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Photos: 2008 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet

With its fantastic performance, the 2008 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet works best as a track car or a weekend cruiser on mountain roads with the top down. Its mediocre cabin electronics reduce its comfort and convenience for everyday driving.

CNET Reviews staff

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Porsche has kept the basic lines of the 911 little changed in more than 40 years, merely refining the car to its current incarnation as a light-weight, high-performance machine.
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In this version of the 911, "4" means all-wheel-drive, the "S" marks it as a sport version, and "Cabriolet" is a fancy word for convertible.
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Although it is all-wheel-drive, the torque is heavily biased towards the rear wheels, with five to 40 percent shifted to the front wheels as needed.
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The Cocoa-colored top on the Porsche goes up easily. Just hold down the convertible button, and the top powers up and latches into place.
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The 911 Carrera 4S' handling is fantastic. The car goes in the direction you point it, and it takes a lot of speed on a corner to get any kind of slip.
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Porsche keeps the tradition of mounting the engine in the rear, as opposed to the mid-engine placement of its recent Cayman model.
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The 3.8-liter flat six cylinder engine is very efficient, producing 355 horsepower but still getting over 20 mpg in our testing.
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The cabin of the 911 is very nice, especially with the $3,795 Natural Leather option. There are two rear seats, but they don't seem very usable.
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In the cabin, we especially like the body colored metal transmission tunnel cover, which brings a little bit of the exterior inside.
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The six speed manual transmission is standard on the 911, while a five speed automatic is optional.
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The steering wheel controls are well-designed, with rollers at the top of each spoke for turning the audio volume up or down and making selections from an on-screen menu.
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Befitting a sports car, the tachometer is dead center, with the speed gauge off to the side. The speed is also displayed in digital format on the tach dial.
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This attractive gauge comes as part of the Sport Chrono package, and can be used to measure lap times.
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The Sport setting on the 911 makes a significant difference, lowering the car .4 inches.
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Although the maps look good on the navigation system, the feature list is mediocre.
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The points of interest database is somewhat limited in the 911, only offering basic travel services.
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The navigation system's Tour Planning feature makes it easy to set multi-point routes.
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As an interesting but not very useful feature, the 911's audio system lets you name your CDs.
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The upgraded Bose audio system produces excellent sound.

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