First Look: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

By Seyth Miersma

January 09, 2012

Porsche execs made much of the fair weather we’re having here in Detroit (yes, it’s very nearly “warm” here in the Motor City today, which is a bit terrifying), claiming to have somehow engineered the sunny skies to better serve the launch of its all new 911 convertible.

The 911 Cabriolet is at once, fantastically exciting to prospective drivers, and not all that unique to write about—if you’ve heard about the new 991 911, you’ll know what to expect here.

The same 3.4- (Carrera) and 3.8-liter (Carrera S) flat-6 engines that are available in the 911 coupe are on the options list for the convertible versions. The smaller mill makes a stout 350 horsepower and offers a 4.4-second 0-60 sprint, while the larger engine makes 400 horses and hits 60 in 4.1 seconds.

The fast-operating soft top can be closed at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour, and Porsche has also included a power-op rear wind deflector, too. Less buffeting for occupants of the (now slightly larger) rear seats.

Look for the open air Porsche to hit dealerships in the Spring of 2012, with the base Carrera asking $93,700 and the S $103,800.

Please scroll down to read the full Porsche press release.

World Debut for 911 Carrera Cabriolet with innovative roof concept

DETROIT - January 9, 2012 - Springtime arrives a little early today at the North American International Auto Show with the introduction of the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Carrera S Cabriolet.

Development of the new, seventh-generation 911 Carrera and Carrera S Coupes began with a new aluminum-steel body; the Cabriolets continue the evolution with the addition of an all-new, unique top that retains the characteristic 911 coupe roof line. The intelligent lightweight design makes use of magnesium for weight reduction, improved performance and lower fuel consumption. As with the new 911 coupe, Porsche has managed to make the new Cabriolet models up to 132 pounds lighter than their predecessors.

By completely redesigning the convertible top for the new 911 Carrera models, Porsche engineers created a flexible roof comprised of a heated glass rear window with three integrated top elements. Comprised of magnesium bows covered in fabric, they make the convertible top very stable and particularly light.

A water channel on the convertible top helps keep rainwater from dropping into the entry when opening the doors. Actuated by a button on the center console or by the vehicle key the top and opens or closes in approximately 13 seconds, at speeds over 30 mph.

“The USA is and remains an important market for Porsche with good growth prospects,” said Bernhard Maier, Porsche AG Board of Management Member for Sales and Marketing. “Detroit was deliberately chosen for the world premiere of the new 911 Cabrio because the USA is far and away our largest 911 Cabrio market.” The Coupe variant of the sports car classic will be available in the USA starting in February 2012 with the Cabriolet following a few months later, providing a fresh impetus.

The two new Cabriolets feature the same engine as its Carrera Coupe counterpart. The rear of the 911 Carrera Cabrio houses a 3.4-liter flat six-cylinder engine generating 350 horsepower (hp) (257 kW) driving the rear wheels through a seven-gear manual transmission. The open-top Carrera S comes with a 3.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine developing 400 hp (294 kW) and also has a standard seven-gear manual transmission. The Cabriolets have the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) available as an option, helping to deliver even lower fuel consumption and shorter acceleration times.

The new, 2012 911 Carrera Cabriolet will sprint to 60 mph in as little as 4.4 seconds with the optional PDK, accelerating on to its top-track-speed of 176 mph. The 911 Carrera S Cabriolet with PDK will perform the same deeds in as little as 4.1 seconds and reaches a top-track-speed of 185 mph.

With a 3.9-inch longer wheelbase over the outgoing model, a wider front track and the new electro-mechanical power steering, the new Cabriolets offer even sportier driving characteristics, greater precision and agility. Depending on model, there are other standard and optional active control systems available to further enhance the driving dynamics.

The 911 Carrera Cabriolets will be available later in the spring of 2012. The new 2012 911 Carrera Cabriolet will have a base MSRP of $93,700, while the 2012 911 Carrera S Cabriolet base MSRP will be $103,800 (excluding destination).