No. 997
May 22, 2019

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Table


MAY 8, 2019

(Porsche images)
The latest missive from the "Bring Loads Of Cash" File brings us this: The production version of the Porsche Speedster Concept. T
he last of the 991.2 series 911 GT cars to be produced by Porsche is now available for order, so grab your wallets. Powered by a naturally aspirated, "motorsport-based" (according to Porsche PR minions) 4.0-liter flat-six engine that develops 502HP and 346 lb-ft of torque, the 2019 911 Speedster can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, with a top track speed of 192 mph, according to Porsche. And in a nod to purists, the 911 Speedster, with a 9000 rpm redline, is available exclusively with a GT Sport six-speed manual transmission. 
The 2019 911 Speedster is the first developed by the Porsche Motorsport department in Weissach. The low-cut front windshield and side windows as well as the manually operated lightweight fabric distinguish it from other series production 911 models. The two streamliners atop the rear decklid are made from carbon fiber. 
The interior of the 911 Speedster is characterized by lightweight door panels with storage nets and door pulls, showcasing Porsche engineers' 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. More details: Other extensive weight-saving measures were taken to keep the weight of the new 911 Speedster down. The front luggage compartment lid, front fenders and rear decklid are made from carbon fiber composite material, while the front and rear fascia are constructed with lightweight polyurethane. The rear decklid, which covers the top when folded, is also made from carbon fiber composite and weighs just 22 pounds. Standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) save about 50 percent from the system weight over 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 in the interest of weight savings, but can be added as a no-cost option if you want it. Finally, the six-speed manual transmission saves about nine pounds compared to the seven-speed manual transmission in other 911 Carrera models, and almost 40 pounds compared to a PDK dual clutch unit. The 2019 911 Speedster weighs-in at 3,230 pounds. 
Editor-in-Chief's Note: We have no idea why Porsche persists in showing the current 911 anywhere near either the old 911 or, in this case, the original Speedster, because it's just not a good look and about the furthest thing from flattering. It clearly demonstrates how far afield Porsche has gotten from its sports car roots because let's face it, the current 911 is a giant car in comparison. Not. Very. Good. -PMD
The 911 Speedster’s flat-six engine is based on the one used in the 911 GT3 and GT3 RS models and represents the next generation of this engine. It has been enhanced with individual throttle bodies that make the throttle response sharper, similar to the ones found on the new 911 GT3 R race car. Higher fuel injection pressure and a new lightweight exhaust system, which saves about 22 pounds of weight compared to the 2018 911 GT3, are also unique to the new 911 Speedster. 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" according to Porsche. Twenty-inch center lock wheels painted in Satin Black are equipped with Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires to offer high levels of grip. The 2019 911 Speedster is available to order and has an MSRP of - GULP - $274,500, not including a $1,250 delivery, processing and handling fee. It is expected to reach U.S. dealers in late 2019. The optional Heritage Design Package designed by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, which offers many styling cues and design elements inspired by classic Speedster models from the 1950’s, can be ordered for an additional $24,510.
(FCA images)
The First Place design sketch is by Maximillian Cooper, Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami, Florida.

Some of the country’s top automotive designers and special guest judge Josh Welton gathered this week to determine the results of the FCA US 2019 Drive for Design contest. They reviewed each and every entry received from U.S. high school students in grades 10-12 who were challenged to design the ultimate status vehicle using any FCA brand. Three students from Florida, Washington and Michigan rose above the competition and have been named winners based on their innovative, forward-thinking sketches. All three students will receive an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the FCA US Product Design studios in Auburn Hills, Michigan, plus one-on-one time with leading automotive designers. Each will also receive a scholarship to attend the Precollege Summer Experience Transportation Design program at College for Creative Studies, a leading art and design college in Detroit. The summer program curriculum includes the fundamentals of gestural sketching, perspective for both interior and exterior automotive concepts and how to translate designs into 3D models.
Second Place went to Mason Ross, Kennedy Catholic High School, Burien, Washington
Third Place went to Vincent Piaskowski, Ernest W. Seaholm High School, Birmingham, Michigan.
The McLaren 600LT Spider is arriving now at North American retailers. McLaren’s newest convertible "fully embodies the McLaren Longtail philosophy," according to the supercar manufacturer which means increased power, reduced weight, optimized aerodynamics, absolute driver engagement, track focused dynamics and limited availability. Unveiled in January, the open-top 600LT has almost indistinguishable performance from the Coupé thanks to McLaren’s carbon fiber Monocell II chassis, which requires no additional bracing or strengthening to remove its roof. The three-piece, retractable hardtop can be operated at speeds up to 25mph, with the push of a button. Featuring a 3.8-liter V8 that produces 592BHP and 457lb ft of torque, the 600LT Spider accelerates from 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds. Other cool stuff? Lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and a fixed rear wing which generates 220.5lbs of down force at 155mph; forged aluminum double-wishbone suspension system with re-calibrated dampers, firmer engine mounts and a lightweight braking system. The 600LT Spider is fitted with bespoke, track-focused Pirelli P- Zero™ Trofeo R tires and the driving experience is enhanced with quicker steering and sharpened responses from the throttle and brake pedals. How much? $256,500.00.