2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: A New Home

April 22, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

When we last saw our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, it was being loaded onto a transport truck. The truck driver told us it would take two to four weeks to reach Pittsburgh, its final destination. Now, about four weeks later, the Porsche 911 has finally arrived.

Here's a note from its new owner, Tom:

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: Headed to the Steel City

March 19, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet has a new owner and is headed to Pittsburgh. Sorry Gslippy and Noburgers, but we didn't go back to CarMax. The buyer, Tom, contacted me on Autotrader and paid to have the pre-purchase inspection that we reported earlier. The 911 earned a clean bill of health, but Tom hadn't yet made an offer. All that remained was agreeing on a price.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: To CarMax and Back

February 18, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet never sat parked in our garage for big stretches of time. It was one of the most popular vehicles we've had around here and deservedly so. That's great for us, but when it comes to selling the car, not so much.

I took the 911 to CarMax for an appraisal the other day, filled with confidence for the price it would fetch. After all, it's a Porsche 911. These things keep their value like a champ, right? But now it seems I might have drunk some Porsche owner's Kool-Aid, or should I say sparkling wine?

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Driving the 911 for the First and Last Time

February 12, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I had driven our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet once before. Well, "driven" isn't the most accurate description of the experience. More like, "moved the car 10 feet to another parking spot." I don't think my feet even touched the accelerator. But, with the car's retirement date fast approaching, I knew I wouldn't get another shot. This is the story of how I got lost on the way to the gas station and ambled up and down Pacific Coast Highway one lazy morning in January.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Don't Lift

January 23, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

It's the first rule you hear about 911s, right? When the back end starts sliding, resist your instincts and push through it. That back end is the only thing propelling you forward. It's one thing to initiate rear-wheel drift, quite another when it's unexpected. So in the few times I drove our former 1985 Porsche 911 in the rain, I'd always remember the story of my father's friend, who long ago stuffed his late-1970s 911 into the guardrail of a freeway transition on a wet day.

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2013 Porsche 911: Well-Designed Door Pockets

January 22, 2014

2013 Porsche 911

There's not much in the way of stowage compartments in our 2013 Porsche 911. A center console will typically have one or two open cubbies and/or a pair of cupholders. These are usually big enough to securely stash my phone, garage door opener and office garage key card.

The 911's console has no cupholders (they are hidden within the passenger's side of the dash) and has only a small covered compartment along with a tiny open cubby. The former is shallow and not as easily accessed as an open compartment while the latter is suitable for holding a few sticks of Dentyne. All is not lost however...

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Adaptive Headlights Work Better Than You Think

January 21, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Adaptive headlights, or headlights that move in the direction that you're steering, are often underappreciated. It's easy not to notice them once you've driven a car that has them for a while, you just think it has really great headlights and forget about the fact that they follow your every move.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Transmission Is Clunky at Slow Speeds

January 1, 2014

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I've written before about how our 2013 Porsche 911's automatic "PDK" transmission is one of the best ever built. And after over 20,000 miles it still serves up incredibly quick shifts that are always perfectly timed.

But it's not without its issues. Recently I've noticed that it seems to be getting a little clunky at slower speeds. And by slower speeds I mean parking lot speeds, roughly 5-10 mph. There are occasional "thunks" from the gearbox that remind me of our long-term Nissan GT-R. That car also had a double-clutch automatic gearbox, but it was clunky from the start.

Our 911 merely feels like it has loosened up just a bit, something you only notice when it's trying to slip the clutch during a three-point turn. The rest of the time it's business as usual.

Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 21,263 miles

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Resistance Movement

December 30, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I admit, I sorta mock other publications when they occasionally sound the alarm for the endangered manual transmission. "Save the Manuals," they exclaim, with a cute graphic and some melancholy rumination about the slow death of the three-pedal box. Mercedes and Google will have us in autonomous cars within 10 years. These quaint protests are sweeping the tide with a broom.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Last Drive

December 26, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Sad to say, I spend much more drive-time commuting compared to driving. What's the difference? In Los Angeles, about 35 mph. While commuting to the office, I rarely hit speeds above 30 mph. It takes a 5:30 a.m. departure from my house to even near the 65-mph freeway limit.

