Porsche launches new 911 drop-top

Summer-loving Cabriolet’s electric roof now opens quicker than ever before

09 January 2019 - 10:06 By Motoring Reporter
The new 911 Cabriolet is available in rear- and all-wheel driver models and is headed to South Africa in mid 2019. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new 911 Cabriolet is available in rear- and all-wheel driver models and is headed to South Africa in mid 2019. Picture: SUPPLIED

Six weeks after the 911 coupe’s launch, Porsche has unveiled the Cabriolet version.

Initially available in two-wheel drive Carrera S and all-wheel drive Carrera 4S derivatives, the latest soft-top versions of the brand’s iconic sports car include all the new features of the coupe, along with new hydraulics responsible for opening and closing the roof quicker than ever before.  The drop-top 911 continues a long tradition established when Porsche unveiled the first 911 Cabriolet in 1982.

The fully automatic soft top has an integrated glass rear window. Its structure contains magnesium surface elements known as bows, which prevent ballooning of the roof at high speeds. The roof can be opened or closed at driving speeds up to 50 km/h. New hydraulics reduce the opening time to around 12 seconds, while an electrically extendable wind deflector ensures that necks are shielded from wind impact.

Both versions of the car are moved along by a 3-litre six-cylinder turbocharged boxer engine with outputs of 331kW and 530Nm, through an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. The 911 Carrera S Cabriolet has claimed performance figures of 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds (with optional Sport Chrono Package: 3.7 seconds) and a top speed of 306 km/h. The 4S Cabriolet has a 304km/h top speed of 304 km/h and achieves 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds (with optional Sport Chrono Package: 3.6 seconds).

With its 306km/h top speed the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet makes a very effective hair dryer. Picture: SUPPLIED
With its 306km/h top speed the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet makes a very effective hair dryer. Picture: SUPPLIED

A new engine mounting position makes the convertible more torsionally rigid than its predecessor. For the first time, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) sport chassis is available for the 911 Cabriolet. It features harder and shorter springs, more rigid front and rear anti-roll-bars as well as a 10mm lower chassis. These adjustments give the 911 convertible a more neutral feel on the road, with better weight distribution.

Though its evolutionary shape unmistakably continues long-held 911 styling tradition, the new 992 generation sports a more muscular look. Significantly wider wheel housings arch over the 20-inch front wheels and 21-inch rear wheels. At the front the body is 45 mm wider, and there are new flush-integrated door handles that pop-out electrically. Between the new LED headlights, a bonnet with a pronounced recess evokes the design of the first 911 generations.

The rear end is now the same width across all models, unlike before where only the all-wheel-drive versions had flared rear arches. The rear is dominated by the significantly wider, retractable spoiler and the continuous, seamless light bar.

With the exception of the front and rear sections, the entire outer skin is now made from aluminium.

A completely revamped interior features clear and straight dashboard lines with recessed instruments, as inspired by 911 models from the 1970s. The time-honoured central analogue rev counter remains, and is flanked by two digital displays.

The centre touchscreen has grown to 10.9 inches and there are still physical buttons to quick-access important vehicle functions. In terms of digitalisation, the 911 takes the next step into the future with permanent connectivity as well as new functions and services. The standard PCM features include online navigation based on swarm data as well as Porsche Connect Plus.

As a world first, Porsche has developed the Wet Mode, which is included as standard. This function detects water on the road, preconditions the control systems accordingly and warns the driver, who can then opt to set up the car with a focus on safety, by simply pushing a button or using the mode switch on the steering wheel (Sport Chrono Package).

The camera-based warning and brake assist system, also fitted as standard, detects the risk of collision with vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists, and initiates a warning or emergency braking procedure if necessary. A Park Assistant system, including reversing camera, completes the standard configuration of the convertible.

Options for the 911 include Night Vision Assist, with thermal imaging camera, as well as adaptive cruise control with automatic distance control, stop-and-go function and reversible occupant protection.

The new Porsche 911 Cabriolet is expected in South Africa by mid 2019 priced at R1,874 000 for the Carrera S and R1,964,000 for the 4S, including a three-year/100,000km Driveplan.