2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Review: Topless Perfection

by Sebastian Cenizo

Porsche is recognized the world over as the creator of the greatest sports coupes on the planet, and every time it seems that a model can't be improved, the company surprises us with yet another brilliant generation that somehow outshines the last one. That brilliance carries over to the brand's drop-top models too, and the latest 911 Carrera Cabriolet is yet another magnificent luxury sports convertible. Powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six with 379 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, the 2021 Carrera takes the fight to the recently refreshed Jaguar F-Type and Mercedes-AMG GT. However, the Boxster has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, so is the 911 still the best way to zip around with the wind in your hair? Well, when the S models make up to 443 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque, we think so.

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 911 Carrera Cabriolet?

A few small changes have been made for the new model year, with all 911s now entitled to the extended '930 Leather' package that was formerly only available on Turbo trims. In addition, a lightweight noise-insulated glass can be installed now too, along with lane keep assist, an automatic nose-lift system that knows when to activate based on GPS, and, if you spec the Sport Chrono package, you now get a digital display of your tires' temperatures. A vibrant new paint option is also available called Python Green.

Pros and Cons

  • Still the greatest drop-top luxury sports car
  • Manual gearbox available
  • Incredibly fast
  • Stunning interior
  • Spacious cabin
  • It's getting more and more expensive
  • You have to buy an S to get a manual
  • Still no Android Auto

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Carrera Cabriolet
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo Flat 6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$110,200
Carrera 4 Cabriolet
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo Flat 6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$117,500
Carrera S Cabriolet
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo Flat 6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$126,100
Carrera 4S Cabriolet
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo Flat 6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$133,400

911 Carrera Cabriolet Exterior

As is the norm on a 911, rounded LED headlights with four "stars" as running lights in each housing are standard. LED strips reside at the top of the front fascia's grilles, while the distinctively rounded wheelhouses contain 19-inch rims at the front and 20s at the rear. S models get 20/21-inch wheels. Speaking of the rear, the full-length taillight housing makes a return with the Porsche script housed therein, while two single-tube exhaust outlets add some menace to the tail end of the car. The S variants have two dual-tube tailpipes to set them apart.

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Front View Porsche
2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Rear View Porsche
2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Rear Angle View Porsche
See All 2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Exterior Photos

Dimensions

2020 saw the introduction of a new Porsche 911, so 2021's update is near impossible to see from the outside. Thus, dimensions for the 911 Carrera Cabriolet remain unchanged, with length measuring 177.9 inches, while width is 72.9 inches with the mirrors folded. The height is 51.1 inches, while the wheelbase measures 96.5 inches. Curb weight starts at 3,508 pounds for the base model, while the 4S starts at 3,641 lbs.

  • Length 177.9 in
  • Wheelbase 96.5 in
  • Height 51.1 in
  • Max Width 72.9 in
  • Front Width 62.7 in
  • Rear Width 61.2 in

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Exterior Colors

  • Carrara White Metallic
  • Jet Black Metallic
  • Dolomite Silver Metallic
  • Gentian Blue Metallic
  • Night Blue Metallic
  • Agate Grey Metallic
  • GT Silver Metallic
  • Aventurine Green Metallic
  • Carmine Red
  • Chalk
  • Lava Orange
  • Miami Blue
  • Lizard Green
  • Custom Color
  • White
See all 18 colors

911 Carrera Cabriolet Performance

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Front View Driving Porsche
2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Rear View Driving Porsche
2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Brakes Porsche

Engine and Transmission

The 911 Carrera's 3.0-liter twin-turbo boxer-six generates 379 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque or 443 hp and 390 lb-ft on S models, all of which is sent through an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission to the rear wheels. Carrera 4 and 4S models split power between both axles. Fortunately, a seven-speed manual is still available but the PDK is obviously faster. This allows the base version of the convertible to rocket from 0-60 mph in just 4.2 seconds, although you can shave another two tenths off that time if you opt for the Sport Chrono package with its brilliant launch control system. The 4S is the quickest of the lot, with a time as low as 3.4 seconds. Top speed is capped at 180 mph on the base model and reaches 190 on the S, but as always with a Porsche, it's more about the way things feel and respond, rather than just top trumps. The gearbox is incredibly quick and is so intelligent and smooth that you may never see the need to take the reins yourself. With the manual, the notchy, weighted, slick shift is a joy that is unrivaled. Similarly, the throttle response is fantastic. Porsche has got the basics right and then perfected them, as always.

