2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 02, 2012
  • Carrera and Carrera S models are completely redesigned
  • Longer, lower, and wider than the previous 911
  • More power and better fuel economy
  • New performance, safety and infotainment technologies


When people think of Porsche, the 911 is the model that typically comes to mind. Introduced in 1963, the Porsche 911 has since come to define the German sports car manufacturer.

Exterior Features

The new 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is equipped with a Z-fold magnesium and fabric power-operated convertible top that folds and rises in 13 seconds, and at speeds up to 31 mph, according to the maker. A heated glass rear window is standard, a pop-up windblocker helps eliminate cabin drafts on chilly days, and the top's design includes rain channels to keep water from dripping onto the seats when the doors are opened on rainy days.

Interior Features

The 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet comes standard with 4-way power sport seats wrapped in leather, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a Porsche Communication Management system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, navigation, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. A 9-speaker audio system is also standard, and includes a CD/MP3/DVD player, iPod/USB connection, and an auxiliary audio input jack.

Optional Features

The new Porsche 911 can be upgraded through numerous paint, top, and interior color selections, as well as a variety of cabin materials and trims. Buyers can choose between a Bose or a Burmeister premium sound system, and between 14-way or 18-way power sport seats. A heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats, and Porsche Enter & Drive keyless entry and ignition are also available.

Under the Hood

Carrera models are equipped with a direct-injected, 3.4-liter, boxer-type 6-cylinder engine generating 350 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 287 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,600 rpm. A 7-speed manual gearbox, a world-first according to Porsche, is standard. A 7-speed automated manual gearbox known as "PDK" is optional.

The new Carrera S has a direct-injected, 3.6-liter, boxer-type 6-cylinder engine that makes 400 horsepower and 325 lb.-ft. of torque at the same power peaks as the Carrera's engine. It, too, comes with a 7-speed manual transmission as standard, with the 7-speed PDK available as an option.

Both engines are equipped with automatic stop-start technology and a new "sailing" feature. The "sailing" feature shuts the engine off to conserve fuel when coasting, while automatic stop-start does the same thing when the 911 comes to a stop in traffic or at an intersection. With a manual transmission, the driver must shift into Neutral gear and release the clutch for automatic stop-start to engage. With the optional PDK transmission, this feature activates automatically.

Both engines are also available with a Sport Chrono Plus package that Porsche says sharpens throttle and PDK transmission response for greater acceleration, includes a Launch Control system, and modifies suspension and stability control system calibrations. With this package and the PDK transmission, buyers can expect the new 911 Carrera S Cabriolet to get from to 60 mph in about 4 seconds, according to Porsche.

Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) and PTV-Plus are optional on both the Carrera and Carrera S, and the Carrera S can be equipped with Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. Additional performance-oriented options include Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes, and Power Steering Plus.

Fuel Economy

Official EPA fuel-economy ratings for the new Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet are not available as this preview is published. However, Porsche claims it expects this car to be at least 10% more fuel efficient than the model it replaces.


Every 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet is equipped with six air bags. In addition to standard front-seat knee air bags, the side-impact air bags inflate upward to protect the head in a side-impact collision. If sensors determine the 911 Cabriolet is going to roll over, pop-up rollbars help protect occupants. Additionally, the new 911 is equipped with Porsche Stability Management and a set of 4-wheel-disc cross-drilled and ventilated anti-lock brakes.

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