2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet: Better Than the SLS AMG
March 6, 2013
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.
I'll grant you that the SLS is faster. I've gone on record that the AMG M159 V8 is the world's best production aspro V8. There's no denying that the SLS will out-drag the 911. But it's not like the 911 is slow or sounds bad. Certainly the SLS is the rarer car, but neither is truly beautiful. And when the defining characteristic of the SLS — those gullwing doors — must be deleted in Roadster form, well, that erases the point of the car.
Those are all circumstantial factors. What it boils down to for me is the essence of the way a car drives, the cohesion of the elements of the driving experience. The Porsche nails the weighting and response of the steering, brakes, throttle and (especially) the transmission with more aplomb than does the Merc. Know what? The 911 drives like the more expensive car. This, despite the fact that the 911 costs a fraction of the SLS's sticker price. (The 911's seats are better than those in the SLS, too.)
If you're pondering the purchase of the SLS drop top, consider a 911 instead. It simply drives better.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor