With this month’s unveiling of the new 918 RSR hybrid race car concept, which featured a distinct coupe bodystyle, there were immediately suggestions that the cool convertible bodystyle seen on the previous 918 Spyder concept would be dropped at production time.

Nothing can be further from the truth, according to former Porsche R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer. Speaking with Autocar, Dürheimer revealed that the hard-top 918 RSR would be the basis for a coupe version of the new 918 destined for motorsport use while the 918 Spyder lays the groundwork for the road-legal version.

This will ensure that the 918 Spyder remains the true successor to the now legendary Carrera GT, which featured a manually removable roof that stored away in its trunk when open-top motoring was desired.

In fact, Dürheimer referred to the Carrera GT during his interview, explaining that convertibles were more fun to drive.

“We learned from the Carrera GT that the driving pleasure of the car is enhanced when you have the possibility to drive open or closed,” he said. “We have always told people interested in the 918 Spyder that it will have a roof concept similar to the Carrera GT’s, with a lightweight carbon fiber panel. A closed car is better for motorsport, though.”

As we’ve previously reported, the Porsche 918 Spyder has been confirmed for production, complete with its advanced hybrid drivetrain. Expect a release date around late 2013 or early 2014.