With PDK come slighter quicker 0-62mph times, fractionally lower outright top speeds and, more significantly, improved fuel economy. On the subject of efficiency, all 911 Carreras are now fitted with stop-start as standard.
If you’re still not impressed by the eye-widening acceleration of the PDK-equipped 911, you can specify the optional Sport Chrono Package. It comes with a ‘Sport Plus’ setting that further sharpens up the car’s dynamics and transmission, with a claimed 0-62mph time of 4.3secs.
What’s it like?
Structurally, the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is fractionally lower than the hard-top variant, but we’re talking a difference of a few millimetres. The car’s interior, too, follows the coupé and takes some styling cues from the Porsche Panamera.
The main head-turning feature is the all-new ‘panel bow top’ roof, the frame of which is constructed from fabric and composite plastic and sits on a frame made of magnesium and aluminium.
This new roof has several packaging benefits, not least that Porsche has been able the follow the profile of the coupé’s roofline more closely than it could with the old-style multi-layered fabric structure. Dropping the roof is a case of pushing a button on the centre console – 13 seconds later the structure is neatly stowed away under the compartment lid.
The 911 Carrera S Cabriolet features a wind deflector that can be deployed from the cockpit, so there’s no faffing around trying to fit a deflector that lives in the boot. Although it can’t eliminate all wind noise and buffeting, the reduction in the amount of cockpit ‘swirl’ with the deflector raised is dramatic.
Despite weighing 50kg more than the coupé and losing that roof, the cabriolet handles deftly and with composure on most roads. Dreaded cabriolet ‘scuttle shake’ seems pretty much non-existent – at least it did on our test drive on a comprehensive selection of road surfaces in Gran Canaria. Even pressing hard over some broken, uneven asphalt didn’t seem to untowardly unsettle the car thanks to Porsche’s Active Suspension Management (PASM) – a ride-smoothing system that isn’t featured on all versions.
If it lacks quite the same level of driver engagement as the closed-topped version, it makes up for it with its assault on the senses when you’ve got the roof down. The 395bhp is deployed in smooth waves, and with maximum power so high in the rev range, you sometimes wonder if you’ll ever scale the peak of it.
Combined with that, the exhaust note has a range that would make an opera singer jealous. At town cruising speeds the cabriolet burbles along with just enough noise to remind you what’s sitting over your shoulder. On the open road, it comes alive with a captivating, ever-changing soundtrack.
The 911 Carrera S Cabriolet’s brakes are outstanding, offering confidence-inspiring levels of progressive bite, and the new electro-mechanical steering hasn’t turned into the bane of this new Porsche, as was feared.
Our test car was fitted with PDK transmission. The little throttle blips it effects on down changes in auto mode are pleasingly neat and precise, although the transmission doesn’t require the same level of involvement as a manual. The PDK also made use of the ‘coasting’ fuel-saving system that’s a feature of the double-clutch gearbox. When you lift off the throttle gently, the system disengages the gear that you’re currently in. If you touch the brake or throttle, the gear is re-engaged.