2019 Porsche 911 Speedster strips down to its birthday suit

Porsche is celebrating its 70th birthday a year late, but the present it made for itself is worth the wait.

The 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster is a stripped down version of the outgoing 911 that features the classic roofless styling of some of the company’s most iconic cars, and is the production version of a concept that was unveiled to mark the anniversary last year.

(AP)

Instead of a convertible top, it features a manually installed tonneau cover that straps on like a bikini, and is primarily meant for protecting the interior while the car is parked.

The chopped windscreen and bubble back recalls past Porsche 2-seaters, but under the latter is the company’s hottest naturally aspirated engine: the screaming 502 hp 4.0-liter flat-6 from the GT3 RS track-focused coupe.

(AP)

In keeping with the purist theme, the Speedster is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel-drive, although carbon ceramic brakes are standard. Considering what the car costs, that’s a good thing.

(Porsche)

Porsche will build just 1948 Speedsters in honor of its founding year, and prices start at $275,000, with a heritage graphics package that includes “gumball” number decals and retro trim the only major option.

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Nevertheless, Porsche North America President and CEO Klaus Zellmer tells Fox News Autos that interest in the model is high, and it doesn’t expect to have any trouble selling every one of them when the order book opens on May 7 for fall delivery.