Porsche 911 Cabrio G-Model: 911 Cabrio by Walter Röhrl

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Porsche 911 Cabrio G-model
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' Ask him Walter '

W As luck would have it: When we were looking for a 911 convertible for this story, if possible red, if possible a G-model, and After asking about the usual suspects, one of them finally said: 'Just ask Walter, he has a red convertible.'

Really? Walter Röhrl, the recognized best car driver in the world, who even in the wildest RSR counter-steers relaxed before the beast even breaks out, who even with a tender 68 years of age easily leaves half his old opponent on the wet Nordschleife with inferior material behind him, the Walter So Röhrl drives a Porsche 911 convertible? In red? Interesting.

That throws my worldview a little upside down. Generally it is like this: the sporty 911 driver only accepts the coupé as the only real thing and already regards the Targa with slight suspicion, because it twists slightly on the Nordschleife. The completely roofless 911 is more suitable for the lady of the house. At least that's what I thought.

'I originally bought the Porsche 911 Cabrio for my wife, hence the electric convertible top,' explains Walter with a quiet smile. So yes. 'But then I noticed how well the car drives and how much fun it is.'

On-site visit with Walter Röhrl

On-site visit in the Bavarian Forest east of Regensburg, not far from the Czech border away. The two-time rally world champion lives with his wife Monika in a small village, the fans know exactly where anyway. It's wonderfully quiet there, the streets are empty, and contrary to the weather forecast, it's pouring rain.

The red Porsche 911 Cabrio is freshly cleaned in the garage and, with its almost 32,000 kilometers, looks like it's fresh in Zuffenhausen rolled off the belt. It is a 1989 Carrera convertible and thus one of the last 3.2 liters; the 964, built from model year 1990 onwards, was already in the starting blocks. The open-top nine-eleven was presented as a three-liter model at the Geneva Motor Show in the spring of 1982 - and caused a storm of enthusiasm among the fans at the time.

No wonder, since the Porsche 911 Convertible redeemed the fresh air fans among Porsches - Drivers of 18-year-old servitude under a tin roof: The last 356 convertible was built in 1964, and the Targa, which has been available since 1967, could only be opened to a limited extent. At theIn the new convertible, the convertible top disappeared under a tarpaulin in the rear, according to old fathers' custom, no bar interfered with all-round visibility and drafts.

Green light for Porsche 911 convertible project came in 1980

That it was so long lasted, on the one hand because, after the development of the Porsche 911 Coupé and the Targa, there was initially insufficient capacity for a convertible project, Porsche also feared a convertible ban in the USA. It was only when Ernst Fuhrmann's management board was handed over to Peter W. Schutz in 1980 that chief designer Helmuth Bott received the green light for a 911 convertible.

Bott commissioned specialist Gerhard Schröder, who at Easter 1981 presented a Porsche 911 convertible prototype - with a convertible roof including new bow technology - in which around half of the roof consisted of sheet steel profiles. This ensured stability at high speeds and could still be completely lowered.

911 Cabrio with a better drag coefficient than Coupé

A small note for sports drivers: According to measurements, the fabric roof of the Porsche 911 Cabriolet even has a slightly better drag coefficient than the coupé because it adapts to the wind pressure. However, the advantage is offset by the additional weight of the stiffened floor pan.

When Bott presented the prototype at the 1981 IAA, he had given the Porsche 911 Cabrio an all-wheel drive train - which nobody was interested in which was only used on the 964. The 911 SC Cabrio, available from January 1983, on the other hand, sold splendidly, and from model year 1987 the convertible top could also be conveniently opened and closed with two electric motors.

13 liters of engine oil want to be warmed up slowly

These are now activated by Walter Röhrl. The rain takes a break and we want to hurry west towards the setting sun, openly of course. Born in Regensburg, he carefully warms up the 13 liters of lubricant in the 3.2-liter six-cylinder, shifts up early and softly, and listens into the car. It sounds like it always sounds, and it feels like it always feels: Even a Porsche 911 Cabrio is first and foremost a nine-eleven.

Now I've already driven in the same races with Walter and could do the art sometimes admire the master's up close, even if only for a very short time, but I have never sat in the passenger seat. Röhrl is probably also fast with a Porsche tractor, but he is very fast in a Porsche 911.

Thanks to slight fine-tuning, the boxer engine in the rear has around 240 hp, a touch more than the series in Germany. When the oil thermometer signals a good 80 grand, Walter floods the combustion chambers, the Porsche 911 Cabrio tensions, the fan wheel howls and the rear enginescreeches with pleasure. Up to almost 4,000 tours you are well on the way, and Walter's world begins above that. The 911 uses the entire width of the road on the lonely country roads, the grip is always impressive, Walter counteracts attempts to break out of the rear with economical movements on the smooth steering wheel. You feel as safe in the front passenger seat as in Abraham's lap.

Plenty of power and draft

'More No one needs more power than this engine, the 3.2 is one of the best 911 series engines, 'says Röhrl and is probably right. If you want to, you can be at country road speed in less than seven seconds and speed over the motorway at over 240. Consumption on long journeys by ten liters, by the way.

The versatility of the Porsche 911 Cabrio is particularly fascinating: if the convertible top is hidden under the tarpaulin, the car is as open as you want it to be. When closed, however, the cockpit is almost cozy and a little quieter than a closed Targa. In terms of dynamics, the convertible is hardly inferior to the coupé, it takes Walter Röhrl at the steering wheel for a coupé to be really faster.

What does a Porsche 911 convertible cost?

All the more It is more astonishing that no more is usually charged for Porsche 911 convertibles than for coupés - especially since they are often in better condition and have lower mileage because they basically stood in the garage as a second or third car most of the time. You have to calculate around 36,900 euros for a Porsche 911 SC Cabrio in condition 2, in moderate condition around 11,900 euros are due. In terms of maintenance, only the convertible top, as a wearing part, causes higher costs every few years.

However, experts expect that Porsche 911 convertibles - similar to the open 356 in the past - will increase in price and possibly overtake coupés at some point . 'They are currently clearly undervalued,' says specialist Michael Knebel. As with every classic 911 today, you can only guess: better buy today than tomorrow.


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