The Speedster returns after nine years!

The 2020 Porsche 911 Speedster is a limited-edition version of the 991-generation 911. Based on the 991.2 model discontinued in 2019, the 2020 911 Speedster is the last iteration of the eight-year-old sports car. It’s also the first Speedster since 2010, when Porsche sold a limited-edition model of 356 units based on the 997-generation 911.

Previewed by a couple of concept cars used to celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary of building sports cars, the 2020 911 Speedster is actually very similar to the show cars. But unlike its predecessors, it’s based on the track-ready 911 GT3 and generates in excess of 500 horsepower. As a result, it’s also the first Speedster developed by the Porsche Motorsport division. It also comes with a Heritage Design package that adds unique features inspired by vintage Porsche race cars, as well as a premium timepiece.

A Rare But Legendary Nameplate

1955 - 1958 Porsche 356a Speedster
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Porsche 356a Speedster
The first vehicle to actually carry the Speedster badge arrived in 1957.

Although rare, the 911 Speedster is an iconic sports car. And the nameplate is actually much older than the 911 itself. The first Speedster came into the spotlight in 1952, when Porsche had just one model in showrooms, the 356. Called the 356 1500 America Roadster, the forefather of the Porsche Speedster was around 130 pounds lighter than the regular 356 and had a 70-horsepower engine and a top speed rated at 108 mph. It might not mean much now, but both figures were impressive at the time. It also had slot-in curtain windows, a folding top, and lightweight bucket seats.

The first vehicle to actually carry the Speedster badge arrived in 1957 with a really long name: the 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT Speedster. The first 911 Speedster didn’t arrive until 1988, 24 years after Porsche launched the nameplate. Based on the updated original 911 with the wider body, it was showcased at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show. The second 911 Speedster arrived in 1992 and it was based on the 964-generation Carrera 2. Porsche skipped the Speedster body for the 993-gen 911 for public consumption but built one for Butzi Porsche’s 60th birthday and a second one for TV star Jerry Seinfeld. In the absence of a 993 Speedster, it took Porsche no less than 18 years to make another Speedster.

2010 Porsche 911 Speedster High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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In 2010, a 997-generation Speedster based on the 911 GTS was produced in just 356 units.

The 2020 911 Speedster is the eighth official Speedster and only the second one since the early 1990s.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Exterior

  • Based on 911 GT3
  • Unique deck lid design
  • Flying buttresses
  • Shorter windshield
  • "Speedster" badges
  • Soft-top
  • Sleeker profile
  • Heritage Design add-ons
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While the rear section of the roof is missing, the deck lid features a couple of flying buttresses.

For the most part, the Speedster is identical to the 911 GT3. It has the same front bumper with large vents onto the sides and a wide intake in the center, as well as a larger splitter below. The wheels are also taken from the GT3 and have the same center-lock design, but they’re painted in Satin Black for this model. Everything else in the Speedster’s profile is identical to the GT3 below the waist. The same goes for the rear end, which features wider fenders and a center-mounted exhaust with two pipes. A couple of vertical vents add sportiness to the rear bumper in conjunction with the diffuser-like element.

So what sets the Speedster apart from the GT3 it is based on? For starters, it’s a convertible. Unlike the 911 GT3, which is a coupe, the Speedster lacks a hard-top. But it’s not a 911 Cabriolet or a Targa either. It’s something in between. While the rear section of the roof is missing, the deck lid features a couple of flying buttresses that are almost as high as the headrests. These are covered when the soft-top is on, but give the 911 a sleek profile when the canvas top is folded under the lid.

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Just like the GT3, the Speedster features a front hood, front fenders, and decklid made from carbon-fiber composite.

The Speedster also has a low-cut windshield and side windows, so even when the roof is in place it looks lower than the GT3 and even the standard 911 Cabriolet. More bonus points for the sleek silhouette. Speaking of the top, it’s manually operated for weight-saving purposes, so you’d better forget about removing it and putting it back at the push of a button. It’s a necessary sacrifice to keep the Speedster as light as possible.

The main highlight of the Speedster design wise is the pair of flying buttresses on the deck lid. They’re made from carbon-fiber and feature "Speedster" emblems on the sides. A third "Speedster" logo was added to the rear fascia for complete recognition. Just like the GT3, the Speedster features a front hood, front fenders, and decklid made from carbon-fiber composite, while the front and rear fascia are made from lightweight polyurethane.

Heritage Design Package Add-ons

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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The Heritage Design package adds quite a few extra features to the Speedster.

