Car news

10 January 2012

Porsche 911 Cabrio unveiled in Detroit

New 911 loses roof, gains fabric hood and much interest from dentists

Sam Philip
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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 50kph, the conventional-looking roof is a clever bit of kit.

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.

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?

Tags: 911, porsche, detroit, 911 cabriolet

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