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The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet swipes right on summer

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2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

We make no bones about or apologies for our love of the Porsche 911. It shows up unerringly in our Best Car To Buy awards as often as it shows up in our work-day Skype chats.

If there’s a 911 perfected, it’s the 911 Turbo S, which we’ve tossed around on north Georgia’s roads often enough to know the difference between Dacula and Dahlonega. It’s always worth a repeat, even when spring has turned into summer, and cool breezes have been hot-swapped for stifling mid-80s heat and rumblings of a wild cicada sex party. A 911 in any form conjures infinite envy; the Cabriolet conjures infinite, invincible summer. 

Envy away. I drove the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabrio, and I’m ready for more. Here’s what hit, and what missed, while I ran for the mountains and tried to get a free wristband to that once-every-17-year insect throwdown.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

Hit: It plays coy about its supercar status. Sitting in the 911 doesn’t betray any of its exotic performance. The leather seats cool themselves, Apple CarPlay connects seamlessly on its touchscreen, the cupholder fits my Miir perfectly. I could telecommute from here, if I could keep from twisting the ignition. 

Hit: When it’s on, it’s on. The 911’s the dean of TGIF U, the place to learn how to relax—and to learn when it’s good to tense up. Its 640 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque turn its chunky body into a throwing star, lighting up all four wheels through an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. It’s a Stinger missile, good for 0-60 mph times of 2.7 seconds and a top end of 205 mph, if you can hang on that long. 

Miss: It’s slower than the coupe. By a tenth of a second. You’ll live.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

Hit: It teaches a master class in range and performance. The 911 Turbo S Cabrio is the EGOT of convertibles and the GOAT. When I get properly open road—outside of working cell signal range, where even hardy Yacht Rock perennial Kenny Loggins gives up—it’s time. The black Ninja that passes me doesn’t know what he’s done, but Sport+ mode does.

Hit: It’s an immersive experience. The 911 Turbo S Cabrio plays its powertrain percussively; it’s the best rhythm section this side of Atlanta, and I am so into this. The heating and cooling of its turbos ting and tong through Big Gulp intakes, the stiff brake pedal clicks with the application of force, and its discreet shift paddles flick and flap with precision, delivering the same correct resistance as the stiff throttle. At full bore the Turbo S has a menacing, shearing-metal exhaust note that’s not at all for show. It’s fair warning. It can lope along at speeds easily 20 mph or 20 percent higher than anything I’ve driven here, save for a GT-R.

Hit: It’s a no-compromise convertible. My convertible appetite has dulled over time; it has to be above 55 and below 85 degrees to get me in the mood. I’m in the mood. Even before I escape Atlanta’s orbit, the 911’s thick lined top blots out the sounds of rush hour as the car’s speed blows off the thick coat of pollen to reveal all its gorgeous deep blue paint. 

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet review update

Hit: A stroke of genius. Who decided to cut the roof from the 911 in the first place? It’s like adapting Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital” for the musical stage. It didn’t need to be done, it defies logic—it shouldn’t work—but it’s done, and it does.

Miss: It’s bulky. This is the heaviest 911 you can configure, plus it has things like a power-operated windscreen. It’s the poseur’s 911. But what a pose!

Hit and miss: It’s also expensive. At $234,570, this Gentian Blue Cabrio has truffle brown leather, a sport exhaust and a sport suspension, cooled seats, 930-esque seat stitching, LED headlights, Burmester audio, and a front-axle lift. One of us dubbed it “light-spec.” Maybe I’m trash, but this version of me would spend more if only Porsche found a way to securely wedge in a refrigerator and crystal barware. 

Hit: The best mood stabilizer that doesn’t require FDA approval. Sure, a Panamera makes a better rolling office; even with the top up the voice recognition in the 911 cockpit is dicey. A Taycan has electric-car cachet; the Turbo S Cab barely turns in 17 mpg combined. So what? A 911 Turbo S Cabriolet like this one has the unerring ability to shoo away the clouds and turn on the sun, even now that the COVID traffic lull has been put to bed. The few times I slow down I smell the magnolias now in full bloom, and smirk at the Trump/Pence signs that have begun to fade. Summer isn’t coming. It’s here.

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2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

Base price: $218,650

Price as tested: $234,570

EPA fuel economy: 17 mpg combined

The hits: Straight-line zeal, winding-road aplomb…tbh we ran out of bullet points here

The misses:

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Autos

Ford Shelby Cobra concept headed to Monterey auction

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Carroll Shelby and the 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra concept (Photo via Mecum Auctions)

The 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra concept is headed to auction. The one-off drivable concept car inspired by the legendary Cobra roadster will cross the block at Mecum auction in Monterey, California, scheduled for Aug. 12-14.

Codenamed “Daisy,” the Shelby Cobra concept debuted at the 2004 Detroit auto show. Since 2017, it’s been owned by Chris Theodore, one of the designers who worked on it.