Although the sports car is restricted to just one exterior color, GT Silver Metallic, it has a white front bumper and upper fenders, as well as a white rear center fascia. This combo pays tribute to Porsche race cars from the past. The silver and white colors are also a tribute to the company’s most-used factory racing colors in the ’50s and ’60s. The Speedster also comes with white "gumballs" on the front and hood and doors, and you can opt for individual numbers too via Porsche Tequipment. But you can also have the "gumballs" deleted if you prefer a cleaner look.

The Heritage Design model also comes with "Porsche" decals along the sides, a historic Porsche crest on the front lid, and wheels painted in Platinum Satin or silver. The gold "Speedster" badges on the rear fascia and on the sides of the buttresses and the black calipers with white "Porsche" lettering round off the package.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Interior

  • Borrows from the GT3
  • Sports seats standard
  • GT Sport steering wheel
  • Fabric door pulls
  • Black leather
  • Optional red accents
  • "Speedster" badges
  • Infinite headroom
2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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The Speedster has the GT3's lightweight door panels with storage nets instead of bins and fabric pull loops instead of handles.

The Speedster’s interior is also based on the 911 GT3, which in turns is very similar to the regular 911 design-wise. There are a few important features that set it apart though, including the steering wheel based on that in the 918 Spyder and the sports seats. You should be able to pick between four seating versions, just like in the 911 GT3. There are the standard seats with mechanical fore/aft adjustment, the adaptive Sports Plus seats with 18-way electrical adjustment and the bucket seats with folding backrest and integrated thorax airbag. Finally, you can go with the lighter bucket seats made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic.

In the tech department, you get the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system that includes an online navigation module with real-time traffic information, the Connect Plus module and the Track Precision app. The latter enables you to display, record and analyze detailed driving data on your smartphone.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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Porsche deleted the air conditioning in order to save more weight, but you can add it as an option.

The Speedster also has the GT3’s lightweight door panels with storage nets instead of bins and fabric pull loops instead of handles. The standard leather upholstery is black and includes "Speedster" logos on the headrests. You can opt for red stitching if you want a splash of color on the dashboard and seats. This option also adds red door pull loops and a red marker on the steering wheel. The carbon-fiber trim on the center console comes standard, as do the unique door sills with "Speedster" lettering.

Porsche deleted the air conditioning in order to save more weight, but you can add it as an option. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay extra for the A/C. "Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur" lettering on center console lid and a limited-edition plaque between the seats, showing the number of each car, complete the bespoke interior.

Heritage Design Package Add-ons

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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The Heritage Design package replaces the all-black upholstery with a two-tone leather combo in black and Cognac.

The latter is a rich shade of brown and it’s a tribute to classic Porsche sports cars, as many of them had similar colors inside the cabin. The Cognac leather seats have historic Porsche crests embossed in the headrests, while their backs are finished in GT Silver Metallic to match the car’s exterior. The "Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur" lettering on the center console lid and the limited-edition plaque between the seats are in gold with this option.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Performance

  • GT3 drivetrain
  • 4.0-liter flat-six
  • 502 horsepower
  • 346 pound-feet
  • 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds
  • top speed at 192 mph
  • rear-axle steering
  • carbon-ceramic brakes
2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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The mill cranks out 502 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque, a bit more than the 911 GT3.

This is where the 2020 911 Speedster makes yet another step away from its predecessor. While the previous Speedster shared underpinnings with the Carrera GTS, the new Speedster is a 911 GT3 under the skin. It features the same 4.0-liter flat-six unit as the track-ready coupe, but the drivetrain now includes custom individual throttle bodies and other revisions. The mill cranks out 502 horsepower and 346 pound-feet of torque, notably more than its predecessor and a bit more than the current 911 GT3. The improvement is rather mild at only 2 horsepower and 7 pound-feet, but hey, owners are entitled to claim that the Speedster is more powerful than the GT3.

On the other hand, the convertible is less powerful than the more radical 911 GT3 RS, which features the same engine but rated at 520 horses.

Transmission-wise, the 911 Speedster is a purist’s sports car, as the six-speed manual transmission is the only gearbox available. Porsche says that it went with the six-speed instead of the seven-speed because it saves around nine pounds. It’s also why Porsche isn’t offering a PDK, as this gearbox would add almost 40 pounds to the car’s curb weight.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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The 911 Speedster is a purist's sports car, as the six-speed manual transmission is the only gearbox available.

When it comes to performance, the Speedster needs 3.8 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph. That’s identical to the 911 GT3 equipped with the manual transmission, but six tenths slower than the PDK-fitted coupe. The Speedster’s top speed is rated at 192 mph, a 6-mph decrease from the GT3. That’s a normal downgrade given the open-top configuration.

