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BEYOND THE WILD BLUE YONDER

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Feb 18, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

BEYOND THE WILD BLUE YONDER By Harvey Schwartz

Hot on the heels of the successful launch of the all-new 2007 911 Turbo, Porsche lifts the roof and lets the sun shine inside the all-new 2008 911 Turbo Cabriolet. Just like the all-new coupe, the cabriolet shows the same bold and aggressive shapes and lines seen from any angle; plus the same engineering under the skin helps to make this latest edition of the fabled 911 Turbo the fastest and best performing of any 911 Turbo Cabriolet.

The design and engineering are all Porsche, all world-class. Old world craftsmanship and luxurious appointments abound inside. It surprises me that a car of this ultra-high-performance caliber is so easy and fun to drive. With 480 horsepower on tap from the 3.6-liter flat six cylinder, twin-turbocharged engine, and a massive 460 pound-feet of torque that is channeled to all four wheels through a smooth shifting six-speed manual, or optional five-speed Tiptronic S automatic, this is one of the fastest sports cars on the road. With the optional Overboost feature, the turbo boost is increased briefly, upping torque to 505 pound-feet. In fact, it brutally blasts out to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds, and has a terminal velocity of 193 mph with the top up. Wow! That's fast. The Porsche-designed, fully independent suspension is new and lighter than before, plus it comes standard with Porsche's new Active Suspension Management (PASM). Besides a newly designed suspension, handling and ride quality are further improved because the new car's stance has been widened in the front and rear.

When you turn the key and fire up the engine, the suspension is set in Normal mode to deliver a more comfortable, yet sporty ride, over various road surfaces. The Sport mode activates the harder shock control map, comparable to the typical features of a high-performing sports suspension, and acts to minimize body roll during hard cornering. For the new Turbo Cabriolet, Porsche engineers have enhanced the PASM to work in conjunction with the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel-drive system, and the Porsche Stability Management (PSM). Constantly adjusting to your driving style as well as conditions, these systems help you maintain control without intruding on your driving experience. What you get is an extraordinarily high-level of confidence while enjoying the car's impressive traction and high-speed stability capabilities. With super-quick response to your inputs, this 911 Turbo Cabriolet will amaze you with it's 'riding-on-rails' feel when rounding curves at higher than usual speeds. It just begs you to drive faster and I did with confidence and enjoyed the fun and excitement.

Incredibly, the twin-turbo stops almost as fast as it takes off. My test car came with Porsche's new, optional, Ceramic Composite Brakes. These massive, internally vented discs measure 14.96in. and are clamped with six-piston calipers up front, and four-piston calipers in the rear. Among the benefits of Ceramic Composite Brakes is a 50 percent weight saving compared to metal brakes, quicker response, superb resistance to fading, and zero corrosion. Like the 911 Turbo, the new Turbo Cabriolet rides on big, low profile, high-performance tires. For instant steering response, like a racecar, the front tires are mounted on 19X8.5 light alloy wheels, while the rear tires are mounted on 19X11 light alloy wheels. A tire-pressure monitoring system comes standard. Unlike the coupe, the cabriolet gets a much stiffer and torsional body shell that meets Porsche's exacting standards in handling, over-the-road comfort and occupant safety, while still being light in weight to maximize the engine's awesome potential for breathtaking acceleration and agility at speed. The interior is also world-class in comfort, luxury and safety. Everything is of the highest grade of materials and craftsmanship. Thick-cut pile carpeting feels soft below your feet, and the carpeting wraps into the lower door trim. The high-backed leather sports seats are fully power-adjustable and well bolstered to keep you snug when challenging curving roads. The dashboard shelf and door trim feature hand-cut and sewn leather just like super sports cars costing thousands of dollars more.

Real aluminum is found surrounding the air ducts, stick shifter and bezel, foot pedals, steering wheel, door handles and glove box lock. The sporty, three-spoke steering wheel is leather wrapped, tilts and telescopes for the perfect angle and reach for comfortable and spirited driving. The signature Porsche Turbo specific instrument cluster features aluminum-colored faces lit by white light-emitting diodes. You get a 225 mph speedometer and a larger, centered 8,000 rpm tachometer that integrates the boost gauge in the form of a bar diagram. The interior also features power express up/down windows, power door locks, automatic climate control, cruise-control, intermittent wipers and washers, including HID headlamp washers, self-dimming rearview mirror, power-remote/heated side mirrors, three power outlets, anti-theft system, remote keyless entry, a Bose Surround Sound system with thirteen speakers and MP3/CD player. The Porsche Navigation system features a 5.8in. color screen.

Notable options include Rear Park Assist, hands-free telephone, adaptive sports seats, heated front seats, carbon fiber interior trim, floor mats and a rear wind deflector. The fully automatic soft top takes just 20sec. to raise or lower, and is composed of three layers giving a high level of insulation from cold temperatures and outside noise. It also features a heated glass backlight. In an emergency situation, you can raise the top when going up to 30 mph. The all-new 2008 Porsche 911 Twin-Turbo Cabriolet is world-class in every respect. It runs up front with the other thoroughbreds from Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

© Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz SUMMARY JUDGMENT The 911 Turbo Cabriolet can go topless, but it loses none of its dignity, poise or performance. For more information about Porsche products, go to porsche.com/usa. More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at www.autofotos.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet Price of vehicle: $136,500.00 base $153,890.00 as tested Engine type: 3.6-liter, water-cooled horizontally opposed DOHC VVT Twin-Turbocharged Boxer 6-cylinder Horsepower: 480 hp at 6,000 rpm Torque: 460 lb-ft. from 1,950-5,000 rpm With optional Overboost - 505 lb-ft. from 2,100-4,000 rpm EPA mileage: 15 mpg/city, 24 mpg/highway Drive configuration: Rear-mounted engine, all-wheel drive Transmission type: 6-speed manual standard/Tiptronic S 5-speed automatic with paddle shifter Front suspension: Independent, Porsche designed McPherson spring, strut axle, wheels suspended on track control arms, longitudinal arms and spring struts, twin-sleeve gas-charged shocks with active control Rear suspension: Independent, five arms configuration, coil springs, single-sleeve gas-charged shocks with active control Wheels and tires: Front-19X8.5 light aluminum wheels/235/35ZR19 high-performance tires Rear: 19X11 light aluminum wheels/305/30ZR19 high performance tires Brakes: Standard: 13.78-inch cross-drilled and inner-vented discs clamped with 6-piston calipers front/13.78-inch cross-drilled and inner-vented discs clamped with 4-piston calipers Optonal: 14.96-inch cross-drilled and inner-vented ceramic composite discs clamped with 6-piston calipers rear/14.96-inch cross-drilled and inner-vented ceramic composite discs clamped with 4-piston calipers. Full ABS Overall length: 176.3 in. Overall width: 72.9 in. Overall height: 51.2 in. Curb weight: 3,649 lbs. manual/3,726 lbs. Tiptronic automatic

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