The new Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet is the red-hot, range-topping version of the 911 drop-top. It’s fast, frenetic, stunningly designed – and surprisingly refined.
It’s far from cheap, but the small car bulges with power. And while previous versions haven’t been the best to drive due to the lack of a fixed roof, Porsche have sharpened up its handling so that it’s now more fun than ever.
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OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet review.
Overview of the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
On the Road
Porsche have added turbochargers to the new model, and while this often brings one or two compromises, the good news is that it hasn’t diluted the car’s iconic soundtrack. It roars just as loudly as it ever has done, its addictive soundtrack made even more addictive when you drop the roof.
It’s a special experience – although it has to be said that this Turbo model doesn’t sound as special as the standard 911. This is because it’s the most performative engine in the range, and as such, you’ll hear literally everything, which can come at a cost if all you want to hear are those thunderous six-cylinders in full voice.
Where handling is concerned, the 911 Cabriolet has never been able to match the Coupe for handling prowess. While that’s still the case here, this car has never felt so sharp behind the wheel. The car is armed with lots of grip, four-wheel-drive is standard, and the steering is nice and precise.
Refinement is surprisingly very good when the roof is up, and you’ll be forgiven for forgetting that you’re even in a drop top. With the roof down, refinement is naturally less good, especially on the motorway, but this is to be expected from any cabriolet that has this much power.
How much power does it have? Well, the 911 Turbo develops 533bhp. It’s powered by a 3.8-litre petrol engine and can get you from a standstill to 62mph in just 3.1 seconds.
Those are crazy numbers that will have enthusiasts salivating, but the problem is that they ultimately mean that it’s hard to have much fun in this car. In many respects, it’s going to intimidate most drivers and its driving experience is far from accessible.
The roof, meanwhile, takes 13.0 seconds to fold, and it can be operated at 35mph tops.
Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Interior, Design and Build
We’ve already mentioned it once or twice, but it’s well worth repeating how refined this car is. It might be performance-focused, but refinement is excellent.
An electronic wind deflector comes as standard and it does a great job of keeping buffeting down. Other than that, it’s hard to find much fault with the cabin. The quality of the materials used is high as always, and build quality is good.
The brand’s seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes as standard, and you can operate it by swiping with your fingertips.
Is the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet practical? It actually comes with rear seats, which isn’t something you can say about a lot of its rivals. That said, only small children will be able to squeeze into them. Alternatively, you could use them as extra luggage space.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 125-litres, which is 20-litres down on the standard 911. This is because the 911 is four-wheel-drive. It isn’t a large boot, then, but because it’s deep, it is fairly roomy and useful. It’s also located at the front, which means its lid might get a bit dirty.
The car is small and as such easy to park, and parking sensors come as standard.
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Equipment and Safety of the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
Standard kit is generous and includes 20” alloys, a 4.6” colour touch screen, bi-xenon headlights, Porsche Stability Management, sat-nav, climate control, leather sports seats and the brand’s Active Suspension Management.
However, it’s very easy to get carried away here with the optional extras, as it is with any 911. We suspect a lot of buyers will like the look of the brand’s Exclusive personalisation program that allows you to customise many aspects of the car, from the brake callipers to the seat stitching.
In terms of how safe the car is, the 911 has never been crash-tested by Euro NCAP but it’s for years been seen as a very safe sports car. As the fastest version yet, concerns will always hover over this Turbo model, but Porsche have added lots of safety tech. This includes the aforementioned Active Suspension Management, traction control, rollover protection and some of the most powerful brakes you’ll ever see.
Costs of the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
Prices for the new car start at £86,732 and rise to £156,381. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, they’re not as pretty as the car itself. That said, the Turbo is now cheaper to run than ever, thanks to the addition of turbochargers. It can return as much as 30.4mpg on a good day, and it emits 216g/km of CO2.
Insurance-wise, the car sits in the highest group there is – group 50.
Pros and Cons of the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet
The 911 is already a killer-looking car, but with the roof down it looks better than ever.
For such a powerful drop top, it’s surprisingly refined.
Lots of fun
This is not a cheap car but the entertainment it offers is well worth the investment.
The Turbo model is around £100,000 more than a Boxster.
It’s not the easiest car to park.
Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet vs Aston Martin DB9 Convertible vs Audi R8 Spyder
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet review.
Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet vs Aston Martin DB9 Convertible
The new Aston Martin DB9 Convertible is a bit bonkers – typically British, then.
It’s bonkers because it’s just so damn powerful. A super-sized 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine sits under the bonnet, where it sizzles, pops and threatens to boil over. It develops 510bhp, but remarkably has a 0-62 time of “just” 4.6 seconds. That makes it a lot slower than the Porsche.
On the other hand, the fact that it isn’t as fast as the 911 Turbo means that the Aston Martin is less intimidating and more fun to drive. Its steering is nice and light, adjustable suspension ensures you’re never uncomfortable, while a series of driver settings – including Sports and Track – allow you to tweak the steering and suspension so that the car drives the way you want it to.
All in all, this is one of the best convertibles you’ll ever have the pleasure of driving, and it’s surprisingly agile when you consider how much bigger than the Porsche it is.
Running costs? Not good. In fact, its economy is officially pegged at 19.8mpg, but as we all know, official figures are rarely what we achieve on daily basis.
Emissions, meanwhile, stand at 333g/km of CO2.
Inside, Aston Martin have – as per – gone for a sophisticated cabin. It’s comfortable, superbly built, and comes with lots of leather as standard. Meanwhile, hand-stitching lines the doors and this is easily one of the most elegant cars on the market.
The front seats are so comfy you’ll never want to leave, but if we have one criticism it’s that the DB9 isn’t all that modern. The touchscreen is a little dated and a bit of a pain to use.
Is the Aston Martin DB9 Convertible practical? Its 188-litre boot is bigger than the 911 Turbo’s, but it’s still one of the smallest in this class. Indeed, both the 911 and the DB9 pale in comparison to their rivals when it comes to usability.
That said, the Aston Martin does offer good visibility, while a standard reversing camera will help with parking. The rear seats are small, however, and if you want a practical, sporty convertible, you’d be better off looking at, say, a Bentley Continental GTC.
Porsche – £86,732 – £156,381
Aston Martin – £131,000 +
Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet vs Audi R8 Spyder
The new Audi R8 Spyder is a bit of a wild card in this sector – and it offers a wild ride.
It looks as though it would offer scintillating performance, and fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint. The standard R8 is powered by a hefty 5.2-litre V10 petrol engine that develops 532bhp. It sounds like a monster, feels great, and can rocket you from rest to 62mph in 3.6 seconds, no less.
An R8 Plus model takes things up several notches, developing 602bhp and completing the 0-62 dash in 3.3 seconds. Lighter than last time, the new R8 Spyder is thus more eager and more nimble. It’s also stiffer, which has improved performance.
All models come paired up with a twin-clutch automatic transmission as standard that’s smooth and fast.
Running costs? V10 engines aren’t known for keeping costs down, and the best you’ll return here is 24.1mpg if you drive like a monk. If you opt for the R8 Plus model, economy is officially pegged at 22.6mpg.
Emissions, meanwhile, stand at 280g/km of CO2 for the standard model, and 292g/km for the R8 Plus.
Inside, it doesn’t matter whether they’re designing a sports car or a saloon, Audi interiors are always a cut above the norm. Once again, they’ve gone for lots of leather and carbon trims, lots of quality and a clean and minimal design.
The cabin is very modern and comes with the brand’s fantastic Virtual Cockpit system that features a 12.3” TFT display. All models also come with a windbreaker that helps to keep buffeting down, while the electric roof folds in just 20.0 seconds. It can be operated at speeds of 31mph max.
Is the Audi R8 Spyder practical? It’s got just the two seats, and its main purpose is to be stylish and fast. It fills those duties perfectly, but usable it isn’t.
In fact, its boot is even smaller than the Porsche’s and measures just 112-litres. Like the Porsche, it’s located at the front.
Audi – £121,140 – £149,820
Verdict of our Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Review
With engineering wizardry, scintillating performance and a cool look, it seems easy to recommend the 911 Turbo drop-top. However, the high price is the biggest obstacle here.
If you’re the kind of enthusiast who salivates at the prospect of owning one of the fastest open-top sports cars ever (and not just any open-top, but a 911), the raw performance numbers alone will be enough to tempt you. For those who are a bit more sensible in their decision making, however, it might soon transpire that this isn’t even the best car of its type.
That’s a hard statement to make because the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet is genuinely the kind of car you dream about owning. The reality? It’s better that you take it for a test drive to find out.