This car is coming to India. Porsche India are getting ready for its launch within the next couple of months and so we went to sample the car and the German summer. The Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, as expected, is a car with all the sweetness and fun of cotton candy. I've always loved Porsche droptops and this one didn't put a foot wrong either. An all-new car, the new 911's headline feature has been the styling. Yeah, right. The 911 styling evolves further. A notable beltline rises sharply enough this time to hide the erstwhile bump from the the roof storage while the rest of the body is sharpened up. It does look fresh and the big identity feature in the three slats on the back. The roof itself folds down in a Z-pattern behind the +2 seats and now incorporates two magnesium panels as well as hard glass rear window. Porsche say the profile with the roof up mimics the Coupe perfectly and I say I don't know for sure because I could never bring myself to put it up during our 250-odd km afternoon.
The interior is classy but intensely button-y. The Carrera GT-inspired high center console with the six million buttons looks very upmarket and fresh but after a while I did grow a little tired of hunting for the button I wanted among the teeming millions. Buttons do serve a purpose when you're driving - you don't have to look down. But I guess the 911 Cabrio requires a longer familiarisation time and owners won't really think of this as a deal breaker. On the other hand, there is a lovely touchscreen as well as the new high-res display built in to the right most binnacle of the meters ahead of you. It functions as a wonderful looking multifunction display and is a surprisingly intuitive place to put the navigation information as you get closer to a turn.
But the 911 is all about the engine and chassis and in this department, the car is marvellous. The naturally aspirated 3.8-litre boxer six feels particularly healthy and now makes 400PS. Porsche says hundred comes up in just 4.5 seconds and top speed is 301kmph. Shifting with the manual 7-speed gearbox is enjoyable and precise though it does take time to get used to the shift gate and to the fact that there are actually seven forward gears. Thankfully, the 390Nm torque is enough to propel the car ferociously no matter what gear or revs you are at and if you're lucky enough to be a gear or two lower than planned on, the boxer-rumble is beautiful.
Also lovely is the chassis where Porsche have worked very hard on the suspension. The chassis is surprisingly composed over indifferent road surfaces (the few we did find on our drive) and I imagine that driven in a post-war city like Mumbai sometimes feels you would be surprised at how comfortable the car can feel. It is still a sportscar so I don't expect it to glide like an S-Class, obviously, but over the past 911s the improvement is significant. That said, opt for Porsche's dynamic chassis control with its active rollbars and you can have your car change from a cruiser to a racer at the press of a button.
In short, I deeply, deeply liked the 911 Carrera Cabriolet. The car will officially come to India shortly and the price is expected to be just above Rs 1 crore. I don't think this is a practical daily driver unless you're a hardcore drive-myself kind of nut, but I think the new 911 Carrera Cabriolet will make an impressively useful addition to a garage.
For the full story on the car, pick up the July issue of OVERDRIVE or watch out for our iPad app which adds amazing video and more to the experience.
Starts Rs 1.38 Crore