2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet vs. 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet Track Test

Convertible vs. Convertible


  • 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

    2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

    2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. | May 14, 2013

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Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

People have said that our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with PDK is the last, or second-to-last 911 they'd ever buy. Not only is it an automatic and a convertible, but with "only" 350 horsepower from its 3.4-liter flat-6, it's the weakest 911 you can buy.

But what does more really get you?

Our 911 has a base price of $93,700. The next step up the Porsche ladder is the Carrera S Cabriolet that lumps together a 3.8-liter flat-6 producing 400 hp, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and several other less important features.

What do 50 hp and an active suspension do? And does it justify the $15,000 premium over the base 911? We went to the track to find out.

  2013 Carrera Cabriolet 2012 Carrera S Cabriolet
Price: $93,700 $108,950
Horsepower: 350 400
Torque: 287 325
Curb weight as tested: 3,376 3,477
0-30 (sec.): 1.8 1.7
0-45 (sec.): 3.1 2.8
0-60 (sec.): 4.7 4.2
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.): 4.4 4.0
0-75 (sec.): 6.6 5.9
1/4-mile (sec @ mph): 12.9 @ 108.4 12.3 @ 113.5
     
30-0 (ft): 25 26
60-0 (ft): 102 103
     
Skid Pad Lateral Accel (g): 0.99 1.01
Slalom: 71.3 71.3

Vehicle: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Odometer: 2,125
Date: 2/26/2013
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $93,700 (Base)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear engine, rear-wheel-drive
Transmission Type: Seven-speed automated manual
Engine Type: Direct-injected, DOHC, 3.4-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,436/210
Redline (rpm): 7,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 350 @ 7,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 287 @ 5,600
Brake Type (front): 13.4-inch ventilated and cross-drilled rotors with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13-inch ventilated and cross-drilled rotors with four-piston fixed calipers
Steering System: Electric-assist, speed-proportional rack-and-pinion power steering
Suspension Type (front): Modified MacPherson strut, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 245/35ZR20 91Y
Tire Size (rear): 295/30ZR20 101Y
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero
Tire Type: Summer, asymmetrical
Wheel Size: 20-by-8.5 inches front, 20-by-11 inches rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Aluminum alloy
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,376 (37.7% rear)

Test Results:

Acceleration:
0-30 (sec): 1.8 (2.7 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 3.1 (4.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.7 (5.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.4 (5.4 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 6.6 (7.8 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.9 @ 108.4 (13.7 @ 105.9 w/ TC on)

Braking:
30-0 (ft): 25
60-0 (ft): 102

Handling:
Slalom (mph): 71.3
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.99

Sound:
Db @ Idle: 48.9
Db @ Full Throttle: 87.1
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 66.1
Db @ 70-mph Top Open: 73.9

RPM @ 70 mph: 1,800

Tester's comments:

Acceleration: Without using any performance-enhancing modes (Sport, Sport Plus or Launch Control), the Carrera appears to use quite a lot of clutch to produce a smooth launch. Once underway, the transmission supplies quick, seamless shifts. Selecting Sport Plus and utilizing Launch Control (there isn't an easier system to activate) revs the engine to about 5,500 rpm, and also uses the clutch. Shifts are noticeably quicker and only slightly less smooth. The results are astounding: Subtract a full second to speed from default mode across the board.

Braking: Pretty clearly, the car needs some heat in the brakes and/or tires for optimal results. Shortest stop was fifth out of six total. Very firm pedal, near-zero dive, arrow straight and exceptionally fade-resistant. Typical, bulletproof Porsche brakes.

Skid pad: Zero intrusion from PSM as the limit approaches and even surpassed. The car allows a skilled driver to adjust and optimize the rear slip angle with the throttle alone. It's as if PSM says, "I can tell you've got this so I'll stay outta your way." Steering weight seems a little excessive, as if Porsche overcompensated for the electric assist. Still, there's an admirable amount of feel here as the grip comes and goes from the tires. Interesting that it loses grip at the rear first.

Slalom: Wow, wow, wow. Exceptionally responsive steering that's laser precise and intuitive. Combined with no-B.S. stability system, the results are an amazingly capable and trustworthy sports car with very high but approachable limits. The only place where I felt like it was "saving me from myself" was at the exit where it took away throttle and disallowed any sort of opposite lock.

Vehicle: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet (991)

Odometer: 2,616
Date: 5/23/2012
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $108,950

Specifications:
Drive Type: Rear engine, rear-wheel-drive
Transmission Type: Seven-speed automated manual
Engine Type: Direct-injected, DOHC, 3.8-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,800/232
Redline (rpm): 7,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 400 @ 7,400
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 325 @ 5,600
Brake Type (front): 13.4-inch ventilated and cross-drilled rotors with six-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13-inch ventilated and cross-drilled rotors with four-piston fixed calipers
Steering System: Electric-assist, speed-proportional rack-and-pinion power steering
Suspension Type (front): Modified MacPherson strut, coil-over springs, electrically adjustable dampers, active stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink, coil-over springs, electrically adjustable dampers, active stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 245/35ZR20 91Y
Tire Size (rear): 295/30ZR20 101Y
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero Nero
Tire Type: Summer, asymmetrical
Wheel Size: 20-by-8.5 inches front, 20-by-11 inches rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Aluminum alloy
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,477 (38% front)

Test Results:

Acceleration:
0-30 (sec): 1.7 (2.2 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 2.8 (3.4 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 4.2 (5.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.0 (4.7 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 5.9 (6.7 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 12.3 @ 113.5 (12.9 @ 111.0 w/ TC on)

Braking:
30-0 (ft): 26
60-0 (ft): 103

Handling:
Slalom (mph): 71.3 (70.5 with TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 1.01 (0.99 with TC on)

Sound:
Db @ Idle: 47.5
Db @ Full Throttle: 86.6
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 65.2
Db @ 70 mpg with top open: 77.0

RPM @ 70 mph: 1,850

Tester's comments:

Acceleration: Default mode uses quite a lot of clutch slippage and feels pretty lazy off the line... and it is. Launch mode is also clutch-intensive, however, keeping the revs up and nearly allowing wheelspin but not quite. Huge difference in shift speed between "normal" and Sport Plus with launch and nearly a full second to 60 mph.

Braking: Tremendous brakes: powerful, fade-free, repeatable, immune to surface undulation, flat (no dive) and arrow-straight. Firm-hard pedal with moderate jump-in.

Skid pad: ESC off allows a slight rear drift all the way around the circle, adjusting both slip angle and "trajectory" with throttle alone: magnificent. Steering loads predictably and goes "free" as front grip approaches limit, but the kickback is gone and that's OK. Remarkably little body roll, especially with shocks in their firmest setting.

Slalom: Wow! There's so much grip and confidence that I can focus on varying my technique rather than being on high alert for a spin. Steering ratio feels a little slow, but it's crystal clear and super precise. I could take advantage of the confidence and steering for the exit where I pressed the throttle and input opposite lock simultaneously in one fluid motion. ESC is very subtle but very helpful.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds the 2012 911 for the purposes of evaluation. Edmunds purchased the 2013 911 for the purposes of evaluation.

Most Recommended Comments

By myob
on 05/15/13
9:50 AM PST

Way to keep writing columns for real people with real needs for cars, Edmunds. I'm sure the .2% of your readers looking to buy 6 figure cars will love this.

Recommend  (7) (59)

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