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Convertible

BMW Tour – Sheep in a wolf’s package

Are you in for the looks or the performance?!

Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock
Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock

This week I happened to walk past the BMW dealership in Blackrock, Co. Dublin in Ireland. I looked at all the new and used cars they parked outside and first thought: Wow that’s a lot of high performance cars. Many of them have M packages (M for Motorsport, of course), meaning that they have the front and rear bumpers of the M variant of the respective model. M badges on the sides, the wheels and on the steering wheels.

BMW 420d convertible, Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock
BMW 420d convertible, Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock

Upon closer  inspection I quickly realized that most of them are actually pretty reasonably powered cars and that most of the aggressive looking cars are much lower powered diesel cars. For example, instead of the X5 M comes with a 4.4l V8 engine, delivering 575 hp. The white x5 here is actually a sDrive25d M Sport diesel delivering 231 hp. Same story for the 420d convertible and the 5 Series Touring; They are literally sheep in wolf’s clothing.

BMW M135i 5 door, Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock
BMW M135i 5 door, Frank Keane BMW, Blackrock

However, rest assured that there are also some properly powerful and fun to drive cars available. Check out the video below and discover for yourself:

Porsche 991 Carrera S – Generation comparison

From naturally aspirated to turbo

Porsche Centre Dublin
Porsche Centre Dublin

As I walked past the Joe Duffy Porsche Centre Dublin I saw two 991 Carrera S parked next to each other. A first generation in dark blue a second generation in white. Isn’t that the perfect occasion to compare the two?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porsche 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, 1st generation
Porsche 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, 1st generation
Porsche 991 Carrera S Coupé, 2nd generation
Porsche 991 Carrera S Coupé, 2nd generation

The Porsche 991 generation was introduced in late 2011 replacing the hugely successful 997 generation. This particular dark blue metallic Carrera S has a traditional naturally aspirated 3.8l flat 6 engine, producing 400 hp. The facelifted 991 Carrera S, officially called 2nd generation 991, was introduced in late 2015 and brought a major revolution to the Carrera family: turbocharger. Yes, indeed, this Carrera S is carrying a turbo charged 3l Flat 6 engine, producing 420 hp.

The external differences

The front bumper and air intakes have been re-designed. The LED daytime running lights are much slimmer on the second generation. Even though the headlight units are identical from the exterior, they have also been revised and are now featuring four-point daytime running lights. In the back, we can spot four major changes compared to the previous version:

  1. The general shape of the rear bumper
  2. The shape and centered position of the exhaust pipes
  3. The three dimensional shape of the taillights
  4. And the engine cover grill or vent which now shows 24 vertical lines instead of the previous three horizontal blades

When it comes to the wheels and chassis, the Sport version with the red brake calipers is almost identical. Only the back tires are half an inch larger on the newer model.

Front wheel, Porsche 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, 1st generation
Front wheel, Porsche 991 Carrera S Cabriolet, 1st generation
Front wheel, Porsche 991 Carrera S Coupé, 2nd generation
Front wheel, Porsche 991 Carrera S Coupé, 2nd generation

 

 

A zest of 918 in the cabin

Inside, only changes have been made where it really mattered: the steering wheel has been replaced with a 918-inspired wheel, eliminating once and for all the counter-intuitive gear changing buttons on the standard wheel. Moreover, the infotainment system has also been upgraded.

Check out the video for a better illustration of the comparison:

2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet” – 1/18 NOREV model car

History of the car

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

The Porsche 997 model generation was launched in 2004 and was on sale till the end of 2012. This “Turbo Cabriolet” or convertible model, was part of the first generation 997, before it got a major overhaul in July 2008. Porsche officially launched the 997 Turbo in June 2006. The convertible version was introduced a little bit more than a year later, in September 2007. It is powered by a 3.6 L six cylinder boxer engine with a biturbo charger with variable turbo geometry, generating an output of 480 hp with 620 Nm. The overboost function even allows it to get up to 680 Nm for a brief period of time. Since this is an all-wheel-drive car, the massive power output is distributed to all four wheels. Due to the obvious lack of a fixed roof, the cabriolet’s chassis had to be strengthened, adding 70 kg compared to the coupé.

Exterior

Let’s look at the exterior of the car. This particular one is painted in Macadamia metallic, the official paint you would get on your 1/1 size car. As every Porsche, it comes with the Porsche crest on the front of the trunk. The “Turbo” distinguishes itself from the standard Carrera with a more bulky, muscular front bumper, side air intakes and a big rear spoiler. Moreover, like on the “Carrera 4S” I reviewed previously, none of the lights are actually functioning on this car. Nevertheless, the turn signal and day time running lights are clearly distinguishable. Furthermore, it comes with the German license plate in the back and the front: “S CT 911”, with “S” for “Stuttgart”. In traditional Porsche fashion, the fuel filler cap is located on the right front fender. However, it doesn’t open and is simply shaped into the body.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

