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991 Semi Rigid Folding Roof System


PCGB Member

Porsche is readying the new 991-spec 911 Cabriolet for launch in summer 2012. In many regards, it's business as usual: it's a soft-top convertible version of the new 911 coupe. But its roof holds one or two secrets up its sleeve.

The 911 Cabriolet's top still looks as if it was made of soft fabric, but it actually consists of three semi-rigid lightweight panels coated with a novel furry material which conceals the cutlines.

Porsche 991 Cabriolet: does it fold flush?

Inspired by the Boxster, the folded stack does without a rigid tonneau cover on the 991. Naturally, everything is powered and the roof will flop up or down in less than 20 seconds - at speeds of up to around 30mph.

The optional sunroof is a so-called top-glider, a large tinted glass or painted aluminium panel which comes to rest on top of the roof rather than between roof and headliner. A bit like on the Mini cabrio.

The fabric is claimed to be very soundproof and the rear glass screen is heated and scratchproof.

Engines in the Porsche 911 Cabriolet

We expect the 911 cabrio to be offered as Carrera and Carrera S trim. The sole available 911 engines for the first 18 months of production are a pair of uprated flat sixes. The next C2/C4 will be powered by a 3.4-litre direct-injection unit rated at 350bhp; the C2S/C4S will be fitted with a 3.8-litre motor good for 400bhp. Variocam plus (adjustable camshafts), switchable manifolds and two-stage free-flow exhausts are standard.

Four-wheel drive versions are due to be launched in December 2012, followed by the usual 911 cascade of variants. The culmination? The 911 Turbo widebody whaletail soft-top due in 2014.

What about the 911 Targa?

If you like your 911s open but not exposed, you'll have to wait for the planned successor to the 911 Targa. We hear it's due in late 2014, and will switch to the original's removable roof panels.

And there may even be a 911 Speedster this time round. Although unconfirmed, it would offer a chopped-screen version ideal for those in sunnier climes.

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