A little-known Porsche concept has just been made public for the first time. The so-called 981 Bergspyder was created in 2015 to explore the potential of the 981 chassis. Built by a specialist team in Weissach, the concept was designed with minimal weight at its core, following the principles of Porsche’s late Sixties hillclimbers.
The team developed an open single-seater, with a wrap-around aeroscreen and full tonneau. This was made initially of imitation leather, with a carbon fibre panel planned for the next stage of development. Carbon was also used for both rear and front lids, while the cabin received almost no sound insulation, resulting in a mere 1,099 kg kerbweight. The car was finished in homage to the white and green 909 Bergspyder, Porsche’s lightest ever race car.
Power came from the same 387bhp 3.8-litre naturally aspirated flat-six fitted to the contemporary Cayman GT4, giving the Bergspyder a power-to-weight ratio of 357bhp per tonne. It could hit 62mph in just over four seconds and Porsche projected a Nürburgring lap time of around 7:30 minutes.
Sadly, it was suspected that the car would fail to comply with modern safety legislation in many international markets, so the project was shelved at the prototype phase and the one-off car moth-balled. In a surprise move, however, Porsche has decided to bring the 981 Bergspyder out of storage and it was shown to the public for the first time during the 2019 staging of the Gaisberg hillclimb in Austria at the end of May.