Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (2006)
Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet
The highly acclaimed Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet offer several new features for the 2006 model year.
The additions include options such as two-tone interiors; an electronic logbook to record mileage, journey length, date and time; an extended navigation module that allows drivers to trace back to a starting point even when the road does not appear on the navigation system's internal map; a tire-pressure monitoring system, and new 19-inch Carrera Sport wheels. Also for 2006, the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system plays MP3 encoded CDs through the CD unit.
X51 kit boosts already impressive power of the Carrera S Cabriolet
Additionally, the X51 Power Kit is available for the already more powerful 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. Featuring revised cylinder heads, carbon-fiber air cleaner housing, an aluminum air intake system, a reprogrammed engine control unit, and revised exhaust manifolds with sport exhaust and specially tuned tailpipes, the kit increases power, cuts acceleration times and increases the top track speed of this special model.
With the kit, the horsepower rating of the Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet's 3.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine increases from 355 (SAE) to 381 (SAE). Acceleration from a standing start to 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) drops by two-tenths of a second — to just 4.5 seconds with a manual transmission and to 4.9 seconds with Tiptronic® S.
With the manual gearbox, the Carrera S Cabriolet's top track speed climbs to 186 miles per hour.
Porsche enhances the Cabriolet experience
The Porsche 911 Carrera and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet were designed and developed in parallel with the fixed-roof sports cars. Instead of merely taking a coupe, cutting off its top and then reinforcing its structure with weighty panels, Porsche engineers were able to provide the pleasures of open-top motoring by designing a vehicle that offers the stiffness and strength without unwanted weight. The result is outstanding dynamic performance with exceptional safety protection.
Because of such efforts, the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Cabriolet not only match the coupes in their top speed potential, but have safety features that provide:
- unparalleled low weight among Cabriolet roof structures;
- a lower center of gravity — and thus better vehicle dynamic control — than even other sports car Cabriolets;
- opening or closing of the top while the car is moving at speeds of approximately 30 miles per hour (50 km/h);
- a standard wind deflector to assure as calm and quiet a passenger compartment whether the top is up or down;
- six airbags, including an auto industry first from Porsche — head-protecting airbags that emerge from the top of the doorsills, as standard equipment;
- supplemental safety bars behind each seat that automatically extend when sensors detect a potential rollover situation;
- Porsche Stability Management, a technology to help the driver maintain control in emergency situations, as standard equipment.
For the 2006 model year, all Porsche 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Cabriolet join the coupes in offering the latest generation of front airbag sensors as standard equipment.
S designates special Porsche models
A year ago, the launch of this latest generation of the Porsche 911 Cabriolets marked the first time since 1977 that Porsche powered its flagship model with a pair of engines.
The Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet carries a 3.6-liter flat six-cylinder engine with 325 (SAE) horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet draws on a 3.8-liter engine providing 355 (SAE) horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque — and for 2006, those figures can be boosted with the new X51 Power Kit.
But the "S" designation on a Porsche signifies much more than a trim upgrade or option package. It underscores the fact that this is a unique version of the car. The first Porsche to wear an "S" badge was the 356 in 1952, when the S type was equipped with a 1.5-liter "Super" engine. Perhaps the most famous "S" model in the company's history was the 911 S launched in 1967. More recently, Porsche enthusiasts have enjoyed the enhanced athleticism of vehicles such as the 911 Carrera S, the Boxster S and the Cayenne S. For 2006, the new Cayman S is available.
The larger and more powerful 3.8-liter engine in the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is only one of several features that distinguish a car that has such standard equipment as Porsche Active Suspension Management, larger brakes with red-painted calipers and larger wheels. Additional standard fitments include Bi-Xenon headlights, a sports steering wheel, aluminum-look interior trim and dials and a silver-colored rear deck lid logo.
Every year, the 911 just gets better
The 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera and 2005 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet may look similar to the 911 Cabriolets that came before, but as part of the newest generation of 911s, they are thoroughly updated models inside and out. They feature six-speed manual transmissions or optional Tiptronic S gearboxes with shift buttons on the steering wheel, variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering, Porsche Active Suspension Management (optional on the 911 Carrera and standard on the 911 Carrera S), an optional Sport Chrono Package Plus that records and displays lap times, as well as a passenger compartment with several seating options and a long list of active and passive safety equipment.
