Ein Cabriolet mit »Wet Mode«? Passt zur Jahreszeit. Definitiv.

A convertible with »Wet Mode«? Fits the season. Definitely.

It's snowing outside. And what do we do? Dreaming of summer with the new 911 Cabriolet? Nope. We'll get our feet wet first.

Text: Bernd Haase Photo: Porsche 11.01.2019 4 min

Splish. Splash. Topless wasn't a good idea today. At least when it comes to hair. The still young year 2019 presents itself with wet snow. It's dripping from your head. I should've listened to Mother. She had always said: »Kiddo put on a hat.« Which, of course, the »Kiddo« notoriously denied. It is ruining the hairdo. Whereas ... not everyone called it a hairstyle what this »Kiddo« wore on his head at the time, but rather something in the »What-will-the-neighbours-think« direction.

Back then, that was about the time when the Zuffenhauseners discovered the topless feeling. In 1982, the first 911 without a roof and without a Targa bracket saw the asphalt of the domestic roads, after it had been presented at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt the year before - and had immediately impressed.

Ein Cabriolet mit »Wet Mode«? Passt zur Jahreszeit. Definitiv.

Those were the times: an Austrian named Arnold Schwarzenegger became »Conan the Barbarian«, »E.T.« visited Earth, and a musical Neue Deutsche Welle with a lot of »Da Da« sang through Germany, in which a certain Markus sang »ich geb' Gas, ich will Spaß (put the pedal to the metal I want fun)«. He was just sitting in the wrong car, unfortunately, at least from the point of view of the boy who had grown up with the 911 silhouette. Admittedly, the two-syllable word »Porsche« doesn't sound quite as melodious as other names. Plus the hard »P« and the hissing »sch« ... already very German, that. Technicall. Clear. Precise. Porsche is actually a very good name for these cars. And at the latest when the six-cylinder boxer howls, the three and four syllable names from other language areas are forgotten. Still works today.

Ein Cabriolet mit »Wet Mode«? Passt zur Jahreszeit. Definitiv.

But back to »topless«. They are not only technical and precise in Zuffenhausen and Weissach, but they also have humour - contrary to what we Germans are often accused of. Or who else would come up with the funny idea of announcing a convertible in the best snow flurry season of the year? All right, its the English, probably. But they have no other choice on their rain island.

So the eighth generation of the 911 gets a convertible version. That was to be expected. Maybe not so fast, just six weeks after the coupé. But they have also announced a »hitherto unknown product firework« for this year, the sports car manufacturers in Zuffenhausen. A topless variant like this is a good introduction to all the variations that may come in the 911.

Ein Cabriolet mit »Wet Mode«? Passt zur Jahreszeit. Definitiv.

In any case, the engineers have come up with some ideas. For example, new roof hydraulics. This means that opening only takes twelve seconds. Works up to a speed of 50 km/h. So don't push the button when sprinting to a hundred, because that's where the 911 convertible with its 331 kW (450 hp) power and 530 Nm torque gets to in less than four seconds. And when the top speed of up to 306 km/h is reached, the bloating of the roof is prevented by so-called surface bows - these are flat magnesium elements that have been incorporated into the roof structure.

Ein Cabriolet mit »Wet Mode«? Passt zur Jahreszeit. Definitiv.
Ein Cabriolet mit »Wet Mode«? Passt zur Jahreszeit. Definitiv.

Sounds good to me. Just like what Porsche promises for the driving characteristics of the 911 Cabriolet: Due to the new position of the engine bearings, it should be even more torsionally stiff than its predecessor. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) sports suspension is also available for the first time for the 911 Cabriolet. In this case, the springs are harder and shorter, the anti-roll bars on the front and rear axles are stiffer, and the chassis is lowered by a total of ten millimetres to make the 911 even more neutral and balanced on the road.

So summer can come. Which doesn't help me right now? Because the snow flurry has condensed. Not only the hair, but the feet also get wet. Which might not have happened with the 911 convertible. Because Porsche has developed the standard »Wet Mode« as a world first. It detects water on the road, preconditions the control systems accordingly and warns the driver. The driver can then adjust the car's safety settings at the touch of a button or via the mode switch on the steering wheel (Sports Chrono package). Or when getting out, make sure he doesn't step into the next puddle. They are already practically inclined, in Weissach and Zuffenhausen.

And nobody says that the 911 Cabriolet is not a car for all weather conditions.