RE: Porsche 911 Cabriolet: PH Trade-Off!

RE: Porsche 911 Cabriolet: PH Trade-Off!

Sunday 17th March

Porsche 911 Cabriolet: PH Trade-Off!

The drop-top 911 is back - and it's good. But can we do better for our nominal budget of half its £100k cost? You'd hope so



It must be tough being the Porsche 911 Cabriolet. After all, you have the pedigree of being not only a Porsche, but the pukka model too - not for you the label of 'poor man's Porsche' that's afflicted so many of your stablemates over the years. Beneath the skin, you share engines and a chassis with one of the finest sports cars ever made. And yet, purely by dint of the fact you've got a fabric roof rather than a metal one, you're deemed by purists to be inferior.

Could all that be about to change, though? Certainly, when we tried the latest model earlier this week, we found it to be closer to aping the Coupe than ever before. "Those intrigued by the 992's latest, greatest blend of performance, usability, technology and innovation will be pleased to find that's damn near all intact with the drop-top version," exhorted Matt after the first drive.

What's certain is that the new Cabriolet's dynamic proximity to its hard-top sibling will make it the 911 of choice for many a buyer. After all, that extra sliver of engagement it lacks is very much the preserve of those odd occasions when you get a clear, empty bit of road - or indeed, race track - whereas the ability to lose the roof is something one can enjoy whenever it isn't raining.


Of course, at £102,755, a 911 Cabriolet doesn't come cheap. And that makes it a prime candidate for the Trade-Off treatment: can we find a used alternative that matches its abilities, yet costs half the price?

Yes, we can. And the first answer is, of course, a 911 Cabriolet. For this price we could easily pick up a nice, tidy 997 that'd tick most of the same boxes as the brand-new model. But... well, that feels a little obvious, doesn't it? Instead, how about this rather lovely 993, which allows you to enjoy the benefits of a 911 Cabriolet in 'proper' air-cooled form? It also gives you the chance to own a 993 for far less than the price of its headache-inducing coupe brethren, and that might just make having a ragtop a fair price to pay. And with values unlikely to drop, the headache of depreciation is taken off the table

If you're willing to pick a 22-year-old car with 83k on the clock in lieu of a brand new example, then, this 993 makes a lot of sense. But what if, entirely reasonably, you're not?


Well, how about this Maserati GranCabrio? Like the 911s, it's a four-seat, rear-wheel-drive cabriolet with a surfeit of power. Yet the Maser arguably looks even better than the Porsche, with it scowling nose and kicked-up tail - and you get a glorious V8 soundtrack and a lavish interior into the bargain, too. This example's done just 23,000 miles, making it a far more viable alternative to a brand-new 911 for someone concerned about such things.

You'll have seen the downside with this one writ large, though: dynamically, it just isn't up to scratch. That's not to say that the GranCabrio is a poor choice in handling terms; rather that it just can't really compete with a box-fresh (not to mention seven-year-younger) 911. Throw in the fact that it's more than a second off the pace in the acceleration stakes despite matching the 911's 450hp power figure, and it leaves us searching for a better alternative.

A better alternative, in fact, like this BMW M6. In the wake of the 8 Series' arrival, these late Sixes have slumped in value in a dramatic way, and that makes them look like real bargains right now. Just listen to this: £49,995 gets you this two-year-old example that hasn't even hit a five-figure mileage yet, and will therefore feel just like a new car in every way.


There are four seats, just like a 911, and it'll hit 62mph almost as quickly, in just 4.3 seconds. And while, like the Maserati, it probably can't boast quite the same sharpness or precision as the 911, the M6 will run it much closer - close enough that few convertible buyers are going to care.

What's more, this example comes loaded up to the gunwales. There's heated this, active that, and connected the other, not to mention the B&O sound system and the balance of the three-year service plan. Whack an extended warranty on it - doable within our budget with a bit of haggling - and you can have the same level of cover as you'd get on the brand-new Porsche, too, thus giving you back the peace of mind you might be worried about losing by buying used.

All of which makes this M6 a seriously tempting alternative to a brand-new 911 Cabriolet. Or in its own right, a remarkably affordable way (all things being relative) of getting yourself into a seriously potent four-seat drop-top. What's not to like?


SPECIFICATION - PORSCHE 911 CARRERA S CABRIOLET (992)

Engine: 2,981cc twin-turbo flat-six
Transmission: 8-speed PDK auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 450@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 391@2,300-5,000rpm
0-62mph: 3.9 seconds (3.7 with Sport Chrono)
Top speed: 190mph
Weight: 1,585kg (DIN)
MPG: TBA
CO2: TBA
Price: £102,755

SPECIFICATION - BMW M6 CONVERTIBLE (F12)

Engine: 4,395cc twin-turbo V8
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 560@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 502@1,500rpm
0-62mph: 4.3 seconds
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
Weight: 2,055kg
MPG: 27.4
CO2: 239g/km
Price: £49,995

Author
Discussion

Water Fairy

Original Poster:

2,828 posts

96 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Here we go again.................... coffee

Brian Fallon

18 posts

12 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
You could also buy a TTRS cabriolet. It only has two seats but does have 4wd. The acceleration is identical and gets better mileage. I have. 66 reg TTRS cabriolet and it is a wonderful drive along with being stupid fast.

