Porsche has unveiled its latest incarnation of the 911 Cabriolet. It joins the coupé range, which has just gone on sale.
Porsche 911 Cabriolet: lightweight roof
Contrary to recent trends, the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet shuns a folding metal roof in favour of a more traditional cloth design for lower weight.
However, the new roof is a described as an advanced construction featuring an ‘intelligent lightweight design’. This chiefly refers to the use of magnesium in the underlying frame – ‘reducing weight for increased responsiveness, lower fuel consumption and greater comfort.’ Partly as a result of its roof, the latest 911 Cabriolet is significantly lighter overall than its predecessor.
The Cabriolet shares the increased wheelbase and front track of the 911 coupé, plus shorter front and rear overhangs. Porsche claims these subtle changes will make the convertible more agile than the outgoing car.
The new roof takes 11 seconds to raise or retract and can be operated at speeds of up to 37mph. You can find out the fastest retracting roofs in our top 10 guide.
911 Cabrio available with two engines
The new ‘991’ variant of Porsche’s 911 will be the first to dip under the 200g/km CO2 emissions mark.
Initially the car will be available with two normally aspirated engines: a 3.4-litre flat six producing 345bhp in standard Carrera trim or a 3.8-litre flat six producing 394bhp in the Carrera S. A turbocharged unit will follow.
Both engines are claimed to return over 28mpg, and when the smaller 3.4-litre unit is mated to the optional seven-speed PDK automatic transmission it should emit less than 200g/km CO2.
As with the latest coupe, the 911 Cabriolet’s standard transmission is a world-first seven-speed manual. This features a mechanical lock-out system to avoid seventh gear being selected inadvertently; the final ratio can only be chosen when in fifth or sixth gear.
Priced at £79,947 for the Carrera Cabriolet and £89,740 for the Carrera S Cabriolet, the latest drop-top 911 is scheduled to go on sale in March 2012.
New Porsche 911 – watch our first look video
Lower emissions means cheaper car tax – read our car tax guide
What is the 911 Cabriolet up against? Read more convertible reviews here