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2013 Porsche 911: Tire Pressure Overboost

December 20, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

We recently took our 2013 Porsche 911 in for its 20,000-mile service. After the service, however, we noticed that the tires were aired up (at 39 psi front / 46 psi rear) to beyond max spec. We don't recall entering the 911 in a fuel economy contest or wanting to see how it handled the slalom with contact patches the size of silver dollars, so we checked into this.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: Worth the Wait?

December 19, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

I have patiently waited 359 and a half days to drive the long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, but who's counting? I wasn't a fan of the last 911 I drove, but this one was far more modern. Would it be worth the wait?

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2013 Porsche 911: 20,000-Mile Milestone

November 15, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

A month ahead of schedule, our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 has hit the 20,000-mile mark. Evidently, piling up the miles on this sports car is no sweat. Yes, that cross-country road trip certainly helped. But that journey and just living with the car on a daily basis both highlight one of the 911's most endearing qualities: its split personality.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: If You Bought One, What Would You Get?

November 8, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

A sure way to burn away a solid half-hour out of your day (or more) is to fantasize about what your dream 2014 Porsche 911 would look like and then build it out on Porsche's Web site. (And if you don't need to fantasize because you already own your dream 2014 911, well, I tip my hat.)

Our introduction details how we ended up with our 2013 Carrera convertible. But I'm curious: if you could order your own 911, what would it be? Would you keep it simple or go all out on a 911 Turbo S or GT3? What options would you pick?

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: Every Day, the School Bus

November 1, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

A couple of years ago, Porsche ran a campaign, Engineered for Magic Every Day, where owners could submit real stories of using their cars. One promotional commercial at the time showed a guy buying bags of cement with his Cayman and a mom picking up kids at school in a 911 Turbo.

It's a clever commercial, but the funny thing with having a 911 Carrera in our fleet is that we've pretty much validated the whole concept. For instance, the past week I've used the 911 to take my two kids to school every morning, and it's been great.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: Kid Tested: Mother Approved (Redux)

October 22, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

I've taken my mother in several of our long-term cars, but this was her first time in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera convertible. She screamed with fear when I put my foot in to the loud pedal of our SLS AMG Roadster. She squeaked with glee (and likely a little fear, too) when I showed our Cadillac ATS some corners and she couldn't stop staring at the Tesla Model S when we took it out to get frozen yogurt.

But I've never seen my mother as happy in a car, as when I put the 911's top down, turned up volume on the new Avicii single and drove her home from brunch.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: PDK and Launch Control Illustrated

October 21, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

I meant to show this when we last Track Tested our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. What you see here is a graph of two acceleration runs with time on the X-axis and speed on the Y. The red line shows the result of utilizing Launch Control.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: Easy Trip Reset

October 17, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

I like simple things that work well. Resetting the trip meter in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet requires only one press by one finger.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: Hidden Cupholders

October 16, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

It's no secret that our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet has cupholders, but they are hidden from plain site.

Tucked away in a space above the glove box, two bottomless cupholders will pop out if you press on the narrow chrome strip. While they will hold a cup or bottle, they are no good for storing change, keys, phones, or other trinkets while driving.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera: Handsome View From Inside

October 15, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

I don't care what the technical name is for the aerodynamic bumps you see from the driver seat of the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, but they are quite handsome.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: For Best Results, Leave the Top Down

October 7, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Our managing editor, Donna DeRosa, went back and forth on whether to put our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet's top down. While I understood her dilemma, I had a much easier time making this decision last weekend.

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2013 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet: Flat Tire

October 2, 2013

2013 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet

Last Wednesday I was hot-lapping our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet around The Streets of Willow, a tight small racetrack 100 miles northeast of our Santa Monica office. I had checked the tires and the tire pressures before the car touched the track.

That night I drove the 911 home. 110 miles. No problem.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Sexy Taillights

September 27, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

One specific element of the exterior design on the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera that I can't stop admiring is the taillights.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: On Second Thought

September 18, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

You know when I said I never put the top down on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.

Well...

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2013 Porsche 911: The Coast Is Not Clear

September 2, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

It's nice to have a navigation system that tells you the local traffic conditions. Even if you can't do anything about it (which is the case about 99% of the time) just knowing what to expect is oddly soothing.

