23 June 2004

Porsche will follow up its latest version of the 911 coupé, the 997, with a soft-top planned for 2005. The new Cabriolet variant of the new tin-top above will retain the multi-layered canvas roof of today’s car, although its speed of operation is expected to drop marginally from today’s 20sec. Passengers can lower or raise the roof electrically below 30mph.

The roof will include a heated glass rear screen and, when lowered, folds into a compact stowage area behind the token rear seats. UK customers are likely to be offered a lightweight aluminium hard-top as standard. Porsche has worked hard to make the Cabriolet as safe as the tin-top 997, and a full suite of airbags will be fitted, along with a reinforced windscreen and pop-up rollover bars behind the rear seats.

Apart from its roof technology, the 997 Cabriolet will follow the changes made to the new coupé (driven by Autocar last week). That means new round headlights, a heavily revised chassis and an uprated 321bhp 3.6-litre flat six.

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