Enhanced safety sensors
For 2006, every Porsche 911 Carrera and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet comes equipped with full-size front airbags for both front occupants. Both front airbags use an organic-based propellant that not only makes them lighter and more compact, but easier to recycle as well. The passenger seat also features weight sensors that automatically switch off the passenger airbag when child seats are detected. The front airbags are augmented by a side-impact protection system featuring side airbags integrated into the front seats that work in tandem with head protection airbags that deploy upward from their housings in the door windowsills.
Porsche was the first automaker to equip its convertibles and roadster models with this new side-protection technology.
Another new safety feature is the optional tire-pressure monitoring system. Wheel sensors constantly monitor the air pressure in each tire and alert the driver with two warnings. A "gentle" warning in white text appears on the digital display within the tachometer if air pressure drops by more than 2.9 psi but less than 5.8 psi. This warning appears for 10 seconds each time the car is started. A "stern" warning is displayed in red text on the tachometer's digital display if air pressure drops more than 5.8 psi or if pressure is falling by more than 2.9 psi per minute. This warning appears as soon as the respective values are exceeded, whether the vehicle is stationary or moving.
The Porsche Cabriolets were designed for safe motoring. In addition to an extra-stiff body shell designed to provide maximized energy absorption in a collision, the Cabriolets have supplemental safety bars with elements made of ultra-strong steel as well as six airbags, all as standard equipment.
In addition, a rollover sensor integrated into the airbag control unit positioned in the middle of the car deploys the supplemental safety bars and activates the seat-belt tensioners when it recognizes the dynamic forces that could lead to a rollover situation.
Lower center of gravity
Contributing to the dynamic capabilities of both the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is a carefully designed convertible top. While fully suited for even the coldest winter weather, the top weighs only 93 pounds (42 kilograms) — including all of its system components. This represents only half of the weight of a collapsible metal roof like those used on some premium-class convertibles.
This lighter weight top and system components lower the center of gravity of the Porsche Cabriolets, enhancing the cars' dynamic potential.
By designing Coupe and Cabriolet in parallel, Porsche engineers were able to place necessary structural components in the convertible right from the start. As a result, the Cabriolet body-in-white is 5 percent more resistant to torsional bending and 9 percent stiffer in regards to static flexing compared to the previous generation, yet weighs only 15.4 pounds (seven kilograms) more than the coupe body.
Even with the motors needed to operate its Z-folding top, the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S Cabriolets weigh only about 180 lbs. (85 kg.) more than their coupe counterparts.
Porsche Stability Management provides active safety
To further enhance dynamic control, all 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is equipped with the new, second-generation Porsche Stability Management (PSM®) as standard equipment. PSM is a technology designed to help the driver maintain control of the car.
Porsche Stability Management uses data from several sensors to detect a loss of grip and enhances driver control by applying braking to individual wheels and, if necessary, by reducing engine torque. PSM benefits from the latest generation of anti-lock brake sensors that take their readings not from conventional wheel pulses but from multi-pole seats fitted directly on the wheel bearings. These improved signals allow more precise processing and control. Instead of conventional shaft valves, linear solenoid valves adjust brake pressure with nearly infinite precision.
To provide pressure more quickly, a new hydraulic pump is used, while a pre-charging pump and its connections are eliminated, reducing system weight by 25 percent, or 6.6 pounds (three kg).
Another enhancement to PSM gives the enthusiast driver more control over the system. When turned off, the system only reactivates automatically if the brake pedal is pushed hard enough to exceed the ABS control threshold on at least one front wheel, allowing the enthusiast driver more dynamic freedom, including slight use of the brakes in curves.
Sharing most of their body components with the coupes, the Porsche Cabriolets have a low drag coefficient of 0.29. With special airflow engineering over, under and around the car, including the rear wing with its extra reach, the lift forces on the front and rear axles of the new Porsche Cabriolets remain consistently close to zero all the way to the car's top speed range.
The all-weather Cabriolet
The 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet optimize the driving experience whether the top is up or down, rain or shine.
In inclement weather, water ducts above the doors prevent rainwater from dripping down. Instead, the water flows into a door-seal drain in the A pillar (next to the windshield).
The top also features a glass rear window with an integrated defroster.
In top-down weather, the standard wind deflector helps to keep the cockpit calm enough for conversation between driver and passenger, even at considerable rates of speed.
Should the weather change suddenly, the top can be opened or closed, in a mere 20 seconds. It can also be opened or closed in 26 seconds while the car is moving at up to 50 kilometers per hour (approximately 30 mph).
The top is designed in a "Z" configuration so that when it folds, it's outer side faces up and also helps to protect the glass window.