Then again, that's assuming that the system is accurate. That's not always the case in our 2013 Porsche 911. More than once I've been sitting in stop-and-go traffic while the navigation screen says it's green sailing ahead.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Better In Yellow

August 30, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

This 911 is better than ours for four reasons. Its color is number four. You guess the first three.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: How Often Would You Use the Convertible Top?

August 29, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I'm an extremely pasty person. I can get sunburned just looking at a picture of the beach. So, while I enjoy the feeling of the free, fresh wind in my hair and life without care, I find I never actually drop the top on our Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.

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2013 Porsche 911: Protecting the 20s

August 28, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Is there anything worse than curbing a gleaming new wheel? In the grand scheme of things, yes, there are many. But confine the circumstances to driving and parking a valuable sports car and the wheel damage issue is always there.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Freedom to Have Fun

August 23, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Despite the support from the commenters here (thanks!) I still felt like a bit of a weenie for not taking the Tesla up to Monterey for the big Pebble Beach Weekend.

So, instead of doing something difficult, I hopped in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, which I know has 500 miles of range, and had some fun.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Low Fuel Warning

August 16, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

No boring low fuel warning message from Porsche. When our long-term 2013 911 Carrera dipped too low into its tank last night, it politely asked me to, "Mind remaining distance."

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: 15,000-Mile Milestone

August 15, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

We've had our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet for 8 months and just a smidge more than 15,000 miles. In that time it has been overall an impressive drive, and nearly trouble-free to boot. The only unscheduled stop attributable to the car has been for a check engine light related to the fuel tank diagnostics module.

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2013 Porsche 911: Not Great for Left-Foot Braking

July 12, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

I like to use my left foot for braking. It feels natural once you get used to it and it's safer. There are plenty of people who will tell you differently, but to each his own.

As you can see, our 911 doesn't exactly accommodate left-foot braking. The brake pedal is clearly cheated over to the right. This obviously makes for easy to swap between the accelerator and the brake pedal with your right foot, but trying to squeeze both feet in there isn't very natural.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: How It's Made

July 8, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

So I caught the Science Channel's How It's Made program a few nights ago. The program is currently showing a series called Dream Cars and features the Porsche 911 assembly plant in Stuttgart, Germany.

It made me laugh.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Optional Steering Wheels

June 26, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Last week I wrote a long-term update stating that Porsche doesn't clutter the 911's steering wheel with buttons.

I was wrong.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: No Steering Wheel Buttons

June 18, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Porsche's 911 lacks even a single steering wheel button. This, I'd wager, is a choice. Possibly Porsche knows that a steering wheel's function is so fundamental to what happens while driving that cluttering it up with a bunch of buttons is something it refuses to do.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible: Just Love Driving It

June 10, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible

There have been a few times now when I've gotten out of our 2013 Porsche 911 after driving it and found myself saying out loud (to myself, but hey, nobody else was around), "Man, this car is cool."

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Check Engine Light Solved

June 7, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

If you remember, Beverly Hills Porsche told us the cause of the check engine light on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was a faulty tank leakage diagnostics module. Apparently this has been an all-too-common problem on the 991 generation.

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2013 Porsche 911: German Size Cupholder

June 6, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Porsche can make a damn fine sports car, but when it comes to cupholders, it doesn't waste much time on them. The fold out contraptions used in the 911 are marginal at best, so they don't stand a chance against the monstrous Styrofoam cups used at a local teriyaki bowl stand I splurge on every once in a while.

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2013 Porsche 911: No Detail Too Small

June 5, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Whenever I drive our 2013 911 Carrera I'm always struck by how well Porsche's engineers sweat the details. It's evident throughout the cabin and it almost makes it feel like it's worth over $100,000.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible: I Could Get Used To This

May 31, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible

On a recent weekend morning I was out driving our long-term 2013 Porsche 911. It was a beautiful day. Sunny, 76 degrees and pretty blue sky and clouds. Ideal, you might say, for a convertible sports car such as our 911.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Meet Up With a 1983 911 Owner

May 29, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

A friend of mine owns an older 911, a 1983 911 SC. Curious to get his thoughts on our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 and 30 years of 911 progress, I suggested we go to lunch.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip Photo Gallery

May 24, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Cross country in a 911? Erin Riches and I did it around the time of the 2013 New York Auto Show in our Long-Term 2013 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Hips

May 24, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

All right, so this is a lousy photo to illustrate my point, but you've seen a 911 before. You know what its hips look like. When we think of curves, we think Italian or maybe Jaguar (pound for pound, does anyone bend sheet metal better than Jaguar?).

