How Much Cupholder Can $126,000 Buy?

Porsche should be pleased to hear there aren’t many shared features between the 2012 911 Carrera and my 1998 Pontiac Trans Am. Go figure. The Carrera’s $4,650 Premium Package Plus costs more than what I paid for my mullet-mobile.

I was, however, reminded of my project Pontiac after popping out the Porsche’s retractable cupholders. A similar slide-out cupholder lives in my Trans Am’s center console. It holds beverages as proficiently as a cranky infant, leading to a “no drinks” policy in the TA. Surely the cupholders in Porsche’s $126,000 911 Carrera Cabriolet would be an improvement, right?

The execution is slightly better in the Porsche, but not by much. The most-improved function over my car’s bottle-rocket holder is the Porsche’s adjustable-diameter mouth; it can grasp beverages of varying width. On the Trans Am, fabric flaps are supposed to grasp the sides of different-sized containers; they don’t.

A problem on both is the single wire base that pops down after sliding out the holder. The beverage teeters on the thin base and never feels completely secured. The 20-ounce water and Gatorade bottles I used in the Carrera are secured better than in the Pontiac because of the adjustable diameter that closes to grip the bottle. The bottles still shimmied inside the holder, but never enough to tip over on my leisurely hour-plus commute to work.

We’d like to see an alternative or improved cupholder in the Porsche, but complaining about cupholders in the 911 Carrera is like griping about a continuity error in “The Godfather.” There are so many other positives, it’s far from a deal breaker.

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