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Porsche 911 Cabriolet revealed

Radical roof and great looks - summer fun here we come...

Porsche has today revealed the new 911 (991 variant) Carrera and Carrera S Cabriolet models ahead of their world premiere at the Detroit motor show in January 2012.

Like the coupe, the 991 Cabriolet features an aluminium-steel construction with the addition of an all-new convertible top design, which preserves the typically sleek 911 coupe roof line. The design includes the use of aluminium, magnesium and high strength steel, which ensures lower vehicle mass and lower fuel consumption while offering improved driving dynamics and additional comfort. As with the 911 coupe models, the new Porsche open-top models are significantly lighter than their predecessors.

Porsche have decided to add a little more technology to the roof of the 991 Cabriolet compared to the previous 997 Cabriolet. The new model adopts a specially developed lightweight hood that uses a fabric-skinned composite panel for the upper and rear part of the structure, providing a shape much more like the coupe's roof, together with a tauter fit that is claimed to make it more resistant to buffeting at high speeds.

The new hood, which is supported on a magnesium frame, also receives a glass rear window glued directly to the outer fabric skin. The cabrio’s development boss, Michael Schaetzle, says this process involves a newly patented process, developed by Porsche, and will also feature on the upcoming third-generation Boxster, due in 2012. While the upper and rear parts of the hood receive composite panelling, the sides retain a similar multi-layered fabric design as used previously, which allows it to fold and stow behind the cabin underneath a larger tonneau cover than employed on the outgoing 997 cabrio. The new structure takes just 11sec to raise or lower and can be operated at speeds up to 37mph. 

For the first time the new Cabriolet will be equipped with an automatic wind deflector. The deflector deploys from a bar around the rear seats which raises up, bringing the mesh deflector with it. A very neat design, and a great solution to having to carry around the deflector separately as was done in the past.

The two models retain the engines from their coupe brethren, which means the Carrera gets a 3.4 litre flat-six producing 350 bhp through a 7-speed manual or PDK gearbox. The Carrera S gets a 3.8 litre unit putting out 400 bhp through the same gearbox options.

The new open-top 911 will go on sale in the UK in March 2012 priced at £79,947 for the Carrera Cabriolet and £89,740 for the Carrera S Cabriolet. We expect these will be a very common sight come next summer!

You can have a good look and listen to the amazing new 991 Cabriolet in the video below:

Images and video courtesy of Porsche

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more