REVIEWS: 2012 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

January 10, 2013
2012 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet Front Right View 4
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Purists often argue that they don't see the point in the convertible version of a performance car, because cutting off the roof reduced structural rigidity, and the power-folding top usually adds weight. To which the proper response is, "So what?"
Even in its supposedly compromised, convertible form, the 911 Turbo S is all the sports car one could ever want and more. This Porsche is incredibly visceral; just listen to the high-tech growl of that boxer six behind you, and feel the punch in the back when the turbos kick in (and they do kick in -- unlike many modern engines that smoothly integrate their turbos, this flat six's turbo thrust is unmistakable).
2012 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet Front Right View 2
What's wrong with hearing that fantastic engine sound up close and personal without a roof? Why not feel the full brutal hurricane force of the wind when you wind out the classic, center-mounted tach?
With or without a metal roof, the Turbo S is an incredible performer. But, it's not one without flaws. The Tiptronic gearbox, for one, is not a great automatic. The stereo/navigation interface leaves a lot to be desired. The convertible top creaks and squeaks when it's raised. And the just-off-the-floor seating position is not for everyone.
Then there's the option pricing. A raft of extras raises the price of this 911 by about 10 percent, which seems reasonable until you actually see what you're buying: grey seat belts for $540? Rear footwell lighting for $415? Side of center console w/deviating stitching for $310? Front seat backrests in exterior color for $1580? Although other carmakers sometimes try to copy it, Porsche's option lists reign supreme as the most absurd in the auto business.
Joe Lorio, Senior Editor
2012 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet Front Right View 3
Like Joe Lorio, I was amused and dismayed by the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet's options list. But what I really thought about when I drove this car was the fact that it might be the last time I drive a 997-chassis Porsche 911. The standard 911 coupe and convertible have already been unveiled in all-new 991-chassis versions, the convertible replete with a slick new rigid fabric roof that's supported by titanium cross bars, versus our Turbo S tester's more conventional folding fabric roof. I suppose it's fitting that one of the last run-out models of the 997-chassis is this over-the-top Turbo S cabriolet; Porsche decided to save the best for last and all that jazz. As I reveled in the big turbo boost in the backside and remembered just how precise and how full of feel this generation of 911's steering is, I couldn't help but feel like I was having one last affair with an old flame before heading into marriage with the new 991-chassis car. Oh, what am I saying? I only WISH I were heading into a permanent relationship with a brand-new Porsche 911. Can't wait to drive the upcoming Turbo and GT3 versions of the 991-chassis.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor
What's not to like about a Porsche 911 Turbo that costs almost as much as my house (and is a heckuva lot more fun to spend time in)? About the only thing better than driving a 911 Turbo on a beautiful summer day is a 911 Turbo with the top down. Acceleration, steering, braking, balance - the Porsche pretty much has it all in spades. And it looks great, too, even if there is a new one just around the corner. The silver paint is understated, but the bright yellow brake calipers give it extra flair. Yes, I could nitpick about the rattle that seemed to come from the air intake on the rear fender, or about the seating position, which, for someone of my size, isn't ideal, or the fact that this car doesn't have a manual transmission. But I won't do that, because those are the kinds of things you forget about when you hear the engine fire up, put the car into gear, and press the throttle. Yes, it's expensive, and yes, the options list is just silly. But if you've got the kind of cash you need to get into a 911 Turbo, I'm thinking that an extra $250 for "footrest in sport look" is the last thing you're worrying about.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor
2012 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet Dash

2012 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

MSRP (with destination): $173,050
PRICE AS TESTED: $189,365
ENGINE:
3.8-liter DOHC twin-turbocharged flat-six
Horsepower: 530 hp @ 6250 rpm
Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm
TRANSMISSION:
7-speed dual-clutch automatic (Porsche Doppelkupplung)
DRIVE:
All-wheel
WHEELS AND TIRES:
19-inch aluminum wheels
235/35YR-19 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A front tires
305/30YR-19 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A rear tires
FUEL ECONOMY (city/highway/combined):
16/24/19 mpg
CURB WEIGHT:
3660 lb
CAPACITIES:
Doors/Passengers: 2/4
Cargo: 4.76 cu ft
Legroom (front/rear): TBD
Headroom (front/rear): TBD
Towing: N/A
EXTERIOR/INTERIOR COLOR:
GT Silver metallic/Sea Blue
STANDARD FEATURES:
Sport Chrono package
Porsche Traction Management, Stability Management, and Torque Vectoring
Ceramic composite brakes
6-piston front, 4-piston rear brake calipers
RS Spyder center locking wheels
Stainless steel exhaust system
Full-leather interior
Sport steering wheel w/paddles
Adaptive sport seats
Bi-xenon headlights w/dynamic cornering
Bluetooth
Navigation
Homelink
Cruise control
Carpeted floor mats
OPTIONS ON THIS VEHICLE:
GT Silver metallic paint- $3140
Heated front seats- $525
Rear parking assist- $530
SiriusXm satellite radio w/3-month subscription- $750
Rear footwell lighting- $415
LED door-pocket lighting- $370
Model designation deviating color- $215
Steering wheel w/deviating stitching- $1025
Black aluminum wheels- $1815
Leather center console- $1295
Front seat backrests in exterior color- $1580
Grey seat belts- $540
Illuminated steel door sills- $895
"Footrest in sport look"- $250
Front and rear stitching w/deviated threads- $1100
Dashboard stitching in deviating color- $310
Door stitching in deviating color- $310
Door handles and console lid w/deviating stitching- $550
Side of center console w/deviating stitching- $310
Rear side panel w/deviating stitching- $390
KEY OPTIONS NOT ON THIS VEHICLE:
Hard top- $3490
Clear taillights- $610
Ventilated front seats- $800
Heated steering wheel- $250
Voice control- $595
ADDITIONAL SPECS:
The 911 Turbo S cabriolet will go from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds (in sport plus mode) on its way to a top speed of 195 mph.
COMPARE TO:
Audi R8 spyder, Ferrari 458 Italia spider, Lamborghini LP 560-4 spyder, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG roadster

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