But when I stop thinking about the costs, the negatives and the realization that a nine-year warrantee is fast running out, only then can I enjoy the main reason I bought the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in the first place: the experience. Now having a convertible in a country where the weather is actually conducive to top down driving (my old Honda S2000 in the UK managed this achievement twice in one year), I now find myself dropping the top at every single opportunity. I would love a bit more noise from the exhaust to enhance the ‘theatre’ of the drive, but basic physics tells me that I am going forward and the noise backwards, so I am not going to hear that much anyway.
A 3.6-litre flat-six with twin turbos running 480bhp puts me comfortably in the ‘Dear Officer, I just didn’t realize how fast I was going’ bracket. Exercising the instinct to slam the right foot to the floor is necessary, but that doesn’t mean fun cannot be had. The way the car pulls off the line (with a claimed 0-100kph in 3.8secs) is one of those intoxicating experiences that quickly becomes addictive to the point I find myself eyeing up the Toyota Yaris next to me at the lights. Not for a race, but to destroy. To tell myself that I must be quick off the line and can thus experience the true power of the acceleration. As for the handling, the four-wheel-drive system does add weight to the car over a standard Carrera S, but is definitely necessary to make the power delivery manageable, and ensure I don’t work my way through the rear tyres on a monthly basis. In terms of handling, the Turbo is just in a completely different league to anything else I’ve ever driven.
So, how do I summarize a year with the Turbo Cabriolet? It is not cheap to maintain, not in relation to a Yaris anyway. Then again I can imagine it is significantly cheaper to look after than say an Lamborghini Aventador or Bugatti Veyron. It has its niggles and trips to the Porsche Service Centre are required now and then (cue knuckle whitening maintenance prices), but anyone who buys a four-year old car should be ready for these. Otherwise, well, don’t buy a four-year old car.
And the bonuses? Walk to the car, unlock with the remote key, drop the roof with the button on the key fob, admire the looks, jump in, start the engine, listen to the low down gurgle, roll out the garage, let the engine warm up to temperature, and then mash the right foot into the carpet listening to the engine sing. Any petrolhead that is not excited by this is not a petrolhead.
Knowing now what I do, would I walk back into the showroom and test drive a 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet? In a heartbeat.
|Porsche||911 Turbo Cabriolet|
|Engine:||Boxer type flat-six / 3596cc / twin Borgwarner Variable Turbine Geometry turbochargers|
|Power:||480hp @ 6000rpm|
|Torque:||460lb ft @ 1950-5000rpm / 505lb ft @ 2100-4000rpm (overboost)|
|Transmission:||Five-speed Tiptronic / four-wheel drive|
|Front suspension:||Independent Porsche optimized McPherson spring strut axle / wheels suspended on track control arms / longitudinal arms and spring struts / twin-sleeve gas-charged shock absorbers with active control (PASM)|
|Rear suspension:||Independent five arms configuration / coil springs / single-sleeve gas-charged shock absorbers with active control (PASM)|
|Brakes:||Six-piston aluminum monobloc calipers with cross-drilled inner-vented brake discs / 350mm x 34mm (Front) / four-piston aluminum monobloc calipers with cross-drilled inner-vented brake discs / 350mm x 28mm (Rear)|
|Wheels:||8.5" x 19" (front) / 11" x 19" (rear) / lightweight forged aluminium wheels|
|Tyres:||235/35 ZR19 (front) 305/30 ZR19 (rear)|