The wheels are a nice replica of the 19” “Turbo” items. They have tire profile, as well as markings on the wall: “Michelin Pilot Sport” with the traditional Michelin logo and the tire size inscription: 235/35 ZR 19 for the front tires and 295/30 ZR 19 for the rear tires. Sadly, NOREV made the same mistake as on the “Carrera 4S”, wearing the wider body as the standard “Carrera”, it should have the larger 305/30 ZR 19 sized tires in the back. Nevertheless, the rear tires are effectively larger than the front ones. Anyway, the rims are perfectly replicated and do each have a Porsche logo in the center. Looking behind the wheels we can admire the replica of the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) consisting of ventilated brake disks and yellow brake calipers with “Porsche” written on them. All of the wheels are turning and the front ones are directional and connected to the steering wheel. The lower body protection lip that follows the entire side of the car is accurately replicated as well.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

The door handles are accurately modelled. Being “pull-out” handles, it would have been nice to be able to grab the handle completely, but since it forms a single piece with the door as on other NOREV Porsches of this generation, it’s understandable that NOREV just gave it the overall shape molded into the door. In the back, as mentioned before, one big difference to the standard “Carrera” is the massive rear spoiler. On the real car it even rises further up at 75 mph / 120 km/h. We can even spot the center brake light. The lower part of the back bumper follows the same muscular treatment as the front one: large air outlets on either side, as well as large oval shaped exhaust pipes embedded into the bumper. In fact, the only thing that resembles the standard Carrera are the taillights. Moreover, the model lettering “Turbo” is nicely put just above the bar. The attention to details is very high. This being the convertible version, I can add that the roof goes up in 20 seconds. However, on this model, it’s just a cover, it doesn’t actually move.

Engine Bay

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

Time to look at the flat six boxer engine. Similar to the “Carrera 4S”, there is not a huge amount of things we can see from above, even less. But what’s there is very detailed. As a matter of fact, the only thing we can clearly see is the air intake system. Notice how it says “Turbo” and “Porsche” on it – it’s those details that make it worth having it. On the inside of the hood, NOREV went as far to reproduce the ventilator. Now let’s open the front trunk. Under the front cover is where you would find the windshield washer fluid tank and under the “Porsche” cover is where the battery would be. Contrary to the “Carrera 4S”, the “Turbo” version has the CD changer on the right hand side, thus taking some space from the trunk load capacity. Very nice touch, even the inner side of the trunk lid shows the original frame shape.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

Undercarriage

Again, you might think that it’s quite cheaply made with that completely covered undercarriage. However, since the 997 came with a completely covered undercarriage for better protection and enhanced aerodynamics, this is actually quite accurate. Only the engine is clearly visible. With the exception of the exhaust pipes and mufflers, the undercarriage is completely identical to NOREV’s “Carrera 4S”. Although they are hardly visible, the suspensions do actually work! The chassis is bolted to the body with 10 screws – four in the front, two in the middle and four in the back. The Porsche brand and model designations are clearly visible in the middle, as well as the NOREV logo between the front wheels. The most interesting part is without a doubt the rear, showing the transmission in all black, the flat six engine in grey, as well as the entire exhaust system in chrome. At last, we get a proper view of the 3.6 L flat six engine.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

Interior

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

Right on the door sill we are greeted will the “Turbo” lettering. This one comes in a very nice two color interior: sand beige with a black upper dashboard. The interior comes complete with a three spoke sport steering wheel with the compulsory Porsche crest in the middle. In front of the steering wheel we find the chrome accented instrument cluster with the rev counter in the middle and the ignition on the left side of the steering wheel, just next to the light switch.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

This being a manual transmission version, we can see the gear lever with the six forward gears and reverse gear positions on it. The pedals are accurate, too: accelerator, brake and clutch. There is just an unusual big gap between the brake and the clutch pedal.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

The seats are meant to replicate the fully adjustable sports seats. However, they do no move, nor can you tilt them forward. With the visible stitching, they are supposed to imitate the leather wrap, but everything in here is plastic, obviously. Furthermore, the levers to tilt the seats forward, as well as the hook behind the headrests are painted in silver. Good thing this is the convertible version, so we are able to get a very close and clean look at the interior. It has four seatbelts, the corresponding buckles and even a clearly distinguishable hand brake lever.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

The doors have the exact shape and colors of the real car. It’s nice to see NOREV integrated the window switches for both driver and passenger side, as well as accurately replicated the bi color interior from front to back. The center console does integrate the Porsche Communication Management system (PCM) with all the buttons on the side. It is not quite as precisely done as on the following generation in the “Carrera 4S” I reviewed previously, but it’s still a very good job. The glove compartment does not open, but the handle is painted and does include a lock. Even the leather stitching on the dashboard has been replicated to perfection. Looking up, we can spot both sun visors, the rear view mirror, as well as the handle to lock the retractable roof.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

Packaging

The officially licensed Porsche model cars usually come in a very sober, grey box. In the front we get a simple model designation “911 Turbo Cabriolet” in the official Porsche font, as well as the scale indication. On the top, it simply says “Porsche” – no need to say more. The special thing about any packaging of official licensed Porsche model cars, is the fact that every model gets a distinctive VIN number. On this box, it is located on the side. On the bottom, you can read a brief product description in six different languages, as well as the logos and designations of Porsche and NOREV.

2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 "Turbo Cabriolet", 1/18 NOREV
2008 Porsche 997 “Turbo Cabriolet”, 1/18 NOREV

Back on the road

This 997 “Turbo Cabriolet” is a wonderful 1/18 replica of the original car. Obviously, there is still room for imprpovement, such as installing a rectractable cloth roof abd adding diodes for the lights, but other than that it’s very accurate and deserve to be an official Porsche licensed product. enjoy!

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