Robert-nszl1

353 posts

29 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Brian Fallon said:
The acceleration is identical and gets better mileage
Easily a match then...... smile

Pumpsmynads

96 posts

97 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Is the M6 really almost half a ton heavier than the Porsche?

Half a fking ton?

samoht

901 posts

87 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
If what's new about the 992 Convertible is that it keeps nearly all the Coupe's driving prowess, then I'd suggest a tradeoff of a 981 Boxster GTS , which are just over half the 992's list price. It's still a Porsche and still a flat-six, and still comfortable, but not only are you saving £50k, you also get a naturally-aspirated engine, a lighter weight, a better balance with the engine in the right place, and a manual gearbox, if you want. Plus it looks great, much better than the hunchback look of a 911 convertible, partly because it was designed as an open car in the first place.

This one looks nice https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/... although this has the manual and a <10k mileage for 10% more https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds/used-cars/...
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BakerBoy3000

88 posts

30 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Feel like an M4 competition pack Cab' would be a more fitting rival to a 911 than the larger V8 M6...? If you are going for that though and don't need 4 seats what about an SL63?
Or... My 4 seat choice a Jag XKR cab: even the newest and lowest mileage examples don't exceed 40k. Pretty sure an XKR-S convertible would be in budget too.



CABC

2,486 posts

42 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
my first thought was that's an odd comparison, but on reflection it's probably fair. those who would actually buy a 911 cabrio aren't going to consider a Boxster, nor are they likely to have lightness or handling as major criteria.

st4

1,359 posts

74 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Got to the Maser in this company. What a car.

Baldchap

939 posts

33 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Are aftermarket warranties worth the paper they're printed on? The last owner of an M car with one I heard of certainly didn't seem to think so...

st4

1,359 posts

74 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Baldchap said:
Are aftermarket warranties worth the paper they're printed on? The last owner of an M car with one I heard of certainly didn't seem to think so...
hahahaha

st4

1,359 posts

74 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all

Peanus

131 posts

46 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Pumpsmynads said:
Is the M6 really almost half a ton heavier than the Porsche?

Half a fking ton?
I had to double take when I read it. It’s crazy. Where has all that weight gone?

samoht

901 posts

87 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
Peanus said:
I had to double take when I read it. It’s crazy. Where has all that weight gone?
Gordon Murray said something about it being much harder to get weight out of a car than let it creep in. You start with a 5-series exec saloon which is already heavy (1.5 tonnes bare bones four-cylinder version), create a coupe out of it making it heavier, add a more powerful engine and other kit making it heavier still, then lop the roof off, adding yet more weight in power folding hood and structural reinforcement.

The 911 on the other hand is created as a smaller, lighter car from the off, with only the soft top conversion adding weight.

scoobyc

496 posts

172 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
R8 V10 spyder maybe.... wink

WJNB

1,624 posts

102 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
samoht said:
If what's new about the 992 Convertible is that it keeps nearly all the Coupe's driving prowess, then I'd suggest a tradeoff of a 981 Boxster GTS , which are just over half the 992's list price. It's still a Porsche and still a flat-six, and still comfortable, but not only are you saving £50k, you also get a naturally-aspirated engine, a lighter weight, a better balance with the engine in the right place, and a manual gearbox, if you want. Plus it looks great, much better than the hunchback look of a 911 convertible, partly because it was designed as an open car in the first place.
Perfectly expressed, in fact it makes the clunky ugly 911 cabriolet look superfluous. Unable to think of a single reason why it should be chosen over the elegant Boxster. But then I don't have delusions as to my driving ability nor am I show-off flash snob with something to prove. Time the 911 was killed off.

CABC

2,486 posts

42 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
samoht said:
The 911 on the other hand is created as a smaller, lighter car from the off,
not any more.


ScienceTeacher

332 posts

126 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all

Apologies for the re-post, but one of these is yours for £15K (the car, not the wife)... It brought us plenty of fun.
I also favour the R8 V10. There are several nice convertible ones for sale, currently, at half the price of the 992.

st4

1,359 posts

74 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all
WJNB said:
Perfectly expressed, in fact it makes the clunky ugly 911 cabriolet look superfluous. Unable to think of a single reason why it should be chosen over the elegant Boxster. But then I don't have delusions as to my driving ability nor am I show-off flash snob with something to prove. Time the 911 was killed off.
I’d agree-and a 2dr coupe and/or smaller saloon should take off. They have the hardware being a VAG company

Carl_Manchester

5,107 posts

203 months

Sunday 17th March
quotequote all

the only credible alternative to the 992 Cab is the Portofino and that costs around £180k.

unless you want to be cheeky and present a 997 Cab as an option smile

All the other alternatives suggested weigh either two tons or are missing child seats. Same applies to a C63 S cab.

And yes the boxster is the better drive but if you have to leave your child at home it’s a none starter and no dynamic argument trumps
it.

It’s a bit of a USP that you can’t get around unless the car is actually a 2+2.

If you don’t need the child space then suddenly you have luggage space that R8 pilots sorely lack.

if Lotus made a next generation evora cab on the other hand with a 5 pot engine that comes in at 1500kg-1600kg then this 992 suddenly has a worthy competitor.
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