The production 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster was finally revealed last month as a GT3-powered Porsche 911 with a custom topless body style referencing the classic 356 Speedster of the 1950s. That’s a pretty solid recipe for a good car. But one of the coolest parts of the new Speedster is just how involved the process of putting the roof up is.
Unlike the original 356 Speedster, which was pitched as a stripped, cheaper 356 model for the American market, the new 911 Speedster comes in at an eye-watering starting price of $274,500. It has 502 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque from a 4.0-liter flat-six, and 1,948 of them will be built. But perhaps the whole point of the car it’s that it’s meant to be driven with no roof.
However, if you fail to check the weather report before taking your Speedster out for a spin, or you just get unlucky and have to put the roof up, it isn’t as simple as pressing and holding a button while an army of mechanical things move around and place the roof above your head, like on most modern convertibles.
This is a Speedster, dammit. It’s not just a convertible. You’re paying more because everything is a process and harder to live with.
So while the roof-placing process does start with the press of a button, it is much more involved. Once you pop the all-carbon rear deck panel, you have to:
- Get out of the car (assuming you don’t have a passenger you’re forcing to do all of this for you).
- Pull the carbon deck out and away from the rest of the car.
- Walk to the side of the car.
- Grab the soft-top roof piece from behind the seats and manually pull it over the cabin.
- Walk back over to the back of the car and push the carbon deck back down.
- Clamp down the two roof connections on either side of the car.
- Get back in the car.
- Press another button to tighten and seal the roof.
And you’re done!
Even the concept car had a seemingly less elaborate roof, which was just a separate tonneau cover that clipped in over the passenger area.
But I like how involved the production car’s process is, because it’s more engagement with the car and fits the vibe of a throwback Speedster model, making drivers go through what they would have gone through back in the days of the original 356 Speedster. Plus it’s more time for all of the teens at the roadside gas station you stopped at to post your car to their Instagram stories, excited that they just saw a “Lamborghini.”
As for the rest of the car, well of course it’s good. It’s a GT3-powered 911 with no roof. It’s destined to be one hell of a good time.