  • Engine
    3.0-liter Twin-Turbo Flat 6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Well, how do you expect a 911 to drive? As always, the steering is incredibly accurate and responsive, sending the car exactly where you point it. Grip is phenomenal, and if you want to, you can coerce the rear tires into slipping for easily controllable slides. Naturally, this is relative, and if you've never driven a rear-engined Porsche before, you may want to practice on a closed track first, but the progression is fast and the 911 eggs you on, urging you to go faster and faster around corners. Naturally, a drop-top is about the slow drives too, and the 911 doesn't disappoint. It's got Porsche Active Suspension Management to help keep the car flat when you chuck it into bends, but it does the whole boulevard cruiser thing just as well, with impressive tranquility. The brakes are as brilliant as you'd expect from a 180-mph-capable luxury roadster too. Simply put, the 911 is still a joyous machine to drive, no matter what road you're on or how fast you're going on it.

911 Carrera Cabriolet Gas Mileage

No official figures have been released by Porsche or the EPA with regards to the 2021 911 cabriolet's fuel consumption, but since nothing mechanical has changed, we expect that the 2020's figures of 18/24/20 mpg for the Carrera 4 Cabriolet on the city/highway/combined cycles will be replicated. The base Carrera RWD surprisingly has an inferior highway figure of 17 mpg, but it still manages a combined 20 mpg. With a 16.9-gallon gas tank, the 911 cabriolet should return around 338 miles with mixed driving. However, an optional 23.7-gallon gas tank can increase this to around 474 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    16.9 Gallons
* 2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

911 Carrera Cabriolet Interior

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Instrument Board Porsche
2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Steering Wheel Design Porsche
2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Instrument Cluster Porsche
See All 2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

One of the features of the 911 that makes it slightly more appealing than, say, a Boxster, is that it has four seats. However, like pretty much every other offering in this segment, the 911's rear seats are useless for anyone but toddlers. In the front, things are much better with power-adjustable seats allowing people of pretty much any height to find a comfortable and ergonomic driving position. Getting in and out is easy too, especially with the top down, and visibility in all directions is pretty good.

  • Seating capacity
    4-seater

911 Carrera Cabriolet Trunk and Cargo Space

Porsche sports cars aren't known for their practicality and the 911 cabriolet is no different. The front trunk, or frunk, can only hold 4.6 cubic feet of volume, but that's at least enough for an overnight bag or two.

Inside, you get decent door pockets with bottle recesses, a pair of cupholders, and a small glovebox. Center armrest storage is included too, but not much else. In a pinch, the rear seats can be used for additional luggage.

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Front Seats Porsche
2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Open Top Porsche
2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Open Top 1 Porsche

911 Carrera Cabriolet Infotainment and Features

Features

As standard, the 2021 911 Carrera cabriolet comes with auto stop/start, hill start assist, an active rear spoiler, heated power-folding wing mirrors, and power-adjustable heated front seats. It also boasts automatic LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, forward-collision alert with automatic emergency braking, cruise control, keyless entry, push-button ignition, a pair of seven-inch TFT driver info display screens, rain-sensing wipers, and Wet Mode, which helps improve safety in the rain. Meanwhile, the options list includes 18-way adaptive sport seats, adaptive LED matrix headlights, a surround-view camera, lane change assist, ambient lighting, launch control, dynamic engine mounts, a nose-lifting system that can automatically raise the front of the car based on GPS assistance, and a night vision camera. Other options include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane change assist, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a retuned speed-sensitive steering system.

Infotainment

The 911 benefits from a 10.9-inch touchscreen display across the dash that is a joy to use and beautiful to look at. The system now includes wireless Apple CarPlay and its voice control system is decent as these things go, but Android Auto is still absent. It also includes SiriusXM satellite radio, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and an eight-speaker sound system. However, you can upgrade to a Bose 12-speaker system or, if you're a real stickler for incredible audio, a Burmester 13-speaker system can be had - if you're willing to spend over five and a half grand on it.

911 Carrera Cabriolet Problems and Reliability

The 2021 911 Carrera is, thus far, free of recalls. However, it is worth noting that the mechanically identical 2020 suffered a recall in June of 2019 for potentially loose driveshaft bolts and another later in the year for faulty hazard warning lights that may not activate.

