Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. Tick Tock, Tick Tock

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Here and now though with just five minutes left, it’s the Sport Plus button upon which I’m now focused. Even though the 3.8l boxer engine hitherto has been receiving my best attempt at a workout, the time calls for racier action. The mode selected, the suspension settings are automatically tightened, throttle response is more aggressive than default, and gear changes – which were hardly slow to start with – are now instantaneous. A flick of the right wrist and a dab of throttle sends 400hp-worth of acceleration both linear and violent in equal measure through the rear wheels, even if the gearshift configuration on the steering wheel – where backwards and forwards replace left and right for the changes – does leave me yearning for a traditional paddle shift. Tempted as I am to try it, I refrain from pushing the convertible up to its 301kph top speed.

Fast and energetic as the 991 Carrera S Cabriolet may be though, the first speed bump I hit throws up an issue. At slower speeds and in the lower gears the extra weight from the strengthened bodyshell is noticeable, and linear acceleration suddenly takes a hair longer than normal to kick in. Surely though, this is to be expected from a convertible sportscar, which – to my mind at least – is for cruising and leisure rather than mirroring the more sporting character of its hardtop counterpart. Then again, given the speed and agility already demonstrated by the Cabriolet, is this really the case with a soft-top 911?

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Take the handling, for example. As I dart – safely – from lane to lane, the electro-mechanical power steering is weighty and responsive, and there’s an enormous amount of feel through the front Pirellis. The whole car feels planted. Pinpointing the 991’s angular nose is easy thanks to good weight distribution, and feeding the power in without traces of bodyroll and lack of grip means the point of no return is much further than my heart rate cares to venture. Solid brakes also make sure that speed is scrubbed just as quickly as it’s piled on. It seems there’s little to choose between the convertible and the coupe in terms of performance. Except the weight. The roof may be gone but the spark is still there in essence.

Having gracefully torn onto the Porsche forecourt, I leap out of the driver’s seat only to notice that I’ve parked the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet next to the coupe model. During my half-jog towards Porsche’s press elite, who are trying hard not to giggle at my sheepish expression, I can’t help but wonder which one I’d go for. It’s a tough choice, but there’s only room in my dream garage for one 911. And the roof doesn’t go down.

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Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet
Engine: Flat-six / 3800cc
Power: 400hp @ 7400rpm
Torque: 325lb ft @ 5600rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed manual transmission / seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) as an option / engine and transmission bolted together to form a single drive unit / rear wheel drive / Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) including mechanical limited- slip rear differential / PDK PTV Plus including electronically controlled rear differential
Front suspension: McPherson axle (optimised to Porsche requirements) with wheels independently mounted on transverse control arms / longitudinal control arms and suspension struts / vibration dam- pers mounted inside cylindrical coil springs / electro-mechanical power steering
Rear suspension: Multi-link rear suspension with wheels independently guided on five control arms / cylindrical coil springs with coaxial vibration dampers mounted inside
Brakes: Dual-circuit brake system with separate circuits for front and rear axles / Porsche Stability Management (PSM) / vacuum brake booster / brake assist / electric duo-servo parking brake / auto hold function / perforated and vented brake discs / six-piston aluminium monobloc brake callipers 340mm x 34mm (front) / four-piston aluminium monobloc brake callipers 330mm x 28mm (rear)
Wheels: 20-inch
Tyres: 245/35 ZR 20 (front) / 295/30 ZR 20 (rear)
Weight (kerb) 1465kg
0-100kph: 4.7sec (4.3sec with Sport Plus and PDK)
Top speed: 301kph

Categories: Road


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