Now that Porsche has unveiled the new generation 911/991 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the company has started to test the convertible version. Obviously, the two models will more or less be the same, but the Cabriolet will feature a canvas soft-top - and not the folding hardtop previously suggested.
Like with the coupe version, the 911/991 Cabriolet will receive an updated exterior featuring an even more muscular stance, a new headlamp design, remodeled exterior mirrors, and new wheels. The interior will be more driver-focused and will offer better technology.
As for the engine line-up, the standard Carrera will get a 3.4 liter direct-injected flat-six engine that will deliver a total of 350 HP, while the S version will feature a 3.8-liter flat-six with direct injection engine delivering a raised output of 400 HP. Performance times would obviously suffer just a tad with the added weight of the soft top, but shouldn’t be too far off of the 0-62 mph time of 4.6 seconds for the Carrera and 4.3 seconds for the Carrera S.
UPDATE 01/09/2012: The new 911 Cabriolet made its North American debut at the Detroit Auto Show allowing Porsche to unveil a new promo video for the sports convertible. Enjoy!
The design of the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet bears a lot of similarities with the coupe version, particularly the use of an innovative aluminum-steel construction to make up the car’s body. The sturdy nature of the the 911 Carrera Cabriolet’s shell is the perfect compliment to the coupe’s flat stretched silhouette, exciting contours, and precisely designed details. As a drop-top version, the 911 Cabriolet comes with an all-new convertible top design that greatly preserves the typically sleek 911 coupe roof line while also carrying an intelligent and lightweight design that makes use of plenty of aluminum, magnesium, and advanced high strength steel, ensuring improved driving dynamics and additional comfort for the driver and his passengers.
Meanwhile, all the standard features of the 911 Carrera’s interior can also be found on the cabriolet version, particularly the classic instrument cluster that includes a high resolution, multi-function screen, a central rev counter, and an ignition lock to the left of the steering wheel.
The New Roof Technology
One of the more distinguishing elements of the new 911 Cabriolet is the soft-top, retractable roof. For the 2012 model, Porsche unveiled a new design that features a glass rear window that has been glued directly to the outer fabric skin. According to Porsche, this new wrinkle will also be used in some of the company’s forthcoming models, particularly the new Boxster.
Going back to the design of the roof, Porsche also used a magnesium frame to support the roof structure, while making use of composite paneling to built the upper and rear parts of the roof. As far as the side panels are concerned, Porsche retained their traditional multilayered fabric design, allowing the whole structure to be folded and stowed under a tonneau cover.
The whole process of raising and/or stowing the roof takes 11 seconds to complete and can be done so at a speed of anything under 37 mph.
Both the 911 Carrera and the 911 Carrera S will be using the same powertrain as that of their coupe counterparts. As for the former, the engine is a 3.4-liter boxer six-cylinder engine that produces 350 horsepower and mated to a choice of either a seven-speed manual transmission or an optional PDK dual-clutch automated manual transmission. This translates to a 0-62 mph acceleration time of just 4.6 seconds with a top speed of 177 mph.
Meanwhile, the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet will be powered by a 3.8-liter boxer six-cylinder DFI engine that produces 400 horsepower and is mated to a choice of the same seven-speed manual transmission or an optional PDK dual-clutch automated manual transmission. In case you opt for the optional PDK dual-clutch automated manual transmission, the resulting performance numbers for the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet will take it from 0-62 mph in just 4.3 seconds while hitting a top speed of 187 mph.
The 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet has been priced at $97,300 while the Carrera S Cabriolet hits north of six digits, retailing for $108,000.
By sheer numbers alone, the Audi R8 Spyder has the upper hand on the new Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S Cabriolet models. But numbers tell only one part of the story, because if that were the case, the former will just wipe its behind with the latter.
But the Porsche 911 Carrera is considered as one of the most iconic models in the history of the industry, so much so that even if it lacks the legs of the 430-horsepower R8 Spyder, it can still boast of the tried-and-proven legacy of the 911.
Lighter than previous versions
Sexy exterior makes the 911 heritage proud
Downsized engine yet still faster than past models
It’s going to cost you some moolah
Competition is tough