No rain in Spain...

Seville, February 2005. Just a short introduction to the new 911 Cabrio soon reveals it to be a worthy successor to the long line of convertible Porsches. But does it retain the driving qualities of its fixed head brother? A premium of EURO 10,000 does not guarantee a better car...

Incorporating the detail design improvements of the 997 model over its 996 predecessor, the Cabrio adds its own unique engineering advantages. The CW value is 0.29, and the hood has been specially designed to avoid ‘blowing out’ at speed, thus spoiling the aerodynamics. Increased use of aluminium and magnesium means the convertible adds only 42 kgs to the hardtop.

Even top-down, the new car will look after its passengers with the aid of draught-reducing, electrically-operated rear wind-deflectors. The maximum speed of 274 km/h speaks for itself, and lowering the roof takes just 20 seconds from pushing one button. It can also be done at road speeds up to 50 km/h, or remotely via a key when parked.

Driving the high-performance ‘S’ version in the morning, the day begins with sunshine and a perfect 18 degree temperature. The roadbook shows a twisting route up into the mountains close to Seville.

When the sun has really risen, later on that morning, it’s time for the roof to disappear into the rear compartment of the car and really appreciate the excellent engineering underneath the bodywork. The draught-deflectors really do work, in any of their three positions there’s little buffeting. Literally not a hair is out of place at high speed; however out of respect to the Spanish Police we did not check this at the maximum.

Engine performance and braking is strong. The 3.8 litre car accelerates the Cabrio to 100 km/h from standstill in only 4.9 seconds and the ceramic disks fitted to the road test car (an option) bring braking performance into the territory of the Carrera GT. As always with Porsche it’s performance without compromise.

In the bends the Porsche is in its element. The new active chassis, with electronically-controlled dampers (PASM), push button controlled from the dash makes the car the star of the corners, the driver hardly knowing when the Stability Programme (PSM) is activated.

Conclusion: Driving under blues skies, with a wintry sun and the top down, raises the new 911 Cabrio’s desirability to new heights. The Coupé model is so perfect that one can say if you like that, you’ll love the Cabrio!

Text: Jan Richter
Photo: Porsche / Classic Driver

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