Powerful 3.6-liter engine in the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Porsche's familiar 3.6-liter, horizontally opposed six-cylinder "boxer" engine provides the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with 325 (SAE) horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. This engine propels the Cabriolet from a standing start to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 5.0 seconds, to 99 mph (160 km/h) in only 11.4 seconds and to nearly 125 mph (200 km/h) in 18.3 seconds. The car can complete a standing kilometer sprint (.62 miles) in 24.1 seconds and achieves a top speed of 177 mph (285 km/h) on the test track.
Crucial to the engine's outstanding performance is Porsche's patented VarioCam® Plus valve management technology that combines camshaft control on the intake side with variable valve lift. VarioCam Plus adjusts camshaft position to provide continuously adjustable valve timing and incorporates two camshaft profiles and two sets of tappets to vary valve lift and duration. This system both fattens and smoothes the torque curve while reducing emissions.
To provide optimum oil flow through the alloy engine block and cylinder heads, Porsche uses integrated dry sump lubrication and three oil pumps — one in the crankcase and additional pumps within each cylinder head, thus ensuring proper lubrication despite the forces of hard acceleration, braking or cornering.
The oil pump on the 4-5-6 cylinder head is combined with a pneumatic vane-cell pump to provide necessary vacuum for the brake servo, as well as the engine and transmission control systems. This technology greatly reduces hydrocarbon emissions following a cold start and engine warm-up.
Because engine oil level is monitored electronically every time the car starts, the engine has no need for the traditional dipstick. This is yet another example of Porsche engineers' dedication to reducing unnecessary components and to make the 911 Carrera Coupe as lightweight as possible.
Even more powerful 3.8-liter engine for Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabiolet
To create the more powerful 3.8-liter engine that provides 355 (SAE) horsepower for the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S, engineers did more than simply increase the bore diameter by 0.12 inches (3 mm). They changed the intake manifold and modified the intake camshaft lift pattern. Injector angles were changed to enhance fuel flow to the center of the combustion chamber. This enhanced fuel/air mixture also reduces exhaust emissions, even after a cold start, and increases torque throughout the power curve. A short-pipe exhaust manifold for the Porsche 911 Carrera S engine further reduces emissions.
Performance figures include 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.7 seconds, 0 to 99 mph in 11.0 seconds and 0 to nearly 125 mph in 17.1 seconds. The car can sprint one kilometer (.62 miles) from a standing start in just 23.6 seconds. For confident passing, the engine provides such strong torque that even in fifth gear the Porsche 911 Carrera S accelerates from 50 to 75 mph (80 to 120 km/h) in just 6.4 seconds.
The intake system was further designed to provide less resistance. A Helmholtz resonator is used to enhance acoustics. This provides more than 18 cubic inches (0.3 liters) of additional resonance volume between the hot-film air mass meter and the throttle butterfly and is activated between 5,000 and 6,000 rpm to reduce oscillations in intake sounds. Porsche has applied for a patent for this technology that provides a deep, throaty sound without aggressive peaks.
Higher combustion forces produce more power but also more torsional crankshaft vibration, so Porsche engineers integrated a vibration damper in the pulley at the end of the crankshaft. While conventional vibration dampers are made of cast iron, Porsche engineers devised an aluminum damper that reduces weight by some 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg) while controlling vibrations to a level even lower than the 3.6-liter engine.
Amazingly, the 3.8-liter engine weighs no more than the 3.6-liter unit, thanks to its lighter intake manifold.
While the 3.8-liter engine uses twin radiators like the 3.6-liter powerplant, it has a higher performance cooling pump and an oil/water heat exchanger with two additional cooling layers.
Six-speed manual transmission
To deal with the Porsche 911 Carrera S engine's 295 pound-feet of torque (400 Nm), Porsche upgraded its six-speed manual transmission, which is also used in the 911 Carrera Coupe.
Steel rather than brass synchronizing rings as well as thick shafts and wide gears provide strength, yet the transmission's weight is kept down by using extra-thin aluminum in the oil chamber walls. The transmission's internal architecture saves weight and reduces splash effect and flow losses, thus increasing the gearbox's efficiency.
The gearbox uses wear-resistant carbon-coated first, second and third-gear synchronizing rings, with triple synchronizing for first and second gears and double synchronizing for third gear while retaining single synchronizing for gears four, five and six. The driver benefits from reduced force and shorter travel in gear changes.