However, should anything go wrong, the 911 is covered by a limited warranty for four years/50,000 miles. A 12-year/unlimited mileage corrosion warranty is included too, while the first 10,000 miles or the first year offer free maintenance.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Maintenance:
    1 Years \ 10,000 Miles

911 Carrera Cabriolet Safety

Sports cars in this price bracket are not often intentionally crashed, as is evidenced by the lack of results from the NHTSA for this Porsche. The same goes for the IIHS, which hasn't evaluated the 911 Carrera for crashworthiness.

However, owners can have faith in the Porsche's safety systems, which are numerous. These include hill start assist, automatic LED headlights, a rearview camera, forward-collision alert with automatic emergency braking, and rain-sensing wipers. Also included is Wet Mode, a setting that automatically reduces the car's performance to ensure safety in the rain. Frontal, side-impact, and rollover airbags, as well as automatic roll hoops, contribute further to the car's safety credentials. Options include adaptive LED matrix headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane change assist, a night vision camera, and a surround-view camera.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet a good car?

The 2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is almost exactly like the 2020 model. In other words, it's absolutely spectacular. The only things that have changed have been things that make the car even easier to live with on a daily basis, besides maybe that Python Green paint option. Nevertheless, all the standard stuff is epic, and all the optional features are either useful or cool in some way. And all of this comes on top of a package that is both comfortable and exciting. It is arguably the best convertible you can have if you want true luxury and unbeatable driving dynamics in one perfect, gorgeous, fast bundle. It's simply the best. Sure, Porsches are getting bigger and heavier as a whole. But the 992 911 is one of the few cars that is still committed to being the absolute best it can be, without altering its DNA or corrupting its heritage. Even with the roof off, it's magnificent. We want one. Badly.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet?

Four versions of the 911 Carrera Cabriolet are available, starting with the regular Carrera at $112,000. The Carrera 4 starts at a base price of $119,300, while the Carrera S is $127,900. The range-topping 4S cabriolet has a base price of $135,200, before a delivery, processing and handling fee, which all models are subject to at $1,350. Fully loaded, the 911 Carrera Cabriolet can easily exceed $220,000.

See All 2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Trims and Specs

🚗What Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Model Should I Buy?

It's difficult to make a recommendation here, as it depends on what you want from your vehicle. It's also tricky because there is no such thing as a bad Porsche. That said, it's hard to resist the most powerful version. We prefer rear-wheel-drive over all-wheel-drive, so we'd stray from the 4S and start with a regular S. We'd also certainly opt for the seven-speed manual, although we don't begrudge those who go for the PDK since it's incredibly quick and opens the door to the Sport Chrono package with its launch control functionality. Ventilated seats, adaptive cruise control, and a sound system upgrade seem like the ideal additions to a luxury convertible that allows you to soak up the sun. Finally, we'd consider the surround-view camera to ensure we don't ding the paint.

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Comparisons

Jaguar F-Type Convertible Jaguar
Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster Mercedes-Benz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet379 hpTBC$110,200
Jaguar F-Type Convertible 296 hp23/30 mpg$64,700
Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster 469 hp16/22 mpg$127,900

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet vs Jaguar F-Type Convertible

The Jaguar F-Type convertible was recently refreshed for the 2021 model year, and with a starting price of $64,700, it's almost half what a new 911 costs, making it worthy of consideration. However, it's worth noting that the base model only comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot with just 296 hp. It also only comes with an eight-speed automatic. The R-Dynamic trim is better matched to the 911, with 380 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. This is a bargain considering that this top trim still starts at under 85 grand. However, there are no back seats at all, the infotainment system isn't nearly as slick as Porsche's, and the interior can feel cramped. It also doesn't handle quite as well as the 911. Overall, if you have the money, a 911 is still the ultimate choice.

See Jaguar F-Type Convertible Review

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet vs Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster

Mercedes-AMG's GT Roadster is a stunning looking thing. At $127,900 for the base model, it had better be. It's not just about looks though, as that also buys you a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces a stunning 469 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. If you opt for the GT C, you get 550 hp and 502 lb-ft, although that's still not enough to beat the 911 from 0-60 as it takes 3.6 seconds to get there. Fortunately, it pulls back a point with a top speed of 196 mph. Like the Jag above, however, it isn't offered with a manual gearbox. Another trait it shares with the F-Type is that it only seats two people. It also doesn't have the handling finesse of the Porsche. Still, it offers features like AIRSCARF neck-warming and a more emotionally evocative experience overall. Thus, if you want luxury and emotion, get the Merc. If you love driving, buy the Porsche.

See Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster Review

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