by Michael Butler
In the motoring world, few numbers represent performance and cutting edge technology as well as the hallowed 911. The Porsche 911 is an absolute icon of the sports car universe, and with good reason - it offers class-leading performance, time after time. For 2021, Porsche ups the ante with its new range of 911 Turbo models, including the 911 Turbo and Turbo S Cabriolets, which gain more power while losing their roofs. The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet features a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six engine with power levels of up to 640 horsepower, as well as a revised dual-clutch transmission. Competing with the new car are the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GT R, Audi R8, and the Lamborghini Huracan Evo. While the 911 Turbo Cabriolet might not be the most lethal weapon in Porsche's arsenal, it should prove to be one of the most satisfying to live with.
The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet is based on the 2020 992 generation platform and is an all-new design. Both Turbo and Turbo S models make use of a 3.8-liter flat-six engine with twin turbochargers and a reworked eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. New standard features include LED matrix headlights, an extendable front spoiler, and a large rear wing. The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet also has a wider and more aggressive stance.
There are no major surprises here: the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet takes an evolutionary approach to its exterior design changes, and only those in the know will be able to spot any significant differences between 2019 and 2021 models (there was no 2020 model year). Significant exterior changes include a 0.8-inch wider stance with a flared rear end which hides a set of standard double five-spoke alloy wheels (20 inches up front, 21 inches at the rear), and the inclusion of standard LED headlights (LED matrix headlights on the Turbo S), amongst others. The fold-up roof disappears underneath an iconic ducktail-style rear wing.
The 2021 911 Turbo Cabriolet measures in with a total length of 178.6 inches and rolls on a 96.5-inch wheelbase. With the wing mirrors folded in, the Cabriolet has a width of 74.9 inches and is 51.3 inches tall, while 4.8 inches of girth is added by extending the wing mirrors. Front and rear tracks come in at 62.4 inches and 63 inches, respectively, and curb weight is a reasonable 3,790 pounds.
Porsche joins the great horsepower race with the new 911 Turbo: the non-S Turbo produces 572 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque while the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet delivers a gut-wrenching 640 hp and 590 lb-ft from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter boxer six motor. That is a power increase of 60 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque over the 911.2 Turbo S (when the latter is in overboost), which translates into a zero to sixty sprint time of only 2.7 seconds and a 205 mph top speed. The Turbo is barely slower, getting to 60 in 2.8 seconds and reaching a top speed of 199 mph. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed PDK transmission.
Not only is the new 911 Turbo Cabriolet faster in a straight line, but Porsche has spent its time honing the cornering capabilities of the new car up to a point where handling feels noticeably improved. How did they manage that? Well, firstly, there's the introduction of a refined active suspension management sport system that allows the 911 Turbo Cabriolet to be lowered by 0.39 inches. You also get dynamic chassis control and rear-axle steering. Bringing everything to a controlled stop is a set of 16-inch front rotors on the Turbo and 16.5-inch front rotors on the Turbo S. Refined when you need it to be, and capable of dismantling curves at speed when you ask - it's the consummate all-rounder.
Gas mileage figures are yet to be released by the EPA, but the previous 911 Turbo Cabriolet managed 19/24/21 mpg city/highway/combined, so we expect the new car to be in the same ballpark. Fuel capacity sits at 17.6 gallons, which should give the car a maximum range of around 370 miles.
Figures won't vary much from the current 911 Turbo Coupe, which means that those seated in front get a much better deal than anyone at the back. You still get four seats with enough room to fit two large adults in the front, but the rear seats should be considered as extra storage space, or at a push, can be used to cart around children. The seating position on the 911 has been historically good, and with electronically adjustable everything, we see no reason why drivers of all sizes shouldn't be able to find the perfect driving position.
You won't be able to carry enough luggage for a family of four, but the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet does offer some useful trunk and cargo space. In the front luggage compartment, you get 4.5 cubic feet of luggage space, which is enough for two small carry-on suitcases, and with the rear seats folded, you get a solid 9.3 cubic feet of space, making this a practical two-seater sports car. Inside the cabin, you get tight door pockets, a center console storage shelf with cupholders, and a glove box for storing smaller items.
