If you’re of the belief that four driven wheels are better than two then cop a load of this. New versions of the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and 4S will go on sale from December 2012 in both coupe and cabriolet forms. The cars will provide a grippier, less tail-happy alternative their rear-wheel-drive Carrera and Carrera S cousins.
The 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S feature the very latest version of the company’s all-wheel-drive Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system to improve cornering and traction. However the German car manufacturer is keen to make it clear the car still packs a rear-wheel-drive emphasis — so you should be able to have a few opposite lock-induced giggles in it.
Like most Porsche updates, only a diehard purist could tell the difference between these 4 and 4S models and the outgoing models, but if you look closely it’s possible to tell the four-wheel-drive cars from their two-wheel-drive counterparts. As ever, the Carrera 4 and 4S look more aggressive from the rear, benefitting from tyres that are 10mm wider and wheel arches that protrude a further 22mm. Also, the red band that runs between the rear lights has been tweaked slightly, now resting above the Porsche logo rather than below it. Hardly sensational changes, then, but that iconic rounded design has barely changed over the years.
More noticeable tweaks to the Carrera 4 and 4S include a new menu in the instrument cluster that shows you torque distribution between front and rear axles. The car also features the same aluminium-steel composite chassis as the new rear-whee-drive Carrera, which manages to shave 65kg off the whole package. Porsche claims an extra 16 per cent in fuel economy is the reward — if you can resist the urge to plant your right boot.
Porsche claims a 0-62mph time of 4.1 seconds for the 3.8-litre straight-six-endowed Carrera 4S Coupe, with the Cabriolet just a tad slower at 4.3 seconds. The slightly less beefy 3.4-litre Carrera 4 takes just under half a second longer to reach the same time. Both cars are more than capable of 175mph upwards.
All Porsche 911 models going forward will include the option of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to maintain a safe distance to motorway traffic as well as Porsche Active Safe (PAS), which applies the brakes if it thinks you’re about to crash into cars that have stopped in traffic up ahead.
Prices for the Porsche Carrera 4 start at £77,924 for the Coupe and £86,583 if you want the wind in your hair. The sportier 4S will dent your wallet to the tune of £87,959 and £96,619, respectively.