Highlights Of The New 911 Carrera 4/Carrera 4S | Part Four

Porsche 911

Porsche 911

Wide body, electric roof

Through their body design, both new 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolets combine the features of a convertible with the fortes so typical of four-wheel-drive. The aerodynamically styled soft roof and the particular curvature of the engine compartment lid so characteristic of a convertible give even greater emphasis to the impressively wide track of the four-wheel-drive models: Boasting extra-large, voluminous wheel arches at the rear, the new, open-air 911 is 44 millimetres or 1.73" wider than its rear-wheel-drive counterpart. The rear tyres also reflect this extra width, measuring 295/35 ZR 18 on the Carrera 4 and 305/30 ZR 19 on the Carrera 4S.

The automatic roof opens and closes easily and conveniently within just 20 seconds even while driving at a speed of up to 50 km/h or 31 mph. Including the hydraulic operating system at the rear, the folding roof weighs a mere 42 kg or 93 lb, making the roof of the open-air Porsche 911 one of the lightest convertible roofs in the market with two fundamental advantages: The light weight of the roof lowers the car’s centre of gravity and enhances its lateral dynamics. A hardtop, incidentally, is available as an option.

High passive safety with rollbars and head airbags

Both new Cabriolets offer the high standard of passive safety one rightly expects of a Porsche. The rollover safety system is made up of two high-strength steel tubes in each of the A-pillars, together with two rollbars moving up automatically behind the rear seats when required. A further, supplementary feature is the head airbags introduced by Porsche for the first time in an open sports car. Forming the very heart of the POSIP (Porsche Side Impact Protection) system, the airbags are housed like flat cushions in the window sill and inflate from bottom to top in a side impact, thus offering unique head protection also with the roof open. Two thorax airbags in the seat backrests, two frontal airbags, as well as three-point seat belts with belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters round off the high standard of occupant safety.

High-quality, sophisticated features with individual options

Inside, both four-wheel-drive Cabriolets excel through top-quality, sophisticated materials complete with a wide range of leather features. For the first time, the open-air Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S are available as an individual highlight with bi-colour leather upholstery in three attractive twin-tone combinations.

Over and above the "basic" seats already quite outstanding in their ergonomic qualities, the new open-air Carreras are available with a choice of three further, even more individual seats. Porsche Communication Management, in turn, now also plays CDs with MP3 music titles and may be supplemented by further optional modules such as a telephone, a DVD navigation system, BOSE Surround Sound, as well as an electronic logbook.

The New Porsche 911 Carrera 4 / Carrera 4S Cabriolet - The Open-Air Four-Wheel-Drive Athlete

The outstanding driving dynamics of four-wheel drive and the refreshing feeling of an open-air sports car - introducing the new Carrera 4 Cabriolet, Porsche has created a very special experience. Together with the choice of two engines, the 239 kW (325 bhp) 3.6-litre and the 261 kW (355 bhp) 3.8-litre six-cylinder, as well as the option of either conventional or active suspension, the customer benefits from further, significant opportunities in personalising his or her new car.

Whatever combination the customer goes for - the Carrera 4 Cabriolet excels in particular by its supremacy in converting sheer engine power into an outstanding driving experience. With its power-to-weight ratio of 6.4 kilos per kilowatt (4.7 kilos/bhp), even the "basic" model offers a feeling of supreme exhilaration in developing its dynamic performance. Powered by a 3.6-litre horizontally-opposed six-cylinder, the Carrera Cabriolet accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and completes the standing-start kilometre in 24.3 seconds. Top speed is 280 km/h or 174 mph.

The Carrera 4S Cabriolet displacing 3.8 litres, and with 1 kW engine power for only 6 kilos of weight (4.4 kg/bhp), offers an even higher standard of performance, accelerating to 100 km/h in exactly 4.9 seconds and completing the standing-start kilometre in 23.7 seconds. Top speed in this case is 288 km/h or 179 mph.

Offering this kind of acceleration, the two Cabriolets are only a fraction behind their four-wheel-drive Coupé counterparts, and top speed is the same on all four models. The reason is simple: The extra weight of 85 kilos or 187 lb on the Cabriolet for the rollbars, the roof structure and extra stiffness plays a marginal role when it comes to agility, while the car's top speed depends first and foremost on aerodynamics. And since all models have a drag coefficient of 0.30 (Carrera 4) and, respectively, 0.29 (Carrera 4S), the Cabriolets are exactly as fast as the four-wheel-drive Coupés.

continues... | Part Five
Published 22 July 2005 Melanie Carter

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