New Porsche 911 Cabriolet Revealed

Just a few months after the launch of the new 911 Carrera Coupé, Porsche is introducing the new 911 Cabriolet. In opting for the open-air 911, sports car enthusiasts again have the choice of either the 239 kW (325 bhp) 3.6-litre flat-six engine or the Carrera S model with its 3.8-litre power unit developing 261 kW (355 bhp). The new convertibles will feature a choice of 18” or 19” alloy wheels, PSM Porsche Stability Management and PCM Porsche Communication Management including Porsche Sound Package Plus (CD radio with nine loudspeakers) and a wind deflector.

The two Cabriolets in the 997 model series will be introduced in the UK on 9 April 2005.

The 911 Cabriolet naturally shares the acclaimed driving dynamics of the Coupé. Benefiting from outstanding lightweight concepts, the basic version weighs 1480 kg (3263 lb) (Carrera S: 1505 kg/3318 lb), thus ranking as one of the lightest cars in its market segment. Both Cabriolets weigh just 85 kilos more than their respective Coupé counterparts.

The soft roof opens and closes fully automatically at the touch of a button in just 20 seconds, collapsing in Z-configuration within the roof compartment, with the outer side of the roof facing to the top for optimum protection of the heated glass rear window. The roof can be opened and closed while driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph). New guide ducts above the doors reduce the amount of rainwater dripping down, directing water into a specially developed door seal duct in the windscreen A-pillar. In combination with the wind deflector featured as standard, both Cabriolets offer superior driving comfort with the roof lowered.

As a result of their excellent power-to-weight ratio and Porsche chassis design, these two open-air sports cars offer exemplary agility and dynamic handling. The Carrera S Cabriolet comes as standard with PASM Porsche Active Suspension Management, available as an option on the 3.6-litre Carrera, and offering an entirely new dimension in driving dynamics.

Both models have exactly the same top speed as their Coupé counterparts – 177 mph and, respectively, 182 mph – thus proving their outstanding aerodynamic qualities. Both versions of the Cabriolet have a drag coefficient of 0.29, ranking them at the top of their respective market segments. One of the features specific to the Cabriolet is the rear spoiler extending 20 millimetres (approx 0.8") further than on the Coupé. This minimises lift forces on both the front and rear axle, particularly at high speeds, in the interest of supreme driving safety.

The Coupé versions of the new 911 outperform the Cabriolet models by a few tenths of a second only in terms of their acceleration. The 3.6-litre version of the open-air Carrera (with manual gearbox) accelerates to 100 km/h (62mph) in 5.2 seconds, the Carrera S Cabriolet completing this exercise in 4.9 seconds.

The new 911 Carrera Cabriolet comes as standard with the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP) system comprising, in particular, two head airbags. Shaped like a flat cushion, these airbags are concealed in the doors along the bottom edge of the windows, and instantaneously inflate upwards in a collision from the side to ensure maximum head protection. A thorax airbag on the outer side of the front seat backrests, two full-size frontal airbags and three-point seat belts with belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters for the front seats round off the high standard of occupant safety. In addition, the rollover safety system in the new Carrera Cabriolet is made up of two ultra-strong steel tubes in the windscreen A-pillars and two safety bars that move up automatically behind the rear seats, in an emergency situation.

The Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet will be priced in the UK at £65,260 (the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet at £72,230) and will be available in the UK from 9 April 2005.

Photos/Text - Porsche