Driving

Porsche 911 Cabriolet review

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Porsche 911 Cabriolet
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11 May 2016 07:42 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 14:48

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Fitted with the slick seven-speed manual gearbox, both Carrera models deliver exceptional performance. This is particularly so with the S version, which has an extra 49bhp, making it all but as quick as the F-Type R and SL 500. Thanks to their turbocharged flat-six engines there’s plenty of pace from as low as 2000rpm, and it carries on building in intensity as the revs climb; between 4000rpm and 7500rpm they really start to fly.

If you order the optional quick-shifting seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic, or the four-wheel drive versions, they get even quicker still, although in the real world it’s hard to notice the extra pace. That is unless it’s wet, when the added traction of four-wheel drive helps get all that power down more easily.

Adding the optional Sports Chrono package (standard on the Turbo models) also improves performance on PDK-equipped cars. It allows you to select various driving modes via a steering-wheel button, and the snappier gearshifts in the sportiest setting is what gives the added pace.

The power difference between the 911 Turbo and Turbo S is 41bhp, but in truth both have alarming speed. The Turbos’ greatest asset is perhaps the effortless manner in which that pace is delivered. It’s hard to think of any cars of this ilk that are quite so forgiving and rapid point-to-point.

Whichever model you choose, you’ll relish in the engaging handling that makes all 911s a hoot to drive, even if the convertibles reduced chassis stiffness mean they’re not quite as precise as their coupé equivalents. Even so, the Carrera models feel nimbler than the slightly heavier-feeling F-Type R or Mercedes SL 500.

All 911s have great steering that’s direct and well weighted, while the standard adaptive dampers deliver composed handling, even over tricky, undulating roads. The Turbo S also comes with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PSCC), which keeps the body even flatter and more poised through bends.

If you soften off the dampers the 911 also rides relatively well, too, despite its large alloy wheels. Only really vicious bumps will create mild discomfort, but other imperfections tend to be absorbed with ease, unless you specify one of the lowered-suspension options. If you do it’s worth considering a feature that raises the nose to prevent contact being made over speed bumps, which is available at extra cost.

Some rivals such as the SL and California with their metal-folding roofs are a little more refined. That said, the fabric roof on the 911 is pretty well soundproofed and wind noise is well suppressed at speed; with big tyres, road noise is the main issue. With the roof down and the standard electric wind deflector in place, it’s mostly bluster free, too.

Porsche 911 Cabriolet
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