Porsche likes to keep most of its premium features on the options list, but this doesn't mean that the new 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet comes with only a handful of premium features. Both versions of the 911 Turbo Cabriolet have heated front seats, cruise control, keyless entry, a rearview camera, front/rear ParkAssist, and the availability of a surround-view camera system. However, where the Turbo has 14-way powered front seats, the Turbo S gets 18-way powered adaptive sport seats. Standard driver assistance tech includes high-beam assist and forward-collision warning, while performance features like adaptive suspension, the Sport Chrono package, and rear-axle steering also feature as standard.
If you're not into the sound produced by that twin-turbo flat-six engine, then you can always get the infotainment system up and running, and in the case of the 911 Turbo Cabriolet, you get a pretty good deal: there's a 10.9-inch touchscreen with a 12-speaker Bose sound system which includes 12 amplifier channels and a 100-watt subwoofer. Standard features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming as well as Apple CarPlay integration. For those in the mood for some extra loud Boney M, Porsche offers an optional 13-speaker Burmester sound system.
The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet is only just now hitting the road, so there was no recall history at the time of writing. But if the 2019 car is anything to go by, then you won't have to worry about any reliability issues. The 911 Turbo is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, a 12-year corrosion protection warranty, and a two-year warranty for genuine Porsche parts, exchange parts and accessories.
There are a large number of standard, and optional active driver assistance features onboard the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, but your standard safety equipment includes front and side airbags, a sport-tuned traction and stability program, as well as automatically deploying supplemental safety bars. Driver assistance features include forward collision avoidance, Park Assist front and rear, a rearview camera, cruise control, as well as high-beam assist for the LED headlights. Despite the fact that neither the NHTSA or IIHS has reviewed the 911 in any form, we expect it to maintain the highest safety standards.
The evolution of the 911 spans over half a century and has only improved with time. The current 911 Turbo is one of the best all-round supercars on offer and delivers on both performance and comfort. The new car is more powerful than ever before, with hardly any drop in performance relative to its hardtop counterpart, and offers increased handling capabilities that should see it leave competitors such as the Mercedes-AMG GT S in the dust. The fact that there are still GT3s and GT2 RSes to come is simply frightening; the 911 Turbo Cabriolet, whether in S guise or not, is already an open-top roadster treading on supercar toes.
The Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet is the most expensive convertible Porsche you can buy right now. At $183,600, the Turbo Cabriolet is almost $13,000 more expensive than its hardtop sibling. Even pricier is the Turbo S Cabriolet which carries an eye-watering MSRP of $216,300.
This excludes registration, tax, and a destination fee of $1,350. To put that into perspective, the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster will set you back $189,750.
There are only two models to choose from: the 911 Turbo Cabriolet and the even more potent 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. For $32,700 more, the Turbo S will get to 60 mph in a tenth of a second faster and climb past the magic 200-mph mark. It also has extras like matrix LED headlights and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), which is especially useful if you intend driving your 911 hard on track. At these prices, what's another 30 grand or so, right? For that reason, we'd want the all-conquering Turbo S. We'd opt for a vivid color like Racing Yellow and get the $3,490 Sport Exhaust System. To cover safety and convenience, add a surround-view camera ($1,430) and adaptive cruise control ($2,000) and you're all set for the sum of $224,570 including destination.
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster is one serious piece of German engineering and is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine producing 577 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the 911 Turbo Cabriolet, the GT R is focused on track use, which means harsh suspension and a nine-stage stability control system to allow varying amounts of slip. Contrarily, the AWD 911 is competent both on road and on track, and it has a completely different demeanor. You get the 911 Turbo for the duality and its ability to do all things with style and grace, but the AMG GT R is the car you buy for the experience of a snarling V8 and a chassis that bludgeons corners into submission.
The 2020 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance is one of the few supercars out there that still makes use of a high capacity naturally aspirated engine. The 5.2-liter V10 engine under the engine cover produces 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque and gets this Audi to sixty in the low three-second range. We like its sharp new looks and that awesome V10 howl. It's also one of the easier drop-top supercars to live with and comes with Audi's brilliant build quality. It's a heavy drinker, however, and isn't the sharpest or most engaging car to drive in this class. We'd still go with the Porsche, which is vastly more capable in all scenarios, and has rear seats, despite the fact that it's missing the sensual V10 howl.
Check out some informative Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet video reviews below.