Tiptronic S is a versatile gearbox
Tiptronic S is Porsche's optional automatic transmission that makes manual gear selection available through either the lever on the floor console or by switches on the steering wheel.
Normally, the lever must be moved into its manual position, but this five-speed unit allows the driver to ignore the lever and simply use the thumb switches for momentary gear changes, such as passing or to downshift for a curve.
To match the power of the 3.6- and 3.8-liter engines, the Tiptronic S was enhanced in several ways. For example, stall speed was increased so the converter lock-up clutch is closed and power flows more smoothly. Instead of making the first-second shift at 6,900 rpm under full power acceleration, Tiptronic S holds first gear until the engine achieves 7,200 rpm. Oil pressure built-up and clutch plates were adjusted for smoother shifts.
To keep the enhanced Tiptronic S operating at proper temperatures, the gearbox is equipped with an additional oil/water heat exchanger with two additional cooling layers and with a more powerful coolant pump.
Throttle tip-in mimics enthusiast's driving technique
To mimic the way an enthusiast driver manipulates the accelerator, brake and clutch, engine management software produces a slight boost in engine speed (blips the throttle) during aggressive downshifting. This shortens shift time and enhances gearshift mesh.
With the Tiptronic S selector lever is in its manual mode and the PSM OFF switch activated, the transmission will not shift up even when the engine reaches the rev limiter. This allows the enthusiast driver to drive with the engine near its rev limit while maintaining the selected gear.
Wide, light and strong suspension
A wide track — 58.5 inches (1,486 mm) in front and 60.4 inches (1,534 mm) for the rear axle — provides a secure footprint on the pavement. But in the case of the Porsche 911 Cabriolets, grip and agility are further enhanced by a lightweight and technologically advanced suspension system and a low center of gravity.
Here is just one example of Porsche's innovative engineering and its determination to make the 911 lightweight but strong and efficient: By using hollow front axle pivot bearings with reinforced and larger diameter wheel mounts, engineers reduce weight, improve strength and, as a bonus, improve airflow to cool the front brakes.
At the rear of the car, even though widening the track normally means adding extra material, Porsche engineers used more efficiently designed and stronger aluminum components to increase rigidity while reducing weight. Such intelligent design also allowed engineers to raise upper pivot points and to lower bottom suspension arms to provide better support for high lateral forces in turns.
In the rear, the axle has been widened by 1.34 inches (34 mm) and the multi-arm axle and its aluminum sub frame are made of more rigid components. However, the subframe also is lighter by approximately 2.2 pounds (1 kg). Porsche engineers also moved the pivot points of the upper track control arms up by 0.39 inches (10 mm) and moved the pivot points of the lower arms down by 0.20 inches (5 mm), increasing the anti-squat effect by 25 percent providing better support of lateral forces and ensuring directional precision in turns. Friction and body roll in turns are reduced and response is more direct. Tire makers worked with Porsche engineers to create tires capable of dealing with the higher forces of both longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
Porsche Active Suspension Management
Standard on the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet and optional on the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet is the latest version of Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). This technology uses active damping to provide two suspension system settings, one designed for an athletic yet comfortable ride and the other for performance driving situations.
By pressing a button on the center console, the driver can switch from "PASM Normal" to "PASM Sport." Even in normal mode, the PASM suspension lowers the car by 0.39 inches (10 mm) compared to the standard Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet suspension setup. When switched into its Sport setting, PASM activates a firmer damper control map to provide extreme agility and dynamic control that minimizes body roll.
But there are significant advantages to PASM even when left in its Normal setting, where the electronically controlled technology automatically adjusts to changes in driving style, gradually becoming firmer to respond to increasing dynamic forces.
The PASM system combines continuously adjustable shock absorbers, a pair of accelerometers — one in the front right damper dome, the other in the left rear — that determine vertical movements of the car's body, and an electronic control unit that has access to steering angle, road speed, brake pressure and engine torque figures.
Carefully monitoring all parameters, the system provides optimum control for each wheel with active dampers. These shock absorbers include a special internal bypass valve that opens and closes to increase or reduce oil flow as needed for enhanced control while providing enhanced ride comfort.
Should the electronic controls encounter a problem, the bypass valve automatically closes, putting PASM into its hardest position to assure a safe driving mode.
Settings for nearly any driving situation
PASM is equipped with five special software modules — lane change, vertical control, lateral acceleration, brake and load change — to provide optimum settings for many driving conditions.
