You’re getting soft with age, too
Road test: Porsche 911 Cabriolet (2012)
I hope the needle was at least disinfected. Possibly clothed in a grey lab coat, wearing frameless glasses, Horst heated up the serum in the flame of a Bunsen burner, before he stabbed the syringe into my helpless, sleeping body, and inoculated me with one determined motion of his bony fingers. With a slight moan, I almost woke up, but then considered the tiny little tickle in my left buttock just a delusion, so I dreamed on. But the next morning, when I got a glimpse of my bloody eyes, wheezing and with ringing ears, I instantly knew there was something wrong.
„The 911 got soft? True. If you can position the steering column with a couple of electric motors, if there are eighteen microswitches to adapt the ventilated leather seats to your arse, if you only need to gently push a button to pop up the perfectly protecting wind deflector, what else could you say? The cylinder layout is the only thing left from the legend. If someone said the engine wasn't behind the rear axle any more, I would believe it. You won't have the chance to check that detail anyway, they hid the block under tons of plastic. Porsche 911 cabriolet, passed away at age 30, rest in peace. The 2012 model is another era, a poser car for pricks, a wannabe sports car for wannabe race drivers.
350 or 400 horses are good for showing off, but nothing else. Who needs the seven-speed gearbox, if there is the PDK? The miracles of microeletronics will more likely form armour around your soft body, than put a weapon in your hands. Guess what, the engineers are proud, that the so-called soft top constructed of magnesium and aluminium matches exactly the silhouette of the coupe, and the hydraulics can close it in no more than thirteen seconds.
Where's the spirit left, guys? You think, we care about the hyper-low CO2-emissions fraud, the start-stop system you recklessly packed in, or the sailing function of the gearbox? You really think it's a good idea to save some millilitres of petrol in the NEDC-cycle with that odd electric power steering? Come on, you should know the term called steering response. Who knows that gargling at deceleration better than you? What about the threatening rattle at idle speed? Shall we just move on, relegate that to the memories of an age long forgotten, will it soon be the privilege of classic car collectors?
Okay, at least they fought long and hard. This is the third big generation change since the prehistoric forefather born in 1963, and this time they really started again from scratch. We have to admit, they stuck to air-cooling as long as possible, too, and most probably, now they couldn't defer this consolidation package any longer. The EU got them by the balls: emissions above all. This is probably the first time, that the displacement of the base model has shrunk. Let's praise Siegfried, it's at least not a three-cylinder 1.2 litre with six turbos, but a 350 horse 3.4, and the Carrera S could keep all of its militant 3800 cubic centimetres, having a chance to produce exactly 400 horsepower in a way God likes it: without supercharging. But can it be wild with rage confined to a cage by the Euro 5 standard?
How many hours of selfless overtime, how much bit moving of red hot CPU's was necessary, so they can proudly state now, they have shaved off on average fifty kilos from the last cabriolet. They were not shy to put so much aluminium into the structure, that even Audi is jealous, and they didn't save on high-strength steel, either. The platform was designed from the beginning to be rigid enough for a cabriolet. But for God's sake, that two-seater still weighs nearly 1.5 tons. Right, I see, the crash tests – we don't even go to the playground without being fitted with eight airbags.
Misgivings are in the air, bitterness in my mouth. This is how the 911 goes under, how the outlaw becomes a coward, how rawness dies and tepid phlegm lives on. “That was it, Porsche” – says the educated fan who can read between the lines of marketing bullshit. But he's wrong, so wrong.