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Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabrio PDK
7/10

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Road Test

Porsche 911 Cabrio PDK

Driven April 2009

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Listen to the Porsche purists or the many punters who greet the 911 Cabrio with a raised middle finger and a volley of curt Anglo-Saxon descriptives - for there are many - and it'd be easy to forget that the soft-top 911 is still a properly sorted sports car. Yes, there may be a fraction more chassis flex, a fraction less responsiveness than the coupe, but lined up against, say, the Aston V8 Roadster, the reworked Porsche stands out as an impressively focussed drive - and, in 380bhp ‘S' guise, properly quick.

Only problem is, Porsche's ‘PDK' double-clutch gearbox seems to forget that the 911 Cab is a sports car, too. Left to its own devices, it desperately engages the highest gear physically possible - cruise along at 30-odd mph and it'll happily slip into seventh - meaning an alarming wait when you press the accelerator and the PDK drops back down through the gears until it finds second or even first. Not very sporty. 

The addiction to low revs robs the 911 of much of its aural character - the new direct injection flat-six lacks the throaty growl of the old engine until you wind it up over 4,000rpm. Which'll never happen unless you stick the gearbox into full manual mode. Which you will, straight away. PDK's conservatism may be good news for emissions and economy, but you're better off going manual to rediscover the sporty side of the 911 Cab. The proles will still hate you, mind. 

Sam Philip

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