You Just Have To Drive It - 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: You Just Have To Drive It

May 23, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

For a car that's has so much history behind it, it's inevitable that car enthusiasts are going to have preconceived notions about the Porsche 911. From some of the comments we've read or heard, it seems our long-term 911 is seen as a "lesser" car by a few people.

It's the base model, not the high-output S, they say. It has the automated PDK transmission, not a traditional manual. It's a convertible. It's got the big, flashy 20-inch wheels.

This is the 911 you assume smarmy Hollywood agents buy simply because it's a "Porsch."

Maybe those agents do just that. But if you were to drive our 911, you'd realize that it still has more pure sports car genes in it than just about any other competitor.

The 3.4-liter flat-6 engine is just sweet. The first time I got on the throttle and heard that snarling, raspy exhaust note singing up to redline, I unexpectedly chortled in a half laugh, half "Oh my god, this is so cool!" sort of way. Growling V8s are a dime a dozen. This one's unique. And yeah, even in base form, she's fast enough for you, old man.

PDK: Jay Kavanagh wrote that it's brilliant. I'd agree. He also said he'd still get the manual. Personally, I think PDK is so good that I wouldn't miss the manual.

Convertible: The body structure is so stiff you'd never know it's a convertible until you looked up to see what's over your head.

Wheels: Now that we've sorted out the tire pressure issue, our 911 rides a lot better. Meanwhile, it's still got great steering feel, proper weighting and loads of handling grip. It's still a car that's an absolute blast to drive.

In total: so our car's not a GT3 or Turbo. But it's still very much a 911.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 12,721 miles


  • jederino jederino Posts:

    Nice Millenium Falcon reference, Brent. I still always admire them on the road, and I'd be more than happy with the coupe and 3.4 - more chance to hear that engine wail around town!

  • benson2175 benson2175 Posts:

    I fully agree with you, unless you race or are immune from traffic violations it doesn't make a lot of sense to drive a turbo or gt3. The stock motor is more than enough and plenty of fun.

  • gloss gloss Posts:

    But don't you guys know that all that matters are raw numbers and track times? /s

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    I rarely see the non-S models around where I live near Seattle, so I think a lot of buyers just get upsold quickly and easily. Sport? - um, yeah! Where does my iPhone charge in here...?

  • sharpend sharpend Posts:

    If you want a manual get a Boxster or Cayman. The 6 speed manual is better than the 911 7 speed manual. 7 speeds is a better set-up for PDK.

  • porschesq porschesq Posts:

    I own the same model (base 991, PDK and same wheels, no PASM, the dealer talked me into the multi function wheel and out of the sport design wheel and PSE) in a coupe with a sunroof and have noticed that there is a strong bias against the non S model 911. This is strange in that the current base model has more horsepower than the previous 997.2 S model. This car is fast, impeccably nimble and a blast to drive. I test drove the S model before and after I took delivery of my 991 and I still do not know what the S snobs see. I could not detect any difference in the ride, acceleration or handling in regular driving situations.

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