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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.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: From Snow to Fires

May 22, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Our 2013 Porsche 911 has driven through freezing temperatures, ice and snow, thanks to its trip to New York. Now, a couple of months later, you can add "forest fire!" to its check-off bucket list.

Actually, it was more of a 4,100-acre wildfire that I encountered about 80 miles north of Edmunds' Santa Monica, CA, office. There was no imminent danger to motorists at the time, but it made for some very interesting scenery.

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2013 Porsche 911: Choosing a Tire Pressure for Everyday Driving

May 14, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

As you can see, there's not much sidewall to the tires on our Porsche 911. A set of 20-inch wheels doesn't leave much room for such extravagances. The result is a slightly jarring ride depending on what you consider jarring.

Personally, I think our 911 rides exceptionally well given its combination of paper thin sidewall and firm suspension. It's an easy everyday driver, even on the beat-up, concrete highways here in Southern California.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: No Limousine Stops

May 13, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911's braking ability is outstanding in virtually every way. But there's that word: virtually. The one thing that could be better is the way our car approaches a halt in that tiny window of time just prior to when the tires stop rolling. Ideally you want a jolt-free stop, a result that comes from easing off the brake pedal ever so gently just as the car stops. The car then seamlessly transitions between rolling and stopping. In the trade this graceful halt is described as a "limousine stop."

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2013 Porsche 911: One Small Disappointment

May 10, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

This is nothing but nitpicking, but sometimes a car in this price range deserves it. I'm a little annoyed by the side mirrors on our Porsche 911, mainly because the bottom half of each mirror is covered in a big hunk of black plastic.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Garment Hangers

May 8, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Before my cross-country drive in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, I read through our long-term posts to see what I was getting myself into. One thing that stood out was a post by Erin, who was taking the car to NY for me, and addressed the Porsche's lack of garment hangers.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A., Putting Summer Rubber Back On

May 7, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

After our cross-country road trip the Pirelli SottoZeros were still showing good tread and hadn't suffered much wear over the past 6,500 miles. Still, we'd had enough with driving on winter tires. They were darned good when the weather got cold or when we hit bad weather, but the summer tires we had on our stock 20-inch wheels just grip so much better.

Mark and I took the car down to our shop, threw it up on our Rotary Lift and swapped the wheels in about ten minutes. (And for those looking closely, yes, I forgot to bring the center caps and had to install them back at the office. That took another 45 seconds.)

I still think the 19s look better. We're considering getting a set of summer tires for these wheels as well. What say you?

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: 10,000-Mile Service

May 6, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

At the tail end of the road trip, our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet declared that it needed service.

This wasn't an unexpected warning as we knew full well that the 911 requires a service at 10,000 miles and another one at 20,000 miles. We're not going to argue with a 10,000-mile service interval.

So, I got back to L.A., washed the car a few times and then called Beverly Hills Porsche, our closest dealership, to set up an appointment.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A., The Aftermath

May 3, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Between Erin and me, we drove our long-term 2013 Porsche 911Carrera Cabriolet from L.A. to New York to Maine and then back to Los Angeles. We covered 6,608.6 miles in less than two weeks and hit exactly zero car washes.

At the end of the 7,000+-mile Road Trip to Alaska in our Jag, the car looked like it had survived Superstorm Sandy after being fished out of the Hudson. This is why people hate black cars.

After 6,600 miles in the Porsche...it actually looked okay. Even the winter-spec tires weren't showing any wear from the days-upon-days of high-temp highway running.

The slippery Porsche shunned any real bug splatter and the light greyish color really hid the road grime. The only time you'd notice it was if you happened to touch the paint. Oh, the wheels were also a mess; had to hit them with $5 worth of that highly caustic (probably) green stuff from the self-wash just to make them presentable.