Lane change module: In response to rapid movements of the steering wheel in a sudden maneuver, the system instantaneously increases damper forces on both axles, reducing any tendency toward swaying or rocking.
Vertical control module: In the normal program, damper forces increase whenever vertical movement of the car's body exceeds a threshold, for example, when driving on a bumpy surface. This reduces any risk of the body starting to rock. However, when in the sport program, the system reduces the damping effect to maintain wheel contact with a rough surface, reducing the risk of the car "jumping" around.
Lateral acceleration module: In the normal program, damping varies through a curve and adjusts with road speed and lateral acceleration.
Brake module: As soon as the driver applies the brakes, PASM firms damping to reduce body dive, ensuring faster transmission of brake forces to the road. Then, at a certain point in the braking process, the system switches to softer damping, with different forces applied in the front and rear of the car. This ensures better surface contact and shortens stopping distances, even on rough roads.
Load change module: In all-out acceleration, with the driver lifting off the accelerator while shifting gears, the control maps are adjusted for the front and rear axles. In the normal mode, harder damping is used briefly to prevent too much squat. In the sports mode, a softer damper response is used to improve traction, for example, on a rough road surface.
Large wheel and tire packages
The 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera rides on standard 18-inch wheels. Light alloy rims have a five-spoke design and are produced through a flow-forming process. They are eight inches wide on the front axle and 10 inches wide on the rear. Tires are Z-rated radials, 235/40-aspect in front and 265/40 in the rear.
The 2006 911 Carrera S comes with 19-inch wheels, eight inches wide in front and 11 inches in the rear. Again, tires are Z-rated radials, 235/35 in front and 295/30 in the rear.
Also available as an option is a new 19-inch Carrera Sport wheel. For a particularly customized appearance, the rim star of this new alloy wheel can be partly finished in the car's exterior body color.
No spare tire
Because of improved tire technology, and to reduce the weight of a spare, jack and tools (some 22 pounds or 10 kg.), the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet dispense with those accessories and replace them with tire sealant and an electrical air compressor, allowing emergency repair of a small puncture and the ability to drive at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h) without damaging the wheel.
Enhance braking ability
All Porsches are known for their supreme braking technology, which was developed through Porsche's motorsports program. For example, Porsche introduced internally ventilated and cross-drilled brake discs on the 917 Le Mans racer in the early 1970s and pioneered aluminum monoblock fixed brake calipers on its 935 racecars late in that same decade.
Such technologies have become standard on Porsche production vehicles, as well. Thus the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet stop with the sort of quick and confident authority that characterizes the dynamics of all Porsche vehicles.
The 911 Carrera uses large, 12.52-inch (318 mm) front rotors and 11.77-inch (299 mm) rear rotors, all cross-drilled and internally ventilated and clamped by black-colored, four-piston monoblock calipers that are strong but lightweight.
To match its enhanced dynamic capabilities, the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S has even larger brakes: 12.99-inch (330 mm) front and rear discs clamped by red-painted four-piston monoblock calipers.
Further, the braking system on both cars has a particularly high-powered brake servo to reduce the force needed on the pedal while providing optimum braking response. Careful under-car airflow management that keeps the brakes cool even after repeated usage enhances brake response.
In development, all Porsche brake systems are submitted to extreme fade-resistance testing. Cars are accelerated to full speed, then immediately braked to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h), then reaccelerated to full speed and braked again and again. The acceleration and braking process is repeated 25 times to ensure consistent brake response and pedal feel. These tests are conducted not only on a laboratory test bed, but also on the test track to ensure proper feel for the driver.
Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes
For the ultimate in stopping power, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB®) are available on the 2006 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. Again, these brakes bring technology from the racetrack to the road, where they were first used on the Porsche 911 Turbo.
Instead of metal, the 13.78-inch (350 mm) brake discs are a ceramic composite material — carbon impregnated with liquid silica, then hardened into a very rigid, lightweight and non-corroding brake disc. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake discs weigh only half as much as standard steel discs, thus reducing unsprung weight, yet are so hard they are made using special diamond cutting tools. Special high-friction brake linings also are used to provide amazingly high and consistent levels of friction during application.
Because of their extremely hard surface and freedom from corrosion and the damage it can cause, ceramic brakes reduce brake pad abrasion. They also provide maximum stopping power even in wet conditions.
Latest generation of Porsche Stability Management
Launched on the 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, Porsche Stability Management (PSM®) uses data from various sensors to detect any loss of grip and helps the driver maintain stability by applying braking to individual wheels and, if necessary, by reducing engine torque.
