2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Review

Not quite as mental quick as a Turbo S, not as affordable as a Carrera S Cabriolet, not as practical as a regular coupe, but you still would, wouldn’t you?

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in UAE

The Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet: it has a 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six putting out 520bhp giving a 0-100kph acceleration time of 3.5seconds (3.3 in Sports Plus mode) and a top speed of 315kph. There is self-selecting all-wheel drive and a 7-speed double-clutch auto. Plus you get a power-folding canvas top that seals you in nicely but which you can’t see out of very well towards the sides and rear. It’s quick, it’s solid, it’s a Porsche – what more do you want to know?

The fact is that for some people that’s all the info they need, because they’ll have already made up their mind to go out and buy this. And that’s the thing about determined 911 buyers, they’re pre-sold into the proposition. And generally, not only have they made the decision to buy a 911, but precisely which one. For example, if I bought a 911, it would be a manual Carrera S, probably in Targa form (hope to bring you a Targa review next month!).

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in UAE

But if you haven’t quite made up your mind, even to buy a 911, let alone which one, then stay with me for a bit.

So then, should you buy a Porsche 911? If you’re asking that question then, yes, of course you should. Forget all the stuff about it being basically an old design dating back to the early 1960s; that’s it is fundamentally flawed, because the engine is slung over the back acting like a pendulum of death when it goes a bit wrong; and that’s it’s essentially just a highly evolved variant of Hitler’s favourite people’s car, the original Volkswagen Beetle – all of which is true of course!

Yet the 911 remains the definitive sportscar template, exhilarating to drive, a challenge to master, a design icon, permanently fashionable and cult favourite appealing to everyone from aspirants in Lancers to motor racing legends needing a daily runabout.

So what about this 911 Turbo Cabriolet then?

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in UAE

Bad points:

  • The poor visibility I mentioned
  • Not quite as shockingly fast as a Turbo S
  • Expensive at AED600,000 compared to the Carrera S Cabrio at AED445k
  • Steering feel is not as good as the old 911, and it gets a bit gloopy at low speeds
  • Feels light at the front, needs you to trust it
  • Engine sounds like a tumble dryer on amphetamines
  • The optional Burmester stereo was not quite as amazing as the Bermester installation in the Merc S-Class

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in UAE

Good points:

  • Over 100k cheaper than the Turbo S version – and who will really know?
  • Paddle shifts on Turbo steering wheels rather than the toggles (although you can get them optioned onto lesser 911 models – highly recommended)
  • Ride quality is good
  • After the initial hesitation at the front, the AWD kicks in and grips hard
  • It’s still bloody quick and will beat most things off the line
  • Visibility improves with the roof down
  • In Sports Mode the engine sounds roarty at the top end
  • Driving it with the top down is cool, it just is!

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in UAE

Verdict

It’s odd with the Porsche 911 – I don’t really lust after them like some petrolheads do, and logic says that there are too many, shall we say, foibles and oddball character traits related to its prehistoric layout and compromised subservience to the false god of the rear-engine.

But every time I drive one, I do get taken in by it. You’ve got to admit that it’s got pedigree, and to add some more ‘p’s for alliterative effect, poise, performance, purpose, panache and practicality.

It’s (still relatively) compact dimensions make it a car you drive everyday, even whilst the Turbo and Turbo S models overlap into highly-strung supercar territory with their extravagant power and speeds. It’s also tougher and more durable than most exotics. And it’s less wankery – people don’t hate you as much they would if you were in something Italian plus, rightly or wrongly, perceive you as a ‘serious driver’, not just a poseur.

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in UAE

Finally there is a feel-good factor. There’s no mistaking it, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise – you can’t help but like the 911. The Porsche magic has lasted over 50 years with this one after all, and it’s as enticing as ever.

Having said all of that, personally I would still suggest trying the regular Carrera or Carrera S before opting for the Turbo, you not only save yourself a heap of money, but personally I think the Turbos are too overpowered now (although delivery is a bit more linear and less alarming in regular Turbo compared to the Turbo S.

Driving it with the roof down is more evocative than the coupe though. So my conclusion about the 911 Turbo Cabriolet is that I can’t wait to try the all-new Targa version. Stay tuned.

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in UAE

Meanwhile read our previous reviews of this generation 911 (991):

New Porsche 911 (991) review in two parts! 

Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet review 

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S review

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Review – The Specs

Prices: AED601,800 ($163,850)
Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six cylinder, 520bhp @ 6000-6500pm, 487lb ft @ 1950-5000rpm
Performance: 3.5secs 0-100kph (3.3secs in Sports Plus mode), 315kph, 9.9L/100
Transmission: seven-speed dual clutch, all-wheel drive
Weight: 1665kg

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet in UAE

Which 911 for you? Tell us in the comments section below!

3 responses to “2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Review”

  1. marc says:

    nice report.

    and with all due respect, this is why i am glad to be german. what a car. only very very few cars worldwide manage to sustain heritage and signature over decades in a way the 911 does.

    this for me is THE CAR! (although not in red..)

  2. Navneet says:

    Interesting article!

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