- 520 or 560 horsepower turbocharged engines
- Standard 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
- All-wheel drive and active rear steering
Porsche announced it will debut a pair of high-performance, open-top sports cars at this year's L.A. Auto Show, effectively bringing the number of 911 models available to 14. The 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and Turbo S Cabriolet mark the top of the 911 range. With boosted 6-cylinder engines, all-wheel drive with active rear steering and specially engineered fabric roofs, the pair offers staggering performance figures and unmatched style within the 911 lineup.
Given a choice between a fixed-roof coupe or a convertible, sports car purists will tell you the hardtop is the better choice. Coupes are typically lighter and stiffer, which translates to better performance. But why get hung up on an incremental advantage in capability when open-top cars offer such an emotionally thrilling, wind-in-your-hair driving experience? And in the case of the 911 Turbo Cabriolet models, performance certainly isn't lacking.
The 3.8-liter 6-cylinder engine in the Turbo Cabriolet makes 520 horsepower, or 560 hp in the Turbo S Cabriolet. Along with standard all-wheel drive and Porsche's PDK dual-clutch 7-speed automatic transmission, that's enough to post 0-to-60 miles per hour figures of 3.3 and 3.1 seconds, respectively. Both cars top out at a blistering 195 mph.
Of course, raw power, quick acceleration and lofty top speed aren't the 911 Turbo Cabriolet's only performance qualifications. Handling -- also bolstered by the all-wheel-drive system -- is further enhanced by active rear steering and active aerodynamics.
Aside from the mechanicals, styling is also differentiated from the 911 Carrera models. Like the fixed-roof Turbo, the Turbo Cabriolet has wider rear fenders than the 911 Carrera and Carrera 4. Just ahead of the rear wheel arches are giant air scoops that feed its twin turbochargers.
The Turbo Cabriolet's fabric soft-top is stretched over a magnesium frame that, when closed, mimics the roofline of the 911 coupe. The power top raises and lowers in about 13 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph.
The 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and Turbo S Cabriolet arrive in Porsche showrooms late this year with starting prices of $160,700 and $193,900, respectively. By comparison, the fixed-roof 911 Turbo is priced from $148,300.
What it means to you: If performance one-upmanship is your thing, get a hardtop 911 Turbo. But for more smiles behind the wheel, the Turbo Cabriolet models are tough to beat.