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Reviews 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster first drive: Superb sensations

01:11  18 october  2019
01:11  18 october  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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2019 Porsche 911 Speedster . It's so often the way; the best drive is proving to be the one after the cameras stop rolling. And yet, almost counterintuitively, the Speedster is designed to be a driver 's car, and therefore there shouldn't be the opportunity to be auto-lazy like you might in a PDK-equipped

Driven: The 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster Is the Wildes First Drive : 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T. Perfection this side of GT. Porsche first unveiled its 991 Speedster in concept form this June, but has now confirmed that the car is headed for production in the first half of 2019 as a limited edition of.

It's so often the way; the best drive is proving to be the one after the cameras stop rolling. Producer George Peck and I are on something of a mission to get the 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster back vaguely on time, and I am doing my best to shrink Sardinia. Fortunately the Italian island isn't riddled with motorways, so the most direct route is also proving to be a spectacularly good piece of road. Well surfaced, wide enough and winding through undulating terrain -- it is just wonderful. It's one of those drives that you get drawn into, gradually getting quicker and quicker as you get more and more comfortable with how the car's moving, how the tires are behaving.

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Driven: The 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster Is the Wildes First Drive : 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera T. Perfection this side of GT. Porsche first unveiled its 991 Speedster in concept form this June, but has now confirmed that the car is headed for production in the first half of 2019 as a limited edition of.

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Research the Porsche 911 on MSN Autos | Find a Porsche 911 near you

And how is the 911 Speedster moving? Very much like a GT3 -- as you'd expect. Or rather, as you'd hope, because you never quite know what dynamic effect the removal of a roof will have on a car until you drive it.

Given the expertise housed within Porsche's GT cars department it would have been a surprise if the Speedster had emerged with the torsional stiffness of an uncooked wurst, but there's always the faint possibility. Fortunately my Speedster was parked on cobbles when I first got into it this morning, so within the first few feet of driving all worries had been banished. No sensations of shake, no feeling of flex. Even when, later in the day, the limited-slip differential was locked and the Speedster was sliding out of Sardinian switchbacks, the sense of precision and stability was everything you'd expect.

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2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet First Drive : Can-Do Convertible. Enter 2019 , and things are suddenly different: the new Porsche 911 Speedster disrupts the paradigm by packing genuine GT hardware beneath its low-slung bodywork, making a track-capable Speedster that finally goes as fast

Not that all the sensations in the Speedster are very the very same as in a GT3. For starters, the suspension is incredibly, quite marginally softer. If you have any comments about 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster first push critique: Fantastic sensations you can go away a comment beneath.

a car parked on the side of a mountain: 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster

Not that all the sensations in the Speedster are quite the same as in a GT3. For starters, the suspension is very, very slightly softer. It uses the same springs but the dampers have been retuned because, like the 911 R, this is seen as car that will spend more time on the road than track. It really is a subtle difference, and wasn't overtly palpable until I started driving hard, but the fact that I found myself reaching for the sport button on the Porsche Active Suspension Management button -- something I wouldn't generally do on a normal GT3 -- confirms the slight skewing of the settings.

This road-bias is also the reason that the 21-inch wheels of the concept cars have been replaced with the normal 20-inch items from the GT3. (Same design, too, which I think is a bit of a shame. I like the design, I just think it would have been nice to see something different.) For reasons of practicality, a couple of other details from the two concept cars have also been quietly ditched, namely the small, pointy wing mirrors and the central fuel filler cap. The mirrors I understand, but I haven't seen anyone complaining about awkward fueling arrangements on Singers.

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We've driven the new 992 generation Porsche 911 , but the German performance car brand is still selling examples from the outgoing model year (991.2 platform)

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster First Drive : Dosing The GT3 With Vitamin D. In either case, that’s pretty much 911 GT2 RS cash, so what Stuttgart. The 911 Speedster * already caused a sensation when it was presented as a concept vehicle. Now Porsche is putting the open-top two seater into production.

a car parked on the side of a road© Porsche

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster first drive: Superb sensations

Nonetheless, there are some lovely visual details on the Speedster, particularly if you opt for the Heritage Pack that was fitted to our GT Silver test car. This includes touches like the gold lettering for the Speedster badges on the buttresses and bum. Look even more closely and you'll spot that the shields on the nose, wheels, etc., are all of the original 1948 design (think beautifully hand-drawn rather than laser-etched). Some of these shields can be found inside, too, along with the classic black and cognac color scheme for the trimmings. All in all, I think it adds a surprising amount to the overall aesthetic of the car and, without dropping too far down the passageway to pastiche, it makes clearer that this is a special car that Porsche designed to be a 70th birthday present to itself.

I'm speeding down short straight after short straight, all linked with a mixture of second-, third- and occasionally fourth-gear corners. Each straight provides just enough room to extend the 4.0-liter flat-six engine through one or two gears before leaning hard on the standard carbon-ceramic brakes. And with every straight I'm getting a little more confident that we might make it back on time...

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2019 Porsche 911 Speedster first drive : Superb sensations . Porsche 's new Speedster takes everything we love about the GT3 and adds that wind-in-your-hair thrill. First Drive : 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS . Meet the ultimate analog choice for hardcore drivers.

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster first drive : Superb sensations . Porsche 's new Speedster takes everything we love about the GT3 and adds that Is the 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Club Sport the best driving classic 911 ? Motor Authority. Porsche 911 claims most profitable car crown.

Like the Touring, Speedsters are only available with a manual transmission, and that feels like the right decision for a couple of reasons. First, as I've already said, the Speedster is designed primarily with the road in mind, so slashing milliseconds from shift times isn't necessary. And yet, almost counterintuitively, the Speedster is designed to be a driver's car, and therefore there shouldn't be the opportunity to be auto-lazy like you might in a PDK-equipped 911 Cabriolet.

The sound of the naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine is glorious, and certainly gets the hairs on the back of your neck up out of their chairs, but it is not perhaps quite as all-encompassing as you might imagine. If you have the roof down, above a certain speed much of the mechanical music is whipped away in the slipstream. Initially I also had a suspicion that the addition, for the first time, of particulate filters to the exhaust might have marginally muffled the harder edges of the flat-six symphony. When I asked about this later, I was told that it wasn't, in fact, anything to do with the new exhaust (which Porsche has somehow managed to make 22 pounds lighter), but rather all to do with there being a roof on top of the engine, dampening some of the sounds that you would normally expect to hear.

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The 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster is essentially the topless 911 GT3 you've always wanted. But at about 7,000 per Speedster , Porsche doesn't cobble. While the Speedster starts out with the 991.2 Carrera cabriolet's body-in-white, it is fitted with a two-inch-shorter windshield frame, which required

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster first drive : Superb sensations . Porsche 's new Speedster takes everything we love about the GT3 and adds that wind-in-your-hair thrill. An improved engine, sublime ride, and manual transmission are a hell of a way to say goodbye. Car and Driver |.

a car parked on the side of a mountain: 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster

There are a couple of numbers worth picking out of the spec sheet, too. The first is positive: 502 horsepower at 8,400 rpm, which, thanks to the addition of individual throttle bodies and even higher-pressure injectors, is a couple more ponies than a standard GT3. The second number is less positive: A curb weight of 3,230 pounds, which means that it weighs about 110 pounds more than a manual GT3. This is not enough to really lose sleep over, but it nonetheless seems a shame for a car that is meant to be a paragon of the pared back and a shining example of the stripped out.

But to focus on numbers is somehow to miss the point of this Speedster. This is all about bringing the emotional and visceral aspects of a roofless driving experience to a GT3. It is about sensations. Sensations like the increased appreciation of speed from a rushing slipstream. Sensations like the smells (good and bad!) of the landscape you're traveling through. Sensations that make a day spent in a Speedster with the roof down (the roof should really only be treated as a rain cover) more tiring, but arguably even more memorable than one spent in a fixed-roof GT3.

Research the Porsche 911 on MSN Autos | Find a Porsche 911 near you

That drive after the cameras were off is certainly one that I won't forget. And yes, we made it back on time.

a car parked on the side of a road: 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster

Editors' note: Travel costs related to this feature were covered by the manufacturer. This is common in the auto industry, as it's far more economical to ship journalists to cars than to ship cars to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multiday vehicle loans from manufacturers in order to provide scored editorial reviews, all scored vehicle reviews are completed on our turf and on our terms.

The judgments and opinions of Roadshow's editorial team are our own and we do not accept paid editorial content.

This was originally published on Roadshow.

2019 Porsche 911 Speedster First Drive: Dosing The GT3 With Vitamin D .
An open-roof swan song based on the best Porsche 991. Despite a provocative naming strategy, the Porsche 911 Speedster’s first four generations looked quite a bit faster than they actually were. Sleek and stripped down, the limited-edition roadsters flirted with incremental weight savings and minor gains in power, but never tapped into the hardcore performance potential of Porsche’s GT cars.

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