Porsche 911 Cabrio: Can it get any better?
IN the motoring business you do not need a large volume of sales to be successful. Instead you need quality desirable niche products just like what Porsche AG produces.
It remains the most successful sports car manufacturer in the world with huge profits and still they have not been sitting in their sports cars and laughing all the way to the Swiss bank, instead they have increased their attention on their product range and introduced a new 911 coupe recently. Months after that release in North America, we are test driving the 2012 911 cabriolet.
This 911's stunning elegance strikes you with its athletic looking shoulders running the length from the rear to the front like a beast ready to pounce its prey.
The roof now retracts in just 13 seconds and can be worked while driving in speeds up to 50km/h. The revised rear light cluster gives this new 911 an Aston Martin look.
Another new innovation in the 911 Carrera Cabriolet is the fully integrated electric wind deflector.
Slip behind the wheel and into snug soft leather wrapped seat, you flick on the ignition and the 400bhp 6-cylinder Boxer engine burbles to life.
This 3.8-liter VarioCam engine in the Carrera ‘S’ produces a torque of 440 Newton meters between 5600 rpm and launches you from 0 km/h to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds in the 7-speed PDK gearbox.
Things happen so quickly you are grateful for the rev limiter to keep your insanity in check.
The 911's cabrio’s road manners is managed by fully independent suspension, razor-sharp rack & pinion steering and enormous tires to deliver a truly outstanding dynamic package, one that easily ranks with the best I have ever tested.
There was no flex and twist over rough, broken pavement. In the extreme, this trait leads to predictable handling, particularly when pushing on through a fast, but bumpy switchback climbing a foggy mountain road.
At all times this 911 Cabrio remained tight, flat and completely unflustered. Drive it hard along the tight curvaceous country roads and the shivers become reality as the hairs on the back of your neck begin to stand during wide-open throttle acceleration.
The tailpipes emit a delightful snarl and combined with the eye-popping looks, this 911 drop top forced many bystanders in small towns along our route to drool, especially when running between 4000 rpm to the redline limit.
Our test unit was fitted with Porsche’s super slick PDK 7-speed gearbox. With manual override paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, we decided to drive it in manual mode.
Floor it in first, shift into second, then get ready to shift again as the speedo blasts through 100 km/h as the engine nuzzles the rev limiter in a blink. It is a fast beast with only the wind and our nuts holding back a possible top speed drive all throughout the test drive.
On the wet route in the early part of the test, this 911 cabrio’s tail stepped in on a number of occasions without much drama as the PSM steeped in to ensure our safety. The large disc brakes bring this 911 cabrio to rest with eyeball popping urgency. Even after repeated high speed stops, there were no signs of fade.
Since its debut in 1963, the Porsche 911 has been a benchmark for many of its competitors and this cabrio will continue in that tradition. It has a stunning style, is incredibly fast, handles superbly, built with inspiration and is destined to become a fast seller for Sime Darby Auto Performance Sdn. Bhd.