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First look: Next Cab off 911 rank

Top's off: Porsche has unveiled its 911 Cabriolet ahead of its Australian debut in April.

Porsche fires 911 missile as all-new Carrera Cabriolet emerges with folding hard-top

23 Nov 2011

PORSCHE has revealed its new-generation Carrera Cabriolet just days after the global launch of the all-new 911 Coupe in California last week.

The unprecedented rapid-fire rollout of the seventh-generation 991-series model is expected to culminate in at least as many derivatives as the outgoing 997-series spawned (no less than 23), with the next new 911 models to appear being the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 models by mid-2012.

For now, the redesigned 911 Cabriolet will arrive in Australian showrooms in early April – just a month after the latest 911 Coupe – priced from $255,100 for the Carrera and $288,300 for the Carrera S.

That represents a $25,200 base price premium over the new 911 Coupe, which is about the same as before and means that, like the fixed-roof 991 the new cabriolet models come with price increases of 2.9 and 3.9 per cent.

Due to make its world public debut at the Detroit motor show on January 9, Porsche’s newest convertible brings the same weight-saving gains as the new 911 Coupe, but adds a revolutionary folding hard-top roof for the first time.

The 911 Cabriolet’s inaugural non-soft-top roof comprises a fabric and composite plastic folding hood, supported by a magnesium frame, which Porsche says provides it with a cleaner, smoother appearance, improved aerodynamics and greater refinement.

25 center imageSeen here in official images for the first time, the new 911 Cabriolet roof replaces the traditional multi-layered fabric structure of its forebears with a specially developed lightweight hood that is patented by Porsche and should also appear on next year’s third-generation Boxster roadster.

It features fabric-skinned composite upper and rear panels, and a glass rear window fixed directly to the outer fabric skin. The result is a more uniform shape with a tauter fit, which is likely to better resist buffeting at high speeds.

The new unit folding into a large rear tonneau cover in the same way as the previous 911 Cabriolet’s roof, in a process that is said to take just 11 seconds at speeds of up to 60km/h. In addition, the new 911 Cab also features an automatic wind deflector.

Like the new coupe, the cabriolet will be initially available in downsized 3.4-litre Carrera and 3.8-litre Carrera S guises, with both new seven-speed manual and revised PDK dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

Despite riding on a 100mm-longer wheelbase, a 50mm-wider front wheel track and measuring about 65mm longer overall, the new 911 body comprises up to 45 per cent aluminium content to realise kerb weight savings of almost 50kg.

As such, the topless 911 will come with the same efficiency gains as the coupe, with Porsche at this stage saying only that both cabriolet models will return combined fuel consumption of less than 10L/100km, which is outstanding for a convertible supercar capable of accelerating to the national highway speed limit in around five seconds.

In fact, like the coupes, both cabriolets will also be quicker than before, thanks in part to more powerful 257kW and 294kW (Carrera S) flat six engines, but Porsche is keeping full technical details to its chest until Detroit.

Apart from an all-new body and chassis featuring redesigned front and rear suspensions, the new 911 comes with a Porsche-first electro-mechanical steering system and active handling technologies like Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) active roll-bars and Porsche Torque Vectoring locking differentials.

Porsche 911 Cabriolet (before on-roads):
Carrera $255,100
Carrera S $288,300

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