Compared to its closest rival, the Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster, the 911 Speedster is three-tenths slower. But not only the Merc is more powerful at 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet, but it also comes with an automatic transmission. The GT R Roadster also tops out at 197 mph.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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The Speedster tips the scales at 3,230 pounds, 114 pounds more than the 911 GT3.

While the chassis is shared with the 911 GT3, the Speedster benefits from specific calibration for the rear-axle steering system and the dynamic engine mounts. It also comes standard with the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) for enhanced stopping power. These also help reduce the car’s curb weight even more.

Speaking of that, the Speedster tips the scales at 3,230 pounds. Although it’s impressive for a roadster, the Speedster is heavier than the 911 GT3, which weighs 3,153 pounds with the PDK and 3,116 pounds with the manual. All told, the Speedster is 114 pounds heavier.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster vs. 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 Performance Specs
2020 Porsche 911 Speedster 2017 Porsche 911 GT3
Engine 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder 4.0-liter flat six-cylinder
Horsepower 502 hp 500 hp
Torque 346 lb-ft 339 lb-ft
Transmission six-speed manual seven-speed PDK
0-60 mph 3.8 seconds 3.2 seconds
Top Speed 192 mph 198 mph
Curb Weight 3,230 lbs 3,153 lbs

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Chronograph

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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Porsche created a unique chronograph for the 911 Speedster, as it did for other special-edition sports cars in the past.

Developed in-house, the Flyback-Chronograph watch with Werk 01.200 movement features specific elements inspired by the Speedster or even taken from the car. It features a carbon-fiber dial, a rotor made after the car’s center-lock wheel design, and a strap made from the same leather with red stitching used inside the Speedster. If you opt for the Heritage Design package, the watch comes with a strap made from Cognac leather.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Pricing

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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Porsche is asking a whopping $275,750 for the Speedster, $132,000 more than the 911 GT3 it's based on.

When word got out that Porsche is working on a new Speedster I estimated its price at around $150,000. I was indeed expecting it to be a bit more expensive than the 911 GT3 based on its legendary status and limited production numbers. But I was wrong by a very large margin, because Porsche is asking a whopping $275,750 for one. That’s three times more than the base 911 and almost $115,000 more than the 911 Turbo. It also costs $132,000 more than the 911 GT3 it is based on and around $88,000 more than the 911 GT3 RS. The only 911 that costs more is the GT2, priced from $293,200. That’s an extra $17,450 that will get you turbo power, a lot more oomph, and a big wing for track duty.

Ironically, the 911 Speedster isn’t very limited production-wise. Porsche will build 1,948 examples, more than the 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS together.

The Speedster is incredibly expensive if we factor in all the details, but it's legendary and rare badge enable Porsche to ask such ridiculous stickers.

And needless to say, the 911 Speedster will become sold out in a couple of months, if not sooner.

Speaking of limited production, the 1,948-unit celebrates 70 years since Porsche started making road cars. Although it was established in 1931, Porsche didn’t start making road-legal cars until 1948, when it introduced the 356.

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Competition

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster

2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster Exterior High Resolution
- image 725715

The AMG GT Roadster might not be a traditional speedster, but it’s a fast convertible with a two-seat layout. Launched for the 2018 model year, the AMG GT is also different when it comes to engine layout too. Unlike the 911, which is a rear-engined car, the AMG GT has its engine in front of the driver. Also, while the Speedster features a naturally aspirated mill, the AMG GT gets its juice from a twin-turbocharged unit. The 4.0-liter V-8 engine generates 469 horsepower and 465 pound-feet in the base model, but the output increases to 515 horses and 494 pound-feet in the AMG GT S model. Neither are proper competitors since they’re not equipped for track duty, but they’re pretty fast. The sprint to 60 mph takes 3.9 and 3.7 seconds in these cars, while top speed is equally impressive at 188 and 192 mph, respectively. While the Speedster deliver only slightly more than 500 horsepower, the Merc generates more than that in AMG GT C trim, which comes with a whopping 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet on tap. The GT C is obviously quicker, needing only 3.6 clicks to hit 60 mph, while top speed increases to 196 mph. Finally, Mercedes offers a proper competitor for the Speedster in the AMG GT R Roadster. This thing is even more powerful at 577 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, and has the aerodynamics and rear wing of a race car. It needs only 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, but it comes with an automatic transmission only. Top speed jumps to 197 mph. Pricing for the GT R Roadster is not yet available, but it won’t cost more than the Speedster. The GT C Roadster retails from $158,850.

Read our full review of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster.

