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2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet First Drive Review

On Monday, March 11th, 2019

When it comes to numbers on the new 2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, how does 12 seconds grab you? No, not the quarter mile (which the S model makes in 11.9 seconds), but the time it takes the convertible to shed its fabric top.

2020 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

The new 911 is beginning its long rollout of model variants. In January we drove the 911 Carrera S and 4S coupes. So as sure as the sun rises in the east, the 911 Cabriolet follows the coupe.

The Carrera, internally designated the 992, has grown in size (though the wheelbase is the same), and is more complicated than ever, with standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking joining other new tech features available on the extensive options list. Those warning signs aside, our test of the coupe proved that it still retains that essential 911-ness that we love.

We drove both the convertible S and 4S outside of Athens, Greece, on a sunny day in the high 60s. Greece, whose economy has struggled in the last decade, is not famous for the smoothness or upkeep of its roads. Our route was a mixture of iffy coastal byways and pebble-strewn tracks. Very little of it allowed for take-no-prisoners style driving.

We began in an all-wheel-drive 4S equipped with the optional rear-axle steering, the 48-volt-powered Dynamic Chassis Control (an active roll stabilization system), and Power Steering Plus (a speed-sensitive system that reduces effort at lower speeds). These and other options brought the $133,400 base to $166,280.

It also had PASM Sport Suspension, which features stiffer springs and sway bars added to Porsche’s adaptive suspension system along with a lowered ride height of 0.39 of an inch. This is the first time the option has been an available on a cabriolet. Basically, it’s the first time Porsche thinks a topless car can handle it.

Thank the new adaptive dampers that work individually at each tire, using magnetic control valves. The span of firmness is remarkable. Change the sport setting and even your cellphone-addicted passenger will notice it.

If you want a more hardcore 911, you’ll likely have to wait longer in the rollout cycle for the GTS. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a place like Greece (or, more likely, California), where the sun shines most every day, the Cabriolet makes for a compelling package.

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