New Porsche 911 Cabriolet unveiled

Porsche has released the first pictures of the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet (992 model). The new model’s power hood can be operated at speeds up to 30mph and completes its closed to open cycle in twelve seconds. It also comes with an electric windjammer. All good for hairdressers.

Except the 911 Cabriolet is not a so-called ‘hairdresser’s car’. I had a 911 Cabriolet and would have another in a heartbeat. I did track days and long tours in mine and treasure memories of spirited drives on warm summer nights. Commuting was cool in the Cabriolet, although really hot days kept the roof up. Soft tops can be counter intuitive.

The new Porsche 911 Cabriolet offers optional sports suspension for the very first time: a benefit of the improved torsional stiffness from a new mounting position for the engine in all 992s. C2S Cabs have been widened so they share the same body width as the C4S versions. Both models have the sexy rear light bar and all panels bar the bumpers are made of aluminium.

The new Porsche 992 Cabriolet is a good looking car, available to order now priced at £103k for the C2S and £108k for the C4S. But which to buy? Fantasy buyers lean toward 2wd 911s, but the 911 Cabriolet has never been a lightweight, so the performance difference from 2wd to 4wd is negligible: a 2mph slower top speed from C2 to C4.

The modest premium has been a small price to pay for C4 surefootedness with the curvy wider body up to now. I would certainly be a C4S buyer at a £5k premium if a new cabriolet was within my grasp. Stuttgart’s decision to widen the C2S Cabriolet and give both models the C4S bodywork should shift the sales balance and strengthen residuals for the new Porsche 911 Carrera 2S Cabriolet.

It is not easy to find out the UK sales split from Coupe to Cabriolet models. Registration data is also unhelpful. Howmanyleft shows a falling number of Carrera 4 Cabriolets (160 in 2001 to 121 in 2018) to a lower rate of attrition for 2wd models (74 in 2001 then up and down to 68 today), which seems to support the common belief that more C4 models (Coupe or Cab) are exported or broken for spares versus C2 models.

The used market views two-wheel drive 911s as the more desirable, but the only obvious data falls well short of my best guess of total 911 Cabriolets on the road, so many later cars are likely registered as Porsche 911s rather than 911 Cabriolets. This makes it difficult to know where the line is.

With the 911 C2S Cabriolet (£102,755) priced roughly £10k more than the C2S PDK Coupe (£93,110), the Cabriolet looks set to remain a supporting derivative in the UK, but it’s still my favourite everyday 911.

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