Conclusion

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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The Speedster is a great addition to the lineup. With the most recent model dating back to 2010 and only eight Speedster built in 70 years, this version is almost a unicorn among other 911s and it’s great to see it return. The fact that its a full-fledged 911 GT3 under the skin makes things that much better. But the 2020 is just a marketing hit that’s supposed to squeeze a lot of money from the outgoing 991.2-generation 911 with this massive price tag and it’s a bit sad that Porsche placed it in such an expensive market.

  • Leave it
    • Limited production run
    • Very expensive

Further Reading

Meet the Porsche Speedster Concept, A 500-Horsepower Six-Speed Monster Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 Speedster concept.

2020 Porsche 911
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Porsche 911.

1955 - 1958 Porsche 356a Speedster
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Read our full review of the 1955-1958 Porsche 356a Speedster

1989 Porsche 911 Speedster High Resolution Exterior
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1989 Porsche 911 Speedster

Read our full review of the 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster

1994 Porsche 964 Speedster High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 1994 Porsche 964 Speedster.

2010 Porsche 911 Speedster High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2010 Porsche 911 Speedster

AUTOMAKER LOGOS - DO NOT DELETE
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Read more Porsche news.

Update History

Updated 06/29/2018: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Porsche 911 Speedster out for a new testing session around Nürburgring, and this time wearing absolutely no camouflage.

Updated 05/18/2018: The upcoming Porsche 911 Speedster was caught testing in the Spanish Mountains.

Spy Shots

June 29, 2018 - Porsche 911 Speedster caught testing at Nürburgring

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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May 18, 2018 - Porsche 911 Speedster caught testing in the Spanish Mountains

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Exterior Spyshots
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2020 Porsche 911 Speedster Exterior Spyshots
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Porsche 911 Speedster History

2016 Porsche 911 Speedster High Resolution Exterior
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Although it evolved into a special-edition model of the Porsche 911, the Speedster name is actually older than the nameplate itself

Although it evolved into a special-edition model of the Porsche 911, the Speedster name is actually older than the nameplate itself, having been introduced in 1954 as a new body style for the 356. Launched in 1949, the Porsche 356 received a Speedster version in late 1954. Although it was similar to the convertible, the Speedster was aimed at customers who wanted a race-inspired drop-top and featured a lower, raked windshield that could be removed for weekend racing, a minimal folding top, and bucket seats. The Speedster became an instant hit in the U.S. and remained in production until 1958, when it was replaced with a more conventional roadster model.

The Speedster name was first used on the 911 in 1989 when it became a special-edition model of the 930-generation sports car.

Although it shared styling features with the 911 convertible, it had only two seats and a custom cover for the soft-top compartment that had two flying buttresses. The 930 Speedster was launched right before Porsche introduced the then-new 964 generation. The latter gained a Speedster version in 1994. Available in both standard and lightweight, Clubsport trim, the 964 Speedster was designed to be a more focused driver’s car and lacked most of the comfort features of the Cabriolet model. Only 936 units were built in two years of production, 20 of which were fitted with the Turbo body by Porsche Exclusive.

2010 Porsche 911 Speedster High Resolution Exterior
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Porsche launched a limited-edition run for the 997-generation 911 in 2011

Porsche skipped the Speedster body style for the 993-generation 911, but its Exclusive division built two on special request. The first one was assembled for Ferdinand Alexander Porsche’s 60th birthday in 1995, while the second one was delivered to Jerry Seinfeld in 1998. The 993 Speedster is arguably the rarest of its kind.

The nameplate remained dormant again until 2011, when Porsche launched a limited-edition run for the 997-generation 911. Built in only 356 units as a tribute to the original Speedster, the 997 version was powered by the same engine of the Carrera GTS and was offered in only two colors, Pure Blue and Carrara White. The Speedster’s windscreen was 70 mm (2.75 inches) shorter than the standard Cabriolet model.

ast year, Porsche celebrated its 70th anniversary of building sports cars by showing two 911 Speedster Concept vehicles to the public. Now, the production version is celebrating its North American debut in New York. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.0 liter flat-six engine capable of up to 9,000 rpm that is also used in the current 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models, the 2019 911 Speedster develops 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque, accompanied by a highly emotional, racing inspired soundtrack. For the 911 Speedster, this race-bred powerplant has been enhanced with individual throttle bodies that make the throttle response even sharper, just like in the 911 GT3 R race car. To deliver a particularly engaging driving experience highly desired by purists, the 911 Speedster is available exclusively with a GT Sport six-speed manual transmission. 0 to 60 miles per hour happens in just 3.8 seconds, and the top track speed is 192 miles per hour. The 2019 911 Speedster is planned to be available for order on May 7, 2019 and is expected to reach U.S. dealers in late 2019

The 2019 911 Speedster is the first such model developed by the Porsche Motorsport department, but it is still immediately recognizable as a Speedster. The low-cut front windshield and side windows as well as the manually operated lightweight fabric top are characteristic for a Speedster model and make the car stand out immediately. The two streamliners atop the rear decklid made from carbon fiber are another design highlight rooted in the model’s history.