The latest iteration of PSM benefits from advanced anti-lock brake sensors that take their readings not from conventional wheel pulses but from multi-pole seats fitted directly on wheel bearings. These improved signals allow more precise processing and control. Instead of conventional shaft valves, linear solenoid valves adjust brake pressure with nearly infinite precision.
To provide pressure more quickly, an advanced hydraulic pump is used, thus eliminating the need for a pre-charging pump and its connections. This reduces system weight by some 25 percent (6.6 pounds/3 kg).
Another PSM enhancement allows for more control by the enthusiast driver. PSM can be turned off via a switch on the dashboard. In an earlier generation, PSM automatically reactivated whenever the brake pedal was depressed, but this latest version reactivates only when the pedal is pushed hard enough to activate the anti-lock system on at least one front wheel. For the enthusiast driver, this change allows more dynamic freedom, including slight use of the brakes in curves.
The 2006 Porsche Carrera and Carrera S Cabriolets come with variable-ratio steering to help enhance agility on winding roads while helping maintain stability at higher speeds, such as those achieved on Germany's famed autobahn.
When the steering wheel is turned within 30 degrees of its centered position, the steering ratio remains similar to that on the previous generation 911. This helps provide a smooth and calm driving experience, even on rough.
However, when the steering wheel angle exceeds 30 degrees from center, the ratio become more direct, reducing lock-to-lock from 2.98 to 2.62 turns. This gives the driver better control both on winding roads and in slow-speed parking maneuvers.
In addition to the variable ratio technology, the 911 Carrera Cabriolets have steering columns that tilt and telescope to better fit every driver. The wheel can be adjusted by 1.57 inches (40 mm) in height and reach. The steering system also includes an electric steering wheel lock integrated into the car's anti-theft immobilizer system.
Better cooling from aerodynamic engineering
To provide optimum engine cooling without having to enlarge air scoop openings, special ram-air flaps around the engine fan boost cooling airflow at high speeds. At low speeds, the flaps remain closed and air is drawn only through the radiator, but at around 45 mph (70 km/h), the flaps open under ram pressure and provide enhanced cooling.
Special air ducts on the vehicle's underbody tray help to direct cooling airflow to the brake discs, transmission and differential. The cover also significantly reduces air resistance and lift.
Wheel spoilers reduce drag by guiding air around the wheels. Optimized brake air spoilers and pivot bearings ensure effective air around the discs, reducing disc temperatures.
Even the rear windshield wiper is designed with aerodynamics in mind and mounts directly to the window glass rather than to the coupe bodywork.
Distinctive exhaust pipes for each model
To differentiate the 911 Carrera and the 911 Carrera S as they pass traffic, the shape of the tailpipes has been made distinctive. The 911 Carrera has a pair of oval-shaped pipes while the 911 Carrera S gets twin round tailpipes on each side.
The tailpipes are part of an exhaust system designed to make the 911 Coupes as clean as possible. Both cars use a two-stage "cascade" style catalytic converter designed to reach operating temperature more quickly and efficiently, thus considerably reducing exhaust emissions. Advanced thin-wall construction also makes this exhaust system lightweight.
Interior design enhances the driving experience
The interior of the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera and 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet provide an environment with luxury accoutrements for highway cruising and the daily drive to work, but also with the features that enthusiast drivers need for performance driving activities.
Two-tone leather and body-color wheel trim
The 2006 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Cabriolet can be equipped with two-tone leather interiors in combinations of Stone Gray and Black, Sand Beige and Black or Terracotta and Black.
Sport Chrono Package Plus
A clock-style gauge mounted on top of the dashboard indicates that a 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera or 911 Carrera S is equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package Plus feature that not only records lap times, but enhances the vehicle's performance in such an environment by allowing the driver to engage more aggressive electronic control maps for the Motronic engine management system, Porsche Stability Management (PSM), Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Tiptronic S transmission (on vehicles equipped with these options).
The revised Motronic maps strongly favor performance over comfort and provide even quicker engine response, not only on deployment but also on release of the throttle. Even the Tiptronic S transmission makes its shifts more aggressively. Further, PSM thresholds, including ABS settings, allow more lateral slip before intervention and PASM switches to its firmer setting to provide more agility in cornering.
However, in some instances, such as on wet pavement, a softer suspension setting can be advantageous so the driver using Sport Chrono can easily press the PASM button to return to the normal damper settings.
