- High-performance roof-down thrills assured
- Improved soft-top retracts in 12 seconds
- Owning one’s confirmation life’s going well
- Automatic-only, at least initially
- Expensive to buy before you spec options
- Could the same-again styling lessen its appeal?
Step forward Stuttgart-built sports car aficionados: your skills are required to confirm that is in fact the all-new Porsche 911 Cabriolet.
Based on the eighth-generation 911 – known internally as the 992-type – the latest iteration of the soft-top has arrived hot on the heels of its Coupe sibling and, like the hard-top, it looks very similar to the outgoing 911 Cabriolet.
This is very deliberate strategy as 911 customers want the world to know they’ve bought a 911, after all.
Not that the 911 Cabriolet’s the only soft-top sports car at the upper echelons of the market – there’s stiff completion in the forms of the Audi R8 Spyder, Ferrari 488 Spider and McLaren 720S Spider, although not one of them has the Porsche’s rear-engined configuration or a pair of child-sized rear seats.
What is the 2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet?
Over the next couple of years there’ll be a wealth of 911 Cabriolets available, but from launch there are just two variants: the rear-wheel drive Carrera S and the four-wheel drive Carrera 4S.
We expect that well before the end of 2020 the line-up will be fleshed-out above and below those launch models with non-S Carreras, a rortier GTS and a flagship Turbo. Don’t place any bets on a 911 GT3 Cabriolet appearing, though – they’ve always been Coupe-bodied.
Like the Coupe, the latest 911 Cabriolet features newly minted bodywork and fresh features such as the electric pop-out door handles and full-width LED light bar signature across the rear.
How fast is the 2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet?
Although faster-still versions of the 911 Cabriolet are in the pipeline, it would be wrong to consider these launch-spec Carrera S models as slow.
Engine-wise they’re identical to the recently launched Coupe, with a 450hp twin-turbcharged 3.0-litre engine. Its six cylinders are horizontally opposed (often referred to as a Boxer engine), which essentially means it’s a V-configuration engine with a 180-degree arc between the cylinder banks.
Given the Cabriolet is slightly heavier than the Coupe its performance has been ever-so-slightly blunted as a result.
At 3.9 seconds the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is a tenth of a second quicker than the Carrera 4S version. Both of those can be shaved by a further 0.2 seconds if the optional Sport Chrono Package is specified.
Top speed for the Carrera S is 190mph, while the additional heft of the 4S’s four-wheel drive system lowers that model’s figure to 188mph.
Similarly, the Cabriolet’s also slightly less efficient than the Coupe, too: Porsche quotes 31.0-31.4mpg and 207-208g/km of CO2 depending on the model.
Purists may bemoan the lack of a manual gearbox – at least for the first wave of models; we expect one to become available in due course – but the eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission is your only choice for the 911 Cabriolet.
Will there be electric versions of the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet?
While we’re expecting plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the 911 Cabriolet to join the line-up, it probably won’t be for a couple of years after the petrol-only models. Porsche’s already demonstrated its expertise in this arena with both the Cayenne and Panamera E-Hybrids, but any transition into the 911 is likely to have a sportier ethos.
While a fully electric 911 Cabriolet’s a possibility, we don’t believe it’s a likely one. The Porsche Taycan, the brand’s first purpose-designed battery electric vehicle (BEV), is likely to lead that charge alone, at least for the time being.
What else do we know about the new Porsche 911 Cabriolet?
No surprises here that the Cabriolet adopts the same technologies that feature in the latest 911 Coupe, including a 10.9-inch multimedia touchscreen and a Wet mode for driving in damp conditions.
Where is most obviously differs is with its roof. There’s a revised, fully electric fabric roof, the structure of which is embellished with magnesium elements to help prevent it ‘ballooning’ at high speeds.
Opening takes around 12 seconds, an operation that can be undertaken at speeds of up to 30mph. And, when it is retracted, there’s an electrically deployed wind deflector to reduce in-cabin turbulence.
How much will the 2019 Porsche 911 Cabriolet cost?
Although the Porsche 911 Cabriolet is available to order immediately, you’ll be waiting until spring 2019 to get behind the wheel of your purchase.
You’ll also need to factor-in that it’s around £9,500 more than the equivalent Coupe models:
911 Carrera S Cabriolet PDK automatic: £102,755
911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet PDK automatic: £108,063
Those prices are before you start browsing the (expensive) options list, though.