Driven: Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Convertible
A great cruiser for warm summer nights
As a huge Porsche fan, I'm kicking off my Drivetribe pressence with a short review about a rather new model.
Sitting into the car and everything just feels kinda familiar. Of course, if you you know Porsches a bit. Otherwise it might be slightly different to other cars, or even brands. So you haven't rode a Porsche yet? Well, first you need to know that every Porsche 911 has the ignition lock on the left hand side of the steering wheel.
The Convertible is equipped with the PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe / double clutch) so it is as easy to drive as any other automatic car. BUT: There aren't any pedals. The car comes with some kind of shifting knobs on the steering wheel. Something I didn't expected to see. Alright then, I guess we can arrange the deficit and head on. Okay, not really. I was confused about how the shifters on the wheel work. Usually you pull the panels to shift one gear up and push them to shift down. Another common way with panels is the upshift on the right hand and the downshift on the left hand side. Well, it's either of those variants. I'm confused why Porsche decided to change the functions and have the upshift by pushing and the downshift by pulling the "panels" on both sides. Something I haven't seen before. So I kept the car in complete automatic...
Another negative point in my own opinion was the steering wheel. It feels thin and doesn't look very attractive to me. Maybe because that weird looking PDK aluminium trim on top of it. Unnecessary. And the three-spoke feels like some kind of hard plastic. C'mon Porsche, you can do it better.
The signboard and driving experience
Enough crying around. I really like that Porsche sticks to various gimmicks since the beginning of the 911 history. The five instruments with the rev counter located in the central feels familiar and shows how the 350 Horsepower 3.4 liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine develops it's power. Of course, the Carrera 4 isn't a racer. More like a tasty daily whip or a sunny weather weekend cruiser. Despite of an empty weight of 1'600 kilograms the 911 Convertible isn't quite a lightweight, it performs well on long corners and country side roads. Honestly, the acceleration is way enough.
While driving the car from photo location to another, I recognized the very comfortable seats. Of course they are electrically adjustable and do have heating included. Mentionable is the whole interior. Everything looks and feels great (beside the steering wheel). Once you get into the placement of all functions, it feels kind of great organized. Well, the seating organization in the back seat isn't that funny. Let's leave it with the fact that you will be happier to use the "small bench" rather for carrying suitcases and stuff instead of your friends. The backrest for the rear seats look straight up to the sky. I'm pretty sure that those might not be very comfy for long distance traveling.
Actually the 911 has four wheel drive. I wonder how it performs when driving up to some alpine ski resorts on snowy streets.
Keep in mind that the Carrera is still a sporty cruiser. How he should be. The car truly feels at home on country side roads. The suspension puts away all the bumps quite well. And luckily is not too wobbly, either too stiff. A great mix in between to be comfortable and a glimpse sporty. But god how I want to try a 991 as a manual. I guess even a simple Carrera would feel a bit sportier as a gated version.
Used car market
This 911 Carrera example has 76'300km on the odometer and priced for roughly 80'000 Swiss francs. Definitely one of the cheapest 911 Convertibles from the 991 series on the Swiss market. For sure it is still much money, but I guess the deal wouldn't be that bad. Although most of the cars come as 4S versions with 400 instead of 350 horsepower.
Sure, the car isn't specced to stand out like a yellow Lamborghini or something similar. But honestly, I think a regular Porsche driver wouldn't buy a Carrera convertible because he wanted to stand out properly. Rather for an understatement. To undermine it's presence. Somehow in a classy way. And that's where this example come in. Equipped with a Carrera-white paint job, classy looking 20 inch alloy wheels, brown leather interior with the chronology package and loads of other gimmicks and features around might be a good choice for all weather use. Of course, mainly to enjoy warm summer nights. But who knows where a four-wheel-drive is able to take you to.
Personally, I'd rather take a manual 993 series CarreraS for that amount of money. Just because of the looks, more rawness and air-cooled vibes. But yeah, everyone's different.