The Sport Chrono package includes a digital/analog stopwatch and lap-counting function (activated at the conclusion of each lap by a button on the stalk on the left side of the steering column) and uses the screen of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system for graphic display and review for this data.
A choice of steering wheels
The standard steering wheel in the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet has a dynamic threespoke design and is adjustable both in height and reach. In keeping with the engineering theme of lightweight technology, the wheel is supported by a composite magnesium structure that reduces the weight of the steering wheel assembly.
A multifunction steering wheel also is available. This wheel allows the driver to operate audio, navigation and telephone equipment via controls mounted on the steering wheel. A rotary knob on the left-hand steering wheel spoke controls audio volume, which can be muted by pressing the knob. A knob on the right-hand spoke accesses menu points on the PCM system. Pressing the knob selects individual items. The two buttons on the lower steering wheel arm control the telephone.
In addition to the standard leather colors that match the rest of the interior, the multifunction steering wheel is available with wood grain aluminum or carbon fiber trim on its outer ring.
Four seating options
Driver and passenger seats in the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet feature a Porsche-patented system engineered to better absorb vibration on long trips. Of course, they also provide outstanding lateral support to keep the driver and passenger in place when experiencing high lateral acceleration through curves.
The seats also are designed to accommodate taller drivers and passengers. Pedals are positioned closer to the firewall to better accommodate drivers with long legs.
The seats are mounted close to the floor pan to help keep the center of gravity as low as possible. This positioning also created more headroom for taller occupants.
Lightweight technology is used in the seat structure. Compared to the seats used in the previous generation of the 911, the seats in the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Cabriolets are more than six pounds (3 kg.) lighter and yet more stable.
The standard front seats are adjustable in six directions — fore and aft, height and backrest angle. Height adjustment is made through a mechanical step function positioned between the seat and the doorsill. Backrest angle is electrically controlled.
All-electric seats are available and adjustable in 12 directions, including the angle of the seat cushion and through lumbar support comprising four air chambers. These seats also have a memory feature.
Sport seats with even greater lateral support, both in the seat cushion and shoulder area, are available. These seats also have firmer padding.
Adaptive sport seats provide a fourth option. They combine the sports design with electrical controls. These seats have four-dimensional adjustment that includes adjusting the width to fit the occupant.
Large instrument display
The five dials that comprise the instrument panel are positioned to provide outstanding readability. The faces of the dials are black in the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and have an aluminum-look finish in the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet.
The tachometer is the largest and center gauge and features a digital display beneath the rev counter so the driver can check speed and engine rpm in a single glance.
The separate analog speedometer includes overall and trip odometers and is located just to the left of the tachometer. The gauge just to the right of the tach includes coolant temperature and fuel indicators, as well as the clock. The oil temperature gauge is at the far left of the cluster with the oil pressure gauge at the far right.
Gauges have white light-emitting diodes that enhance illumination for night driving.
Keeping the cabin comfortable
Automatic climate controls with air and pollen filtration are standard equipment. The controls for the heat, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) systems are integrated into the center console near the switches for seat and rear-window heaters. Airflow through the HVAC system is optimized with large pipes as well as side vents.
Porsche Communications Management is standard equipment
Porsche Communication Management (PCM) is included as standard equipment in the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. An optional DVD-based navigation system is available for the PCM system. The navigation DVD is located in the luggage compartment, thus allowing the slot in the system in the center console to be used for playing audio CDs.
The navigation module allows rapid availability of routes and map updating and 23 zoom stages to a resolution of some 55 yards (50 meters).
Personalized audio, trip logbook available
The Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system, which controls many functions including the navigation system, can now read MP3 encoded CDs and play them through the CD unit.
PCM also offers a new optional electronic logbook that allows automatic recording of mileage, journey length, date and time as well as the starting point and destination address for every trip made. An optional extended navigation module includes "back-trace" technology so you can find your way back to your starting point even when the roads you travel may not appear on the navigation system map.
Standard Sound Package Plus
Standard on PCM is a Sound Package Plus, which includes nine speakers with three times the usual transmission area and with an external analog amplifier for outstanding sound in all driving conditions. The system includes two .75-inch (19-mm) tweeters and one 2.5-inch (70-mm) mid-range speaker in the instrument panel, two 4-inch (100-mm) mid-range speakers and two 8-inch (200-mm) woofers in the doors and two 4-inch (100-mm) wide-band speakers in the rear section of the passenger compartment.
The external analog amplifier is located in the luggage compartment and supplies the woofers in the doors and the mid-range speakers in the instrument panel.
