Here’s a tale to welcome the weekend. In 2015, the Porsche board commissioned a project group from Weissach to build the prototype of a new-generation Bergspyder, perhaps to succeed the legendary 1968 Porsche 909 Bergspyder. It was to be called the 981 Bergspyder, had it gone to production.

The goal was to build a stripped-down, lightweight and minimalist car that’s based on the 981 Boxster (hence the name and familiar looks), and it has to have an even more radical and uncompromising design than the brand new Boxster Spyder. Also, the car must achieve an exceptional power-to-weight ratio and boast superior driving dynamics.

The 909 Bergspyder (pictured below on the right), with its ready-to-drive weight of 384 kg – the lightest racing car ever used by Porsche – was built with similar specifications almost 50 years before. After deciding on the name and white-green colour scheme, they built the single-seater sports car without a top, door handles and windscreen. Well, there is a small wind deflector that wraps around the driver, but that’s about it.

For added protection, a plan to design and create a protective tarpaulin cover was laid out (a design cue that was lifted off the 1954 Porsche 356 Speedster). It was made initially of faux leather, with a carbon-fibre component planned for the subsequent developmental phase. The composite material was also used for the front and rear lids.

For the cabin, the 981 Boxster’s dashboard gets a complete redesign, fitted with elements from the Porsche 918 Spyder, and likewise assembled. The seat was also taken from the 918 technology platform. The passenger door could be opened, with another luggage compartment concealed behind it to provide space for a helmet shelf, a removable cover for the driver’s seat and additional luggage.

After several weight reduction stages (the car had minimal insulation material), the ready-to-drive Boxster Bergspyder weighed in at 1,099 kg. It’s powered by the 3.8 litre flat-six Boxer engine from the Cayman GT4 (the car weighed 1,340 kg), which outputs 393 PS and 420 Nm of torque. This gave the Bergspyder a monumental power-to-weight ratio of nearly 2.8 kg per PS. Porsche claims the 0-100 km/h sprint requires a little over four seconds, and could possibly lap the Nürburgring around 7 minutes 30 seconds.

Unfortunately, the prototype never made it past the feasibility test. A major question mark remained as to whether the car would be eligible for registration in some countries, which would have an impact on potential sales. Since then, the project was shelved, and the prototype you see here will remain a one-off. The 981 Bergspyder will be shown to the public for the first time during the 2019 edition of the Gaisberg hillclimb race.