Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet

The new Porsche 911 C4S Cabriolet has subtle styling – but its performance is an entirely different matter

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

Porsche has always appealed to purists, and this four-wheel-drive Cabriolet is an impressive addition to the line-up. It’s extremely secure in the wet, and accomplished as a drop-top in warm weather, too. It costs around £5,000 more than the two-wheel-drive equivalent, but you get an even more usable car for your money.

Until the flagship Turbo arrives later this year, the four-wheel-drive C4S Cabriolet is the pinnacle of the Porsche 911 soft-top range. When we drove the C4S coupe in February, we loved its all-weather composure, but with the added ability to drop the roof in 13 seconds, this could be the supercar for every season.

Unless you’re a die-hard fan of the brand, it’s hard to tell this car apart from lesser models in the 911 line-up. At the back, it gets the same swollen arches and wide track as the coupe S, plus a subtle red LED strip to link the rear light clusters.

The roof is shaped to match the standard 911’s iconic profile, and while it lacks the visual drama of the Audi R8 Spyder, our car came with a smart red canvas roof to match the optional ruby leather cabin.

It’s a subtle look, but once you turn the key to start the 3.8-litre flat-six, all eyes will be on the Cabriolet. It barks in to life and settles to a low grumble, which takes on a more metallic edge once you activate the optional sports exhaust on our model.

Previous versions of the 911 Cabriolet felt compromised by the added weight and complexity of having a folding roof but, with the C4S, the gap between the soft and hard-tops is smaller than ever.

Push the throttle flat and the car will rocket from 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds – that’s only two-tenths slower than a 4S coupé with the PDK auto box.

This blistering acceleration is partly down to the £1,376 optional Sport Chrono Pack, which adds launch control and active engine mounts to knock two-tenths from the standard car’s 4.5-second 0-62mph time.

Adding four-wheel drive gives the already planted handling an even more reassuring and composed feel and, unless you really push it, you rarely feel power being sent to the front wheels.

The extra £1,772 Porsche asks for a sports exhaust seems a touch over the top, but the spine-tingling growls and crackles soon confirm you’ve got your money’s worth, especially with the hood neatly stowed behind the seats.

The roof folds at up to 35mph, too, which means you can exploit a break in the weather without needing to stop at the roadside. Refinement is on par with the standard car’s, and wind and road noise are really well suppressed with the roof up.

That makes the car surprisingly easy to drive on long journeys, while the deep boot in the nose and small rear seats mean you can just about use it as a grand tourer.

Factor in the spacious and classy cabin, and the C4S is very hard to fault. But with the price of our model well over £100,000, it might be worth considering the rear-wheel-drive Carrera S, which is around £5,000 cheaper.

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