A six-disc CD changer is available as an option.
Optional Bose® Surround Sound System
Also available is a Bose Surround Sound System with 13 speakers and a seven-channel digital amplifier integrated into the digital MOST bus to ensure outstanding sound quality.
The heart of the Bose Surround Sound System is a digital amplifier with a 5 x 25 watt output and additional support from integrated and external 100-watt switching terminals. Active electronic equalization adjusts the reproduction of sound to specific acoustic conditions so all passengers enjoy a sound experience.
The system includes Bose's AudioPilot technology that automatically adjusts frequency levels to compensate for wind, road and traffic noise inside the vehicle. A special microphone in the steering column cover picks up such noises.
Speakers used in the Bose Surround Sound System are Neodym units that are more compact, lighter and have better performance than conventional speakers. A Neodym iron boron magnet generates a magnetic field 10 times more powerful than a conventional speaker magnet.
The Bose Surround Sound speakers include two 1-inch (25-mm) tweeters and one 2.5-inch (70-mm) mid-range speaker in the instrument panel, two 3-inch (80-mm) mid-range speakers and two 8-inch (200-mm) woofers in the doors, two 1-inch (25-mm) tweeters and two 3-inch (80-mm) mid-range speakers in the rear of the passenger compartment and one active subwoofer with two 5.25-inch (130-mm) woofers in the rear parcel shelf.
Plenty of storage area
The 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Cabriolets feature several storage compartments and boxes.
The locking glove box provides nearly 400 cubic inches (6.5 liters) of room and has an integrated rack to hold two CDs and a penholder.
Cup holders are located just above the glove box and are hidden behind a folding cover. When released, the left cup holder emerges in front of the central air nozzle in the instrument panel while the right cup holder rests in front of the front passenger nozzle.
The center console includes more than 90 cubic inches (1.5 liters) of storage capacity as well as a 12-volt outlet and a coin holder. This compartment automatically locks when the central locking system for the doors is activated.
Additional storage pockets are located in the interior door panels with covers that also serve as armrests.
The car's front-positioned trunk compartment offers 4.41 cubic feet (125 liters) of storage capacity. The interior load volume is 5.5 cubic feet (155 liters).
Cayenne-style electronic network
The 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet benefit from a comprehensive electronic network like that introduced in the Porsche Cayenne sport utility vehicle. Thus the 911 ensures complete and efficient exchange of data and electronic information by 29 control units throughout the vehicle through an internal high-speed network or CAN-bus (Controller Area Network) and digital MOST-bus (Media-Oriented System Transport) networks.
Without such electronic networking, features such as Porsche Active Suspension Management would not be possible. The software required for this purpose has been developed under Porsche's leadership and represents one of the company's core competencies.
In addition to quicker and more integrated electronic communication with a wider range of functions, this new electronic system is some 11 pounds (5 kg) lighter than the system used in the 2004 model.
Guide-me-home lighting feature
The exterior lighting system includes a guide-me-home feature that can be selected via the light switch. This feature turns the lights on when you leave the car. In addition to headlamps, fog lights, rear lights and license plate lights stay on for 30 seconds allowing the driver and occupants to see obstacles or puddles of water.
Impressive list of options
Included on the option lists for the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S Cabriolets are Porsche ParkAssist, which uses ultrasound to measure the distance and provides an audible warning to the driver, and a roof transport rack system. Also available are a Sport Exhaust System including sports tailpipes, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a variety of wheel options. Porsche's Exclusive and Custom Tailoring programs allow drivers to further personalize their vehicles.
Standard anti-theft warning system
The 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet feature a standard anti-theft warning system that uses radar to maintain surveillance of the vehicle interior. Unlike some systems, this sensor is not affected by reflections from bright interior leather surfaces. A programmable HomeLink® system that can open a garage door or turn on the lights in your home also is standard.
Safe by design
Due to the use of high- and ultra-high-strength steel as well as improvements in spot-welding and bonding, the 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet and Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet bodies are extremely torsionally rigid and flex resistant while still being lightweight.
Particular attention was paid in designing and engineering the areas of the junction of the A-pillars and the roof frame, as well as the safety structure involved in head-on and offset collisions, including the transition between the door and B-pillars. Forces in a collision can be transferred through the door to the rear of the car and thus around the passenger compartment.
A bulkhead crossbar at the front of the car is made from high-strength boron steel and special assembly processes were developed to minimize intrusion in to the foot well in an offset collision.