Sorry about the lack of posts on this blog guys. I was off on a three month sabbatical, and in lieu of my usual posting we had to make do with some temps and scheduled posts. The quality was still there, but we’ve been a little shoddy with the regularity. Still, I am back in the country now, and that means regular posting again, I promise!
Anyway, one of the first Automotive topics of discussion I happened upon when landing back on UK soil was the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet.
Now, the softtop-hardtop-inbetween debate has been raging for a while. Back in the day (she harks), softtops were the only convertible option. But, of course, people got worried about how easy it was to break in (with good reason, although modern convertible roofs now tend to be built with multiple fabric layers to make the process more challenging) and the aesthetics of an ugly folding fabric roof were much maligned. So, presumably fed up of the bitching and the complaining, the auto industry responded with the folding metal roofs you tend to see today. Sleek and attractive they may be (as well as impressive in their ability to magically disappear), but these chunky beasts tended to add significant weight, mess up the car’s handling and also result in a disconcertingly large rump. Clearly a perfect solution for those who love the feel of wind in their hair hadn’t been found.
Well, in something of an about turn, Porsche have decided to try and crack the problem in their new 2012 911 Cabriolet, employing more than a bit of tech to make a sleek and lightweight roof that tries to offer the best of both worlds. The “tech” mainly refers to the use of magnesium in the sleek curved frame of the roof. This fabric skinned composite panel not only offers a better fit and a pretty shape (technical term, that) but it also happens to be significantly lighter than its cumbersome predecessors. Of course this weight loss can’t just be for increased responsiveness any more – it also contributes to better fuel consumption (funny how marketing messages change, eh?!). In addition, this fancy new softtop has more resistance to high-speed buffeting, something that is sure to have been high up the list of existing speed-happy Porsche fans.
So, whilst the roof is taking its 11 seconds to raise or retract, here are the rest of the new 911 stats. It comes with that 7-speed manual that we see on the most recent coupe, and should be available with two normally aspirated engines. One is a 3.4-litre flat six producing 345bhp in standard Carrera trim whilst the other is a 3.8-litre flat six producing 494bhp in the Carrera S. MPG-wise we should be expecting something in excess of 28MPG, as well as taking the 911 on its first foray into the territory of producing less than 200g/km CO2. Plus, it looks pretty smart too…
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