Why do people choose to buy cabriolet versions of extremely rapid road cars? Whatever their motivation it surely cannot be because they enjoy the one experience these cars provide that others cannot: driving very fast with the roof down. driving an open car at high speed is a horrid way of passing the time. You can no longer hear the engine, you’re buffeted by the wind, and the faster you go the more obvious the structural weaknesses of such a car become. They rattle and shake, squeak and groan their way from point to point, all the while being slower, heavier and less sweet-handling than their tin-topped sisters.
That said, if you do insist on buying such a car, you’ll find no more capable example of the breed than this. The 911 has always reacted more favourably to decapitation than any of its rivals, largely because its wheelbase is so much shorter and its structure more torsionally rigid. And while this new 911 places its front and rear axles fully 10cm further apart than previous iterations, compared with any rival its footprint is still extremely compact.
The new 911 Cabriolet is quieter, more comfortable and structurally more sound than ever. Its roof is quicker to rise and fall and seals so well that at a steady motorway cruise it’s easy to forget there’s nothing solid above you.
And even when you reach your favourite road, you’d need a coupé at the far end for the return journey to detect any compromises to the performance and handling. This is, in short, simply the best-engineered convertible I’ve driven.
But I’d still prefer the coupé. even if you concede that dynamically there’s not very much between them, what you cannot escape are the coupe’s more pleasing lines and a price lower by almost £8500.
ENGINE: 3.4 litres, six cylinders, petrol
TOP SPEED: 174mph
POWER: 350bhp at 7400rpm
FUEL/CO2: 30.7mpg, 178g/km