In the span of 1 week, Michael Mansouri and his crew at By Design bought, began and completed the stunning Cabriolet featured here. Like most By Design cars, it relies on uprated factory parts, the best stuff in the aftermarket and artfully understated customization. We didn't expect too much from the Cabriolet, figuring its extra weight and roofless chassis would leave it at a significant disadvantage. We were wrong. Cranking out a thundering 496.25 hp and scoring the fifth highest in torque points, this convertible had a set of big brass ones. It managed to fly through the road course in a mind-blowing 67.8 sec., leaving it the second fastest car in that event. With barely 300 miles on its clock, Cort drove the hell out of this Porsche. At one point, the car exited the road course with flames licking at the composite brakes. Despite the brutality, the Cabrio went on to score the best number from 80 to 0 mph, coming to a dead stop in a mere 181 ft. During 1/4-mile testing, the engine's torque threatened to break the car in half--upon launch, the automatic roll bars activated, sensing what it must have thought was a catastrophic event. The car went on to do an 11.38-sec. run--not bad for a ragtop. Besides its phenomenal performance, it's the attention to detail that made this Porsche exceptional. The body has been augmented with GT2 aerodynamics both fore and aft, with TechArt side skirts at each rocker. The hood is a custom-made steel piece crafted to resemble the more aggressive lines of the 993, with a custom grille adorning the nose. The cabin has yards of custom-crafted leather, with all the previously gold trim now silver. Also inside are GT3 seats and Titanium Edition silver gauge faces and assorted bezels. A Titanium Edition shifter is, not surprisingly, carved from a single block of pure titanium. During the photo shoot, the car was fitted with 19-in.Titanium Edition Mode 72 three-piece wheels, forged units with a massive 5-in. rear lip. Mike and crew did a great job, creating a competitor with cutting-edge style. They rightfully earned this high placement.
Really a very cool package, with everything working well together. Motor had great low-end grunt and was very driveable. Good grip from Cup tires, but you can tell the spring and shock package was originally designed for the coupe, as the extra 200 to 300 lb over the rear of the car, along with some minor chassis flex, made this car a handful after the initial turn-in. Rear was unstable and kept my attention, eventually driving me into the dirt on one lap as I tried to push it. Brakes were not great at first, as I believe that they were so new that they cooked the carbon, although after initial seating, worked very well. Sound was great and, overall, a great, great car.
|2004 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet|
|External Modifications||Cargraphic/By Design stainless-steel exhaust, GT2 intercoolers cooled via windshield washer bottle, Porsche Motorsport header (ported, polished and ceramic coated via By Design), GT2 K24 turbos|
|Engine Management Modifications ||GIAC ECU (proprietary program for By Design)|
|Drivetrain Modifications||Titanium Edition/B&M short shifter|
|Suspension || Front: JIC coilovers, GT3 adjustable sway bar; Rear: JIC coilovers, GT3 adjustable sway bar|
|Brakes||Front: GT3 Porsche ceramic composite brakes (PCCB) with six-piston calipers and 13.78-in. rotorsRear: GT3 PCCB with four-piston calipers and 13-in. rotors|
|Wheels||Front: stock; Rear: stock|
|Tires||Front: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, 225/40ZR-18; Rear: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, 295/30ZR-18|