It was only a matter of time after the standard 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera hardtop debuted before the ragtop model would follow. Fortunately, it wasn’t that much time, with the cabriolet making its welcome introduction a week after the German automaker held its press conference at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Starting at $94,650, including $950 for destination and handling, the 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet represents an almost $5000 price hike versus the outgoing car. But it also represents a solid case for each and every one of those George Washingtons.
For the first time, Porsche is employing roof construction made of an aluminum, magnesium, and high-strength steel frame instead of steel to cut down on the added mass that comes with lopping the top off a coupe. Porsche promises the car to be both lighter and quieter than the outgoing convertible, in addition to being more fuel-efficient. In fact, Porsche claims it will do better than 23 mpg in new European fuel economy testing, which is similar to our mixed city/highway driving tests. On top of all of that, it’s also a much-improved driver, too.
If that weren’t enough, the car will carry a new 3.4-liter horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine capable of producing 350 horsepower, which will propel it to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds on the way to 177 mph. If that’s not enough, Porsche will gladly sell you the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet for $108,950, which comes with a 400-horsepower 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine. That car will hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and top out at 187 mph. Both cars will come with a standard seven-speed manual transmission or optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission among their long lists of options.
We’d take either: both are positively drool-worthy. Although Porsche is likely offering huge incentives to clear 2011 models off the lot, if you can wait for the 2012 car, we think it’d be worth it. The new car will make it to dealerships in spring 2012.