Porsche 911

Porsche is adding to its stable of 911 variants with the launch of two new four-wheel drive 911 Cabriolet models. The new 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolets will be on sale in the UK from 22nd October 2005.

The Carrera 4 Cabriolet is powered by the familiar 3.6-litre six-cylinder ‘boxer’ engine, which has an output of 325 bhp (239 kW). The cabriolet all-wheel drive sports car accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 175 mph (280 km/h). The Carrera 4S model is powered by the equally well-proven 3.8-litre engine, which has an output of 355 bhp (261 kW). This model sprints to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 180 mph (288 km/h).

As is already the case with the coupé version of the Carrera 4, power transmission in the Cabriolets is by all-wheel drive with a viscous multi-plate clutch, which consistently delivers between five and 40 per cent of the driving power to the road via the front wheels.

The bodyshell of the new models is 44 millimetres wider than the rear-wheel drive 911 Cabriolet and due to its high degree of stiffness it combines the joy of open-top driving with the dynamics and driving stability of all-wheel drive. At the touch of a button, the fabric top opens and closes automatically in only 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph (50 km/h). At 42 kilograms, the convertible top weighs barely half as much as a comparable Vario folding roof, thus providing a lower centre of gravity and a higher degree of lateral dynamics.

The anti-roll-over system of the new Cabriolet models consists of super high-strength steel tubes in both A-pillars, and two automatically extending bars behind the rear seats. Two head airbags complement the passive safety system. These are located in the door panel in the form of flat cushions that inflate upwards in the event of a lateral collision. This means that they provide a unique form of protection for the head, even with the roof lowered. Two chest airbags in the armrests and two front airbags complete the passenger protection system.

To further improve active safety, the standard Porsche Stability Management system (PSM) has two new functions. Pre-filling the brake mechanism ensures more spontaneous deceleration if required, and the hydraulic brake power support, which works like brake assistance, helps to build up full brake pressure in emergencies. The Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) is available as an option on both new versions of the Cabriolet.

The chassis design corresponds to that of the coupé 911 models. The Porsche Active Suspension Management system (PASM) fitted as standard in the Carrera 4S, provides a comfortably sporty basic suspension setting when set at normal, but when the sport button is pushed it triggers performance characteristics that are definitely more tightly tuned. In both positions, however, the setting is permanently geared to the appropriate driving style and the nature of the road. The active suspension system is available as an option on the Carrera 4 Cabriolet.

The 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet will be priced at £69,900 and the 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet at £76,880.

Published : 04/07/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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