It took three carwashes to get it back to normal. Next stop: Porsche Service.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A., Fuel Economy Report

April 30, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

To be fair, I didn't know we were competing on fuel economy until I read Erin's post after I'd gotten home. I didn't know I was supposed to be trying for fuel economy.

I just knew this was a Porsche and that, after the first day's error, my radar detector was working very well.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A., Three and Out?

April 29, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Day 3 started off much like day 2 of my leg of the cross-country road trip in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: I woke up long before my alarm clock was set to go off and I was feeling good. By day 3 of me and Kurt's road trip to Anchorage I contemplated faking a seizure so that I wouldn't legally be allowed to drive home.

I hopped into the Porsche that third morning like it was my first time driving one. The car and I were ready to go.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A. 10,000 Miles

April 26, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

In the last post, our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was in a parking lot somewhere in Colorado with almost 9,200 miles on the odometer.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A., Maintenance Required

April 25, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

This maintenance minder popped up somewhere in Colorado letting me know that our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet was due for its first service in 900 miles.

Sorry, buddy. We're just over 1,000 miles from home and I'm not stopping early for an oil change.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A., Change of Plans

April 24, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I am the polar opposite of Erin Riches. She plans things like road trips very thoroughly. She looks at maps, sets goals and hits them. I sort of assume I'm supposed to be heading roughly west and figure out the rest on the fly. So when managed 1,016 miles on day 1, I was pleasantly surprised.

When I sat down to dinner that night, I texted Kurt and asked if we'd ever done a 1,000-mile day during our Jaguar XF Supercharged Road Trip to Alaska. He confirmed that we hadn't, I blamed the slow photographer.

Not only did I feel smug at my small accomplishment. I felt great. I was awake, alert, and had absolutely zero butt/back/leg/hip/whatever pain from sitting in a car for 14-ish hours.

It's almost like they design these things for endurance racing.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to L.A., 2,995 Miles To Go

April 23, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

There are good ways to start a road trip and there are not so good ways.

I spent the night in Cambridge, MA before leaving on my route back to Los Angeles in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. The apartment was 2ish miles from the Mass Pike and had ample, safe street parking. Perfect.

Except that there's an invisible line somewhere on this street that separates the towns of Cambridge and Somerville and, with my Cambridge parking permit, I was on the wrong side of that line in the mist.

I loaded my luggage into the frunk and, as my carry-on is exactly the same size as Erin's, it fit exactly the same with no room for my briefcase. I set that down on the curb, took pictures of every street sign within 200 feet (none said Somerville, two said Cambridge), got back in the car, set the nav and started my 2,995-mile drive.

I thought the trip was starting out on only one bad note. You, dear reader, via reading it a week after it happened, have noticed that the trip actually started out on two bad notes.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Mom Hates Launch Control

April 22, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

The danger of showing up, unannounced, to your mother's house on her birthday with a shiny new 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is that she may think it's a surprise gift.

Good thing she knows I'm a journalist.

Still, the six-hour drive to northern Massachusetts was worth it. She hadn't seen her only child in quite a while, and I hadn't terrified her via a car with launch control in, like, ever.

I told her I'd take her to lunch. A spot up by Kittery. I told her we could put the top down and take the coast up.

I failed to mention what 350 horsepower in a Porsche was actually like.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Escape From Manhattan

April 19, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I'm still not sure if it was worth it. Jacobs and I got the shot, but it cost me a safe exit from Manhattan. Traffic getting off of that island, if you hadn't heard, is a bit of a nightmare, especially if you're heading north into the 'burbs of Connecticut.

That's right. I was going north. Instead of simply heading back to L.A., I was taking a bit of a detour. My Mom's birthday fell on day 2 of the 2013 New York International Auto Show and, well, it's only a 4-hour drive...

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip Driver Change

April 18, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

If I needed any more conclusive evidence that New York is not the same as Los Angeles, I got it at the valet counter at Erin's Hotel. High-end valets in L.A. understand the needs of a driver with a valeted car and can grasp the concept of a car being dropped off by one party and picked up by another.

In NYC, you have to wait 25-30 minutes for them to retrieve your vehicle from some rat-infested subterranean nightmare and the fact that I had the valet ticket only convinced the hotel that I'd murdered the fair Mrs. Riches and was planning to flee with her Porsche.