The interior of the 911 Speedster is characterized by a focus on the essentials of driving. Lightweight door panels with storage nets and door pulls emphasize the dedication to weight reduction. The standard black leather interior can be supplemented with red stitching for the dashboard and the “Speedster” designation in the headrests. With this option, the door pulls are also fitted in red, and the GT Sport steering wheel is decorated with a red 12 o’clock center marker. The interior trim, which spreads to the gear shift knob as well as the door sill guards with “Speedster” model designation, is carbon fiber.

Underscoring its purist focus, extensive measures of lightweight construction help keep the weight of the new 911 Speedster down. The front luggage compartment lid, front fenders and rear decklid are all made from carbon fiber composite material, while the front and rear fasciae consist of lightweight polyurethane. Standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) save about 50 percent from the system weight with grey cast iron rotors. The fabric top does without any automated operation, save for the electrically-operated latch to lock and unlock it. Air conditioning is omitted as standard in the interest of weight savings, but can be added as a no-cost option if the customer desires. Finally, the six-speed manual transmission saves about 9 pounds compared to the seven-speed manual transmission in other 911 Carrera models, and almost 40 pounds compared to a PDK dual clutch unit. With this clear focus on lightweight construction, the 2019 911 Speedster weighs just 3,230 pounds.

The 2019 911 Speedster uses a chassis derived from the 911 GT3 models with a specifically-calibrated rear axle steering system and dynamic engine mounts to deliver a maximum amount of precision, stability and driving pleasure. 20-inch center lock wheels painted in Satin Black are shod with Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires to offer high levels of grip, while standard PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) delivers very powerful and consistent braking performance.

The history of Porsche Speedster models began in the United States.Speedster variants of sports car models, which combine open-top driving pleasure with incredibly distinctive driving dynamics, have been part of the Porsche company history since 1952. The forefather of Porsche Speedster models, the 356 1500 America Roadster, had an aluminum body manufactured entirely by hand. It weighed about 130 pounds (60 kilograms) less than the 356 Coupe and its top track speed of 108 miles per hour (175 km/h) with its 70-hp four-cylinder flat engine was impressive at the time. Featuring slot-in curtain windows for the doors, a folding top and lightweight bucket seats, this car developed exclusively for the US market was built just 16 times and already embodied several key elements of the speedster design.

By 2010, eight different production and special models bearing the “Speedster” name had been created. The 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT Speedster represented a highlight in 1957, and the first 911 Speedster followed in 1988. Limited to just 356 units worldwide, the 911 Speedster of the 997 generation built in 2010 was the latest model to be fitted with the famous designation.

Exclusively for owners, Porsche Design has created a 911 Speedster Chronograph timepiece. The high-performance Flyback-Chronograph with Werk 01.200 movement developed in-house features Speedster specific design elements such as a carbon fiber dial, and a rotor modeled after the Speedster center lock wheel in both design and color. Genuine Porsche interior leather and thread are also used for the perforated black leather strap with red stitching.

Public Relations Department
Product Communications

Frank Wiesmann
Phone: +1.770.290.3414
E-mail: frank.wiesmann@porsche.us

Andrew Lennon
Manager, Product Communications
Phone: +1.770.290.3511
E-mail: andrew.lennon@porsche.us

About Porsche Cars North America, Inc. | One Porsche Drive, Atlanta, GA 30354 USA
Established in 1984, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) is the exclusive U.S. importer of the Porsche 911, 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman; Panamera; and Cayenne and Macan. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia since 1998, PCNA is also home to the first Porsche Experience Center in North America featuring a module-based 1.6 mile driver development track, business center, and fine dining restaurant, 356.

The company operates a second Porsche Experience Center near Los Angeles. That 53-acre complex features a driver development track with eight educational modules totaling 4.1 miles, a business center, and Restaurant 917. PCNA employs over 300 people who provide parts, service, marketing, and training for 191 dealers. They, in turn, work to provide Porsche customers with a best-in-class experience that is in keeping with the Porsche brand’s 70-year history of leadership in the advancement of vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency. PCNA is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche AG, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

At the core of this success is Porsche’s proud racing heritage that boasts some 30,000-plus motorsport wins to date.

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