70th birthday of the sports car manufacturer, will be produced as a limited special edition: Porsche has decided to start producing the purist Porsche 911 Speedster in the first half of 2019. Exactly 1,948 units of the open-top two-seater will be built. The number reminisces the Porsche 356 “Number 1” that received its operating license on June, 8 back in 1948. In Paris, Porsche presented this year’s second Speedster Concept study. Its Guards Red paintwork is a reference to the 1988 911 Speedster of the G-Model generation. The new cross-spoke 21-inch wheels in cross spoke and the black leather interior create a tasteful and sporty appearance. Dream becomes reality: The driveable 911 Speedster Concept, initially presented on June 8 in 2018 in Zuffenhausen as a “Heritage” version, will go into production in 2019. The car was developed at Porsche Motorsport in Weissach in cooperation with Style Porsche and Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. The future 911 Speedster, based on the 991 range, will be the first car to be offered with the new Heritage Design Packages. This exclusive accessory line by Porsche Exclusive allows for an even higher degree of personalization for the 911. In addition to the eye-catching paintwork, 21-inch center lock wheels are another visual highlight of this latest concept study presented in Paris. Their cross-spoke wheel design is similar to that of Porsche racing cars such as the 911 RSR and the GT3 R. The tinted day-time running lights were also inspired by racing. Matching the study’s paintwork, they are kept in red. The two “Talbot”-shaped exterior mirrors as well as the fuel tank cap – centrally positioned on the bonnet – shine in black-chrome and platinum. In contrast to the previously shown “Heritage” version, the interior is using partly perforated black leather upgraded with red highlights. All body components as well as the entire technology of both the 911 Speedster Concept cars are identical. This includes the shortened window frames with their lowered cowl top panels and the smaller side windows as well as the carbon-fibre rear bonnet with the double-bubble cover behind the seats. Both cars come with a lightweight Tonneau cover, fitted by Tenax buttons, instead of a convertible soft top. The concept cars’ body is based on the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. The fenders, as well as the front and rear bonnet are made from lightweight carbon fibre composite while the chassis was taken from the 911 GT3. Furthermore, the GT development department provided the exhaust system with its titanium tailpipes and the drivetrain including the manually operated six-speed gearbox. The same goes for the centrepiece of the limited special edition: The Speedster Concept is powered by a naturally-aspirated flat-six engine developing more than 500 hp and capable of engine speeds up to 9,000 rpm.

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