Hey, at least they graciously offered to let me stand in their lobby while they tried to figure it all out.

I didn't really have time for the wait, though. This was day 2 of the 2013 New York International Auto Show, I'd already covered a few cars and had to get this car quick; me and Scott Jacobs had a date with Times Square.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to New York, Fuel Economy Report

April 17, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

So our long-term 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet made it from L.A. to New York. But that was only the first half of the road trip. I've turned the keys over to Mike Magrath for a second half. He's not taking the same route, of course. And he'll probably put the top down no matter how cold it is.

It goes without saying that we're competing on fuel economy. It's not just about logging the highest overall average mpg, either. It's about who gets the best mpg on a single tank, worst mpg on a single tank, and the most miles on a single tank. There's also the matter of who spends the most money on premium fuel.

Check my totals after the jump. These are the numbers Magrath has to beat.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to New York, Day 4

April 16, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

For the last three days, I've been getting supportive emails and texts from my coworkers. "Don't be foolish," some of them begin, "just park the Porsche and somebody will come get it." But even during my worst hour, I know I'm going to complete the drive to New York somehow. And after stopping in Indiana last night, that goal is finally in sight.

First, though, the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and I will take in more of Interstate 70, plus I-76 (better known as the Pennsylvania Turnpike) and I-78. It's an experience I won't soon forget.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to New York, Day 3

April 15, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Two nights and a day after my road trip in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet stalls out in Kansas (due to a mechanical problem with the driver, not the car), the Porsche and I are back on the road to New York. Of course, now the goal is to get to Manhattan in time for the second press day of the 2013 New York Auto Show. There won't be time to explore any crazy back roads or tour the battlefield at Gettysburg as I'd planned.

I'm just going to have to be content with the 911's entertainment value when it's pointed straight down Interstate 70 (and then 76, 78 and every other numbing Northeast artery that comes after that). The PDK seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission makes this pretty easy.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: 5,000 Miles in Ruleton, Kansas

April 12, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

If you read the last installment of our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet's journey to New York, then you noticed it hit 5,000 miles. Here's where it happened. I can't remember the name of this exit off Interstate 70. This road runs both north and south of the highway, and there's not a lick of pavement. Not many cars look this good on a desolate dirt road. My weather app told me that we were in Ruleton, Kansas. I think it was about 30 degrees.

The wind gusts were considerable when I popped out of the car for a quick shot in the evening light. I didn't linger, either, lest I get run over by a tractor or a steer. In any case, the 911 remained in tip-top health when it passed this milestone.

So far, I've seen only one other 911 on this road trip: It was a 996 Turbo convertible, and I spotted it, where else, just outside of Vegas. I suppose it's the weather that's keeping all the Porsche 911 owners off the road, but really, with a set of snow tires, the 991 generation at least is quite hardy.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to New York, Day 2

April 11, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

After a really long day and night behind the wheel of our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, I've arrived late at my motel in Salida, Colorado, a beautiful little mountain town at the bottom of the Monarch Pass.

Also, for those who have expressed misgivings about the wisdom of parking a 991-generation Porsche 911 at a Super 8: I've stayed in a fair amount of Super 8s over the years, and this one might be the best. It's freshly renovated, and my room is very tidy and decorated with photographs of the local mountains. I'd stay here again.

As predicted, I oversleep and miss breakfast. It's a sunny morning and much of the snow in the lot has melted, though honestly, I don't see how, as it's not even 20 degrees when I step outside. The motel is right there on U.S. 50 (or Rainbow Boulevard within the town limits), so after refueling I just continue east. The highest mountains are behind me, but there's still plenty of alpine scenery and it turns out the highway runs parallel to the meandering Arkansas River all the way until the latter empties into a reservoir in Pueblo.

The plows cleared most of U.S. 50 overnight, and the few remaining slippery spots are no big deal for our Porsche, thanks to its Pirelli snow tires. The ride is also quite respectable (not exactly compliant, but tolerably comfortable) for a sports car with the 19-inch wheel/tire package. If I bought a 911 and still lived in Southern California, I'd special-order a car with the 19s rather than buying one with 20s right off the lot. I'm older now. Ride quality matters to me.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Road Trip to New York, Day 1

April 9, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Days ago, I told you the long-term 2013 Porsche 911 and I were on the road to Midtown Manhattan for the 2013 New York Auto Show. Well, we made it there. Although, as with most road trips, a few things didn't go according to plan. But the Porsche is alive and well, and if you follow @Mike_Magrath on Twitter, you also know that it escaped the city and went on to have more adventures on the journey back to the West Coast.

