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Porsche 911 Cabrio unveiled in Detroit

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Well, you didn’t think it was going to be a folding
hard-top, did you? Porsche has removed the sheets from its all-new 911 Cabrio
at the Detroit show, and the results are predictably, reassuringly 911-ish…
at first glance at least.

For, though the 911 Cab steadfastly refuses to follow the
metal-topped lead of the Ferrari 458 Spider and upcoming McLaren MP4-12C
convertible, sticking instead to a all-electric fabric hood that opens and
closes at speeds up to 31mph, the conventional-looking roof is a clever bit of

The top section consists of a fabric-covered composite panel
within a magnesium frame, with a solid-glass rear window and fabric sides. The
composite element makes the structure tauter and more refined than a standard
fabric hood, but far lighter than a folding metal top: in fact, the new ‘991’
cabrio is some 60kg lighter than the old ‘997’ 911.

See more original pictures of the Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Porsche says the composite roof is an all-new patented
innovation that’ll feature on the new Boxster, too.

And what of the rest of the 911 cab? Much as the new 911
coupe, really. Like the coupe, it’s some 15 per cent more economical than the
997, and comes with with Porsche’s confusotastic seven-speed manual
transmission as standard. A seven-speed double-clutch ‘box will be optional.

What more need you know, really? It’s a 911. It’s a soft-top
(sort of). It’ll be irritatingly brilliant to drive. It’ll arrive in the UK
conveniently just in time for summer. When it does, expect to see plenty on the
roads: Porsche shifted more cars in 2011 than ever before – 180,000 around the
world – and expects 2012 to be even bigger. Terrifying global recession? What
terrifying global recession?

So that’s the Carrera coupe and cabrio done, Porsche. Must
be time for the new 911 GT3 next, right?

(Slight technical hitch
on the pics of this one, TopGear.commers. More very soon)

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