If you are currently in the market for a convertible performance car, a number of excellent options are available. Ask for four seats and your options narrow down drastically, look for one with a rear-mounted engine and you are down to just one offering, the very accomplished Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. Recently revised, the 911 Cabriolet sees minor specification changes for 2018.
The interior of the 911 Cabriolet is solidly put together and the dashboard and door trims are covered in high quality materials, if a certain color combination or trim piece is not to your liking, there is a long list of additional finishes and color combinations to pick from.
The front sports seats offer good support for all shapes and sizes, those wanting more can pick from multi-powered, ventilated and heated options too. The rear passengers are not quite so fortunate, the upright backrest and very limited kneeroom make even shorter journeys feel like long ones. With the fabric roof in place, headroom too is only suitable for children.
The front trunk offers enough cargo space for a shopping trip but those small rear seats may be needed for extra bags and they do offer a fold down feature which provides a flat loading surface.
The 911 Cabriolet gives little away to its more dynamically focused coupe stablemate and offers a level of grip and handling that is as good as any drop-top performance car around. Additional body stiffening minimizes any scuttle shake over bumps although this does add a few pounds to its curb weight.
The suspension setup offers a firm yet absorbent ride quality over most road surfaces and other than some tire noise with the roof down, this 911 is an accomplished cruiser too. The fabric roof features full automatic operation and features a multi-layered and smooth outer surface to reduce air-resistance and wind noise.
The Porsche Carrera Cabriolet is fitted with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 engine which makes 370 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. Uprated internals provide the Carrera S Cabriolet with 420 hp and 368 lb-ft. Both send the power to the rear wheels and either a 7-speed manual or 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission can be specified.
PDK equipped cars offer the quickest acceleration figures and a Carrera S Cab with the Sport Chrono pack (which includes launch control) can complete the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.9-seconds. At the other end of the scale, a base manual Carrera Cab takes 4.6-seconds. These are very quick times and comparable to the best in this segment.
Fuel economy too is commendable and very similar across the range, a PDK equipped Carrera Cab offers 22/28mpg in city/highway driving.
There are a variety of convertible 991s on offer, our focus here is on the pair of entry-level rear-wheel drive variants.
The base Porsche Carrera Cabriolet comes equipped with partial leather interior and power front seats, touchscreen infotainment system, 8-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and smartphone integration, surround park assist, cruise control and 19-inch alloy wheels. Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED taillights are also standard.
There is a selection of Premium and Premium Plus Packages to choose from. Depending on the one chosen, they contain full LED headlights with dynamic light system, auto-dimming mirrors, front seat heating and ventilation, keyless entry and ambient LED lighting.
Carrera S Cabriolets offer the above and add 20-inch alloy wheels, larger brakes and some additional available options.
Aside from the available Premium Packages a unique Sport Package is offered which includes rear-axle steering, sport exhaust, sport chrono, GT sport steering wheel and sport-design exterior mirrors. The Powerkit Package offers all of the Sport Package items as well as modifications to the engine which liberate a further 30 hp for a total of 450 hp.
Notable individually options for both models include power steering plus, sport exhaust system and a front axle lift system.
Developed and honed over decades into one of the most accomplished sports cars around, the 911 Carrera Cabriolet continues to offer class-leading performance and technology in its segment.
The folding fabric roof adds another dimension to the 911s driving experience, allowing it to carve up a mountain pass one minute and then cruise quietly along a coastal road with equal competence.