This concept was a product of the retro craze that swept the auto industry in the 1990s and early 2000s. Ford had already launched a new Thunderbird with retro styling by the time the Cobra concept debuted. Ford subsequently launched versions of the GT and Mustang with styling inspired by their 1960s predecessors. Ford also built the Shelby GR1 concept in 2004 as a modern take on the Shelby Daytona Coupe race cars of the 1960s.

Carroll Shelby and the 2004 Ford Shelby Cobra concept (Photo via Mecum Auctions)

Unlike most concept cars, the Cobra is fully drivable. It’s powered by a 6.4-liter V-10, which, like the car itself, never made it to production. Other components were sourced from the Ford GT, which was undergoing development at the time.

Cobra creator Carroll Shelby gave the project his blessing, and drove the car for publicity photos (even doing some donuts), but he likely didn’t have much engineering input. Shelby’s involvement was symbolically important, though, as this marked the first time he’d worked with Ford since the glory days of the original Cobra in the 1960s.

Theodore paid $825,000 for the Cobra in 2017. Mecum doesn’t provide pre-auction estimates, but when Theodore and the Cobra appeared on Jay Leno’s Garage recently, car appraiser Donald Osborne said the Cobra was worth $1.5 million. The car isn’t street legal, however, and the auction listing notes that it must be sold to an out-of-state buyer, likely because of California emissions rules.

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2021 Ferrari 812 GTS prances into Jay Leno’s Garage

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2021 Ferrari 812 GTS on Jay Leno's Garage

After checking out the mid-engine Ferrari SF90 Stradale, Jay Leno switched to the front-engine 812 GTS for a recent episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

The Ferrari 812 GTS is a convertible version of the 812 Superfast, sporting a retractable hardtop in place of the Superfast’s fixed roof. So it’s perfect for Leno’s Los Angeles locale.

Like the 812 Superfast, the 812 GTS is powered by a naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V-12, producing 789 hp and 530 lb-ft of torque. The engine drives the rear wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Ferrari quotes 0-62 mph in less than three seconds, with a top speed of over 211 mph.

2021 Ferrari 812 GTS on Jay Leno’s Garage

When it was unveiled in 2019, the 812 GTS was the first V-12 Ferrari convertible since 2014’s limited-edition F60 America. In terms of regular production cars, it was the first since the 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider of the early 1970s. However, Ferrari has since unveiled the 812 Competizione A, a more hardcore targa version with 812 hp.

Leno was impressed by the design, noting that the V-12 front-engine cars are Ferrari’s traditional bailiwick. He liked the driving dynamics too, praising the smoothness of the V-12, the comfortable ride, and the handling precision of what is a fairly large car. A four-wheel steering system, shared with the 812 Superfast and originally from the F12tdf, likely helps with that.

A hardcore version of the 812 Superfast is expected to be a swan song for the naturally-aspirated Ferrari V-12. So watch Leno take the 812 GTS for a spin, and listen to that V-12 wail.

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2022 Toyota Tundra first look

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2022 Toyota Tundra leaked via Tundra.com forum

Update: This story has been updated after Toyota released an official image of the 2022 Toyota Tundra

The new generation of the Toyota Tundra is finally coming after more than a decade, and now the wait to see the new full-size truck appears to be over.

On Thursday, Tundras.com forum member Tibetan Nomad posted leaked images of the 2022 Toyota Tundra, which were reportedly posted on the TundraCrew Facebook group by a dealership employee. Toyota responded by releasing a single photo of the new truck.

Given the lighting and background, the images appear to be screen shots of official press images or of an in-studio video walk around.

Based on the wheels and wording stamped into the tailgate, the 2022 Toyota Tundra pictured is the off-road-oriented TRD Pro model.

2022 Toyota Tundra leaked via Tundra.com forum

We’ve seen earlier teaser images, so there aren’t a ton of surprises in the front end design. In the images, we see LED lighting, amber marker lights, a driving light in the grille right below the word Toyota, and fog lights at the bottom of the grille. The back of the bulging hood features the trim name, in this case TRD Pro.

Black, presumably aluminum, wheels are wrapped in Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires.

2022 Toyota Tundra leaked via Tundra.com forum

2022 Toyota Tundra leaked via Tundra.com forum

The rear tailgate has TRD Pro stamped into it with three amber LED marker lights above the release handle. Vertical LED taillights have dual lighting elements.

The next-generation Tundra is expected to ride on a new modular truck platform that will also underpin the next-generation Tacoma, 4Runner, and Sequoia.

The current Tundra’s 5.7-liter V-8 will likely be retired with the redesign. A new twin-turbo V-6 is expected to power the 2022 Tundra with a hybrid version as an option.

Stay tuned for more on the 2022 Toyota Tundra.

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