Now, we bring you the story of the 6,000-mile road trip in our 991-generation 911 Carrera Cabriolet. I'll tell the first half. Mike Magrath will tell the second half. At the end, we'll total up the miles, gallons, mpg and dollars spent on premium fuel, and ask you to vote on which editor you'd rather ride with on a cross-country road trip. Kidding. But I guarantee you will like one of us less after you read about this trip.

Here's how it started.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Dog Report

April 8, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

That's right, I took my dog Mya for a ride in our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. Every Sunday we go over to my brother's house to watch Walking Dead and, naturally, Mya has to come with us. But unfortunately for her we had the Porsche for the weekend. This would be her first time ever in a convertible.

And because of its low roof and her big head we decided to drive there with the top down. Fortunately, it was a fairly warm night so we were comfortable. The only one who didn't seem comfortable was Mya. Hit the jump to see a Vine video of how that looked.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: PDK Console Shifter Redux

April 5, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

It's about time. With the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3, the company finally got around to configuring the console shifter in the correct orientation, where you push forward to downshift. Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet's lever (pictured above) is all bass-ackwards, a layout about which you've no doubt heard us gripe.

And now that the company offers steering wheel paddles that command downshifts with the left one and upshifts with the right one, they've got both interfaces sorted out.

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2013 Porsche 911: Dry Cleaning? Your Servant Can Pick That Up

March 27, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Before leaving on my road trip to New York in our 2013 Porsche 911, I had to run a really boring errand. One of the suits I'll be wearing at the 2013 New York Auto Show needed to be picked up from the dry cleaners.

I figured there'd be a hook or some piece of metal somewhere in our 911 Carrera Cabriolet on which to attach the hangers. But no, the 991-generation Porsche 911 is still a driver's car, not a servant's car.

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2013 Porsche 911: Because They Can

March 26, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Satellite radio comes standard on a $14k Kia Rio. On a $94k base price (since increased to $96k) 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera cabrio, it's a $750 option. What?!

How can they get away with this? Because it's a Porsche 911. Well, that and something about "what the market will bear." Sadly for buyers and happily for Porsche, most folks looking at a new 911 probably aren't doing much comparison shopping. They want a 911.

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2013 Porsche 911: Next Stop, Midtown Manhattan?

March 22, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Yesterday, Mike Magrath told you that we put snow tires on our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. He also said we won't be retracing the SLS AMG's path to Mount Rushmore.

Instead, I'm driving the route above. All the way to New York. I'm leaving this very morning (yes, Saturday) and I have to be in Midtown Manhattan by Tuesday afternoon for the start of the 2013 New York Auto Show press days.

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2013 Porsche 911: New 19-Inch Shoes and Winter Tires

March 22, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

When we were shopping for our brand new, long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, we were railroaded into getting the 20-inch wheels. No, we weren't bullied by salesmen or anything like that. We just didn't want to special-order a car and everything we found here in SoCal was equipped with the optional 20s.

Once we had the tire pressures set correctly the ride was vastly improved, but we still would have preferred the 19s.

Then Porsche read our comments, stepped up and offered us a set of 19-inch wheels to try on our 911. We agreed, but only if they'd throw in a set of winter tires.

Initially, we wanted all-season tires. Turns out that all-season tires don't exist for the 235/40 (f) / 285/35 (r) Porsche 19s. Winter tires, like the Pirelli Sottozero Serie II, do.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Flat Tire, Part 2

March 12, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

After we had our 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet towed to Allen Tire in Lake Forest to fix its flat left rear tire, the next question was: What caused it?

As mentioned in the last update, I had spun the tire around, felt all the tread and couldn't find a nail or anything obvious. After some air was added, it turned out to be a cut sidewall. How exactly it got cut is not clear, but the fact the rim is also slightly bent points to hitting a pothole.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Flat Tire, Part 1

March 11, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

It's never a good thing to see your 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet on a flatbed.

