Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

We'd say it's perfectly fine that Porsche isn't pulling any massive reveals at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The No Substitute automaker unveiled something cool at just about every car show in 2011, including its iconic 911 at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September. That's a lot to say for a carmaker that has but a choice few models. And that's not to say Porsche doesn't have anything new. The 911 Cabriolet quietly makes its world debut here in Motown. And yes, it's pretty cool.

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2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Click to enlarge picturePorsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (© Rick Dole)

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Click to enlarge picturePorsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (© Rick Dole)

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

Click to enlarge picturePorsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (© Rick Dole)

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

What is it? The all-new Porsche 911 (991) Cabriolet is a convertible sports car, which like its hard-roofed brother is available in either 350- or 400-horsepower trim. Both engines feature direct injection and both versions are more frugal at the pump than the 2011 editions.

What's hot? Look at it; Porsche has nudged design ahead even further, avoiding the reinvention of the wheel while keeping a logical progression of the historical icon. Even in convertible form, the 991 Cabriolet manages to retain that classic 911 silhouette.

What's not? It's not cheap, obviously (see below), and the electric power steering loses some points in the "feel" department compared with the 997 Cabriolet.

How much and when? The base model starts at $93,700, while the Carrera S starts at $108,000, both minus destination charges. Both cars will be available in the spring.

MSN Autos' verdict: We hate to be so obvious when we give the 911 Cabriolet an automatic approving nod, but who can deny its classic appeal? Yes, this one is more expensive than last year's model, but it's been all but completely redesigned and it really is better in every way. You'll get more standard equipment, too.

James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trend and European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.