2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet: First Look

  • Competes with: Chevrolet Corvette, Maserati GranCabrio, Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster
  • Looks like: More 911 iterations are ready for primetime
  • Drivetrain: 350-hp, 3.4-liter flat-six engine or 400-hp, 3.8-liter flat-six; seven-speed manual transmission or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2012

Like most German makes, Porsche is known for having just a few models that come in what seems like a limitless number of models and trim levels.

The options are beginning to grow rapidly for the all-new seventh generation 2012 Porsche 911. The model was first shown this summer in base Carrera and Carrera S trims. While there wasn’t much doubt, we now know there will be convertible options for each – known as the Carrera Cabriolet and Carrera S Cabriolet. The convertibles will arrive at dealerships just a few short months after the coupe variants go on sale in February.

Besides the addition of the power droptop, most of the features are the same as the coupe. 

Chassis refinements include a big increase in the 911’s wheelbase, which is 3.9 inches longer, and the overall height is lower. The model is now composed entirely of a lightweight aluminum-steel composite. Powering this more lightweight 911 is a pair of new horizontally opposed flat-six-cylinder engines. The base Carrera Cabriolet gets a 350-horsepower, 3.4-liter boxer engine mated to a first-of-its-kind seven-speed manual transmission. There’s also an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that was available on the 2011 model. The Carrera S Cabriolet gets a 400-hp, 3.8-liter boxer engine with the same transmission options. The Carrera Cabriolet can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, while the 3.8-liter Carrera S can do it in 4.1 seconds.

The 2012 911 Carrera Cabriolet will go on sale this spring for a starting price of $93,700, while the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet begins at $108,000. That’s a sustainable $11,600 price increase compared with the base Carrera coupe and Carrera S coupe.

Porsche does not change the model year when a new design goes on sale. Buyers should be aware when shopping for a new 2012 911 coupe or convertible that there will be previous-generation cars on the lot with 2012 on the sticker. We don't suspect many knowledgeable Porsche buyers will be confused, but when searching or calling about a new 911 make sure you confirm that you're talking about a seventh generation or "991" not a sixth generation or "997."

More From Cars.com