2013 Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet Road Test Review

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The best part of my job is driving such sublimely enticing cars as the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. The worst part of my job is giving said sublimely enticing cars back. And make no mistake; I was sorely tempted to make Porsche's people come looking for me this time.

All you have to do is run that 400-horsepower, 3.8-liter flat six to redline one time…

Actually, no…

It starts when you see it parked there, knowing it's yours to do with whatever you will. While the implied promise of the Porsche in motion is so palatable, ironically, the fluid shapeliness of the convertible 911 makes you want to just sit and stare at it there for a time. The contours of the car absolutely delight the eye. The design is one of the few on the road that contains not one single straight line. It's all gracefully flowing curves. Further, the convertible top blends so elegantly, the 2013 Carrera S Cabriolet looks more like a coupe with a contrasting roof than a convertible.

This is for good reason. The roof actually has more in common with a folding hardtop than it does a traditional convertible. If you'll look carefully at the photos here, you'll notice you don't see the typical convertible roof's cross members showing through the cloth. In other words, the top has no "ribs". Instead, there are very closely coupled large, flat magnesium panels underneath the cloth.

Porsche's engineers went this route to gain the benefits of a folding metal roof, while preserving the traditional look of a convertible and avoiding the cut lines a retractable hard top would have entailed. With this roof, they created a quieter, more rigid convertible top - one also less vulnerable to thieves with knives. Plus, it can be raised and lowered while the car is in motion, even at speeds approaching 50 kilometres per hour. The Cabriolet also has an integrated wind deflector, deployable at the touch of a button - no more schlepping it out of the cargo compartment at the front of the car and wrestling it into place.

As graceful as its appearance is, the attitude of the Porsche is mesmerizing too. Solidly planted on 20-inch wheels and low profile tires, the convertible 911 looks firmly attached to the planet. The car looks like nothing could move it-other than itself. The stance is one of considerable substance; wholly belying the fact the Carrera S Cabriolet weighs only 1,465 kilos.

Just looking at this 911, you'll know immediately where all your money went. The gearheads reading this probably did the math just now, and yes, 400 horsepower with only 1,465 pounds of weight to move translates into some significantly intoxicating performance potential. The 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is capable of accelerating to 100 kilometres per hour from rest in 4.7 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission our test car had. Top speed is 298 kilometres per hour.

BTW, that solid look we referred to earlier is wholly reflected by the Porsche when it is in motion-even when the Cabriolet is approaching the limits of its cornering ability, braking potential, or accelerative promise. In other words, the faster the Carrera S Cabriolet moves the more solidly planted to the road it feels.

Then, there's the sound the engine makes while it's running hard. It's a creamily congruent mechanical cacophony of perfectly blended resonances, orchestrated precisely to set your blood on fire. With the top down and the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet running free, every nerve ending in your body attunes to the experience. The stimulation is fully equivalent to the most pleasurable act you can imagine-whatever that might be for you.
When you're just trundling around town, the quality evident in the interior design and execution is equally captivating. Anyone who has ever ordered a Porsche knows the options list is as long as the list of racing wins the marque has racked up over the years. To say you can configure a uniquely distinctive 911 is an understatement. Whatever your choices are though, the new 911 interior - adapted from the Panamera sedans - is one of (here's that word again) considerable substance. It looks and feels just exactly as expensive as it is.

If automotive perfection can be said to exist, surely it must be in reference to this latest convertible iteration of Porsche's iconic sports car. A product of some 49 years of evolution, the 2013 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is everything Porsche's engineers have ever learned about building open sports cars.

And trust me, they know one hell of a whole lot.

They also know where to come looking for me when I have one of their cars.

Pricing starts at $124,285 including destination.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Porsche, 2013, 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, $99,999+,

Organizations: Porsche

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