Porsche 911 Cabriolet
"The Porsche 911 Cabriolet offers convertible thrills with very few downsides"
- Brilliant to drive
- Great build quality
- Quick roof mechanism
- Desirable kit is optional
- Limited luggage room
- Just one engine so far
Since it first appeared at the 1981 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Porsche 911 Cabriolet has been one of the most sought after convertible sports cars. This success has only continued to grow as each model has evolved to become faster, sharper and even more thrilling to drive.
The 911 Cabriolet has become a constant amongst rivals that have become as varied as the front-engined, Jaguar F-Type V8 convertible, the mid-engined Audi R8 Spyder with its wailing V10, and the ultra-technical McLaren 570S Spider that's built around a carbon fibre tub.
All have their inherent advantages and disadvantages, but the 911 Cabriolet has remained a great all-rounder. Its tweaked 3.0-litre flat-six petrol engine with clever turbocharging makes it outrageously fast - getting from 0-62mph in as little as 3.6 seconds. The Turbo S version, with a newly developed 3.8-litre engine, is even faster, taking just 2.7 seconds.
At launch, the drop-top 911 came in Carrera S and Carrera 4S guises, both of which get the same 444bhp but crucially, with two- or four-wheel drive. This affects the car's character, because where the Carrera S feels somewhat playful when it reaches the limit of its lower grip levels, the 4S is an assured all-weather machine. With a massive 641bhp and 850Nm of torque, it's no surprise the Turbo S is equipped with four-wheel drive as standard. An entry-level Carerra with 380bhp is also offered with two- or four-wheel drive.
With a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the 911 Cabriolet is easy to drive, but no less rewarding if you pick up the pace. At higher revs the engine takes on a new character, and the suspension and steering feel incredibly poised, giving the driver confidence and feedback in spades. The Turbo S is fast enough to outgun many supercars in a drag race, yet is still comfortable to drive more slowly around town.
Taking just 12 seconds to stow away - at speeds up to 30mph - dropping the roof only heightens the fun. Suddenly you can hear more of the intricacies of the engine working just behind you, and feel the air rushing past as you accelerate.