And few things are more miserable than realizing you have a flat tire. Especially when you're trying to get the long-term 911 to California Speedway to re-test it with lower tire pressures.

Since there is no spare tire onboard our 911 Cabrio, I called Porsche Roadside Assistance for a tow to a dealer or tire shop. The person I spoke with was very courteous and generally helpful. She said a flatbed tow truck could be there within an hour and 40 minutes, which seemed exorbitantly long to me. She also said they would tow it to the Porsche dealer in Newport Beach, which is quite a ways from my place in south Orange County.

And she made no promises as to how quickly the car could be ready once it got to the dealer.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Better Than the SLS AMG

March 6, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is better than our Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster. Believe it. Now, a drop-top 911 with an autobox is nearly the last 911 I would buy with my own money. But you'd think that the SLS Convertible, so similar in morphism to the 911 'vert, would be head and shoulders above the Porsche according to any conceivable metric.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Tailpipe Recall

March 5, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

A recall has been issued for the Porsche 991. Seems the company discovered that the tailpipes of cars with the standard exhaust (but not the sport exhaust) can detach. This was observed in test cars in Porsche's fleet. So far, no reports of incidents in the field.

The recall applies to cars manufactured from March 7, 2012 through November 12, 2012.

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2013 Porsche 911: These Gauges Never Go Out of Style

February 25, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

Much like the exterior design of the Porsche 911, the design of the gauges hasn't changed much over the years. Porsche's designers still put the tachometer in the middle and everything else wherever its fits. It works, so why mess it up?

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Octane Requirement

February 21, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Apparently, nobody at Porsche realizes that a good chunk of the USA technically does not meet their minimum requirement of 93 octane.

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Hokey Key Fob

February 14, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I don't know. I guess this was cute for a couple of hours when it was introduced (I think) on the Panamera, but today the car-shaped key fob for our long-term 2013 Porsche 911 strikes me as...a bit cheesy.

The romantic notion of yesteryear was that the Porsche owner would plop his keys on the top of the bar with pride. With this thing, no way. It feels weird when operating its buttons, and sticking a miniature car into the key slot in the dashboard? Let's just say that this key fob would be the coolest thing in the world to the fifteen year-old version of me.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Sport Chrono And Visibility

February 12, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Dashboards are heavily textured not simply to look good, but so that they don't reflect light. It's an easy way to avoid casting reflections on the inside of the windshield. They're also almost universally colored black for the same reason. Dashboards of race cars are 'flocked' to take this visibility-maximizing approach to the next level.

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2013 Porsche 911: Still Not Sure About PDK

February 8, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

An automatic in a Porsche 911? Yeah, it sounds bad, but only if you've never used Porsche's PDK automatic. It makes a very good case for the demise of the manual transmission.

Shifts from the PDK are ridiculously quick, well timed, and every bit as firm as you can muster with a manual. And that's before you even put it in "Sport" mode. You can try to confuse it and nothing happens, it does the right thing anyway.

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2013 Porsche 911: Adding Oil and Water in the 991

February 6, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Hanging the engine off the back end of the 911 creates its own unique set of challenges, like basic maintenance for one. The engine in a 911 is buried so deep within its bodywork that you're lucky to see so much as a single hose let alone any of the actual mechanical parts that make this thing run.

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013 Porsche 911: Unique Light Design

February 5, 2013

2013 Porsche 911

You might have noticed that all Porsche 911's look somewhat alike. Sticking to a design formula for over 50 years will do that to most people's sense of recognition.

The new 991-series 911 is way different. It's bigger, faster and has an all-new interior. Of course, none of that really helps when you spot one on the road and start thinking to yourself, "Is that a new 911? Or just one of the fourteen models that came out in 2012?"

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2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet: Finding the Right Tire Pressure

January 18, 2013

2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

The long-term road test on our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet started off on a sour note. I was the one to break the news that our car had terrible ride quality, but it was the buzz of the office.

We placed the blame entirely on the optional 20-inch wheels. Sidewall, after all, is your friend. But after my long-term update and (our Editor in Chief complained about the issue on Twitter) we found out that there may have been another culprit: Our tire pressure.

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