What is it?
The Porsche 911 Carrera 4, the latest iteration as the new 991 range steadily grows. We’ve driven it in entry level C4 trim, which kicks the AWD range off at £77,924.
The latest version of Porsche’s PTM system uses an electromechanical clutch to distribute torque when required to the front axle, with a claimed maximum response time of only 100 milliseconds, continuously informed by a variety of sensors.
The four-wheel drive cars benefit from a wider rear track (42mm on the C4 and 36mm on the C4S) with 10mm wider rubber at the rear. And as with all 991s, there’s an extensive range of high-tech chassis options available such as the PDCC active anti-roll bars and PTV torque vectoring, at a price of course.
As well as introducing a driven front axle, it’s also the debut of the wider 991 bodyshell – as before, an extra 44mm across the hips – that will also be used in future Turbo and RS high performance 911s.
What’s it like to drive?
Naturally, there’s a weight penalty (50kg over a rear-drive 991), but Porsche claims the 991 ‘4’ is up to 65kg lighter than the equivalent 997.2 thanks to the carefully chosen materials used in the car’s construction.
As with the rear-wheel drive 991, this is not a car that immediately wants to begin a dialogue with the driver, like say a 997. However, when you find the right road to really exploit it, the C4 is blisteringly effective. There’s a little more weight to the steering from the moment you begin to turn, and grip levels are immense. Say what you like about the steering, but you never find yourself making a second correction once you’ve set your course.
The 3.4-litre flat-six produces searing power and almost painfully loud sound effects with the sports exhaust and symposer open into the cockpit, but the otherwise excellent PDK tested here feels like it has a short second gear and a long third. With the 3.4 needing 5000rpm before it delivers a level of punch in line with its sound effects, you can be left waiting for the real fireworks.
How does it compare?
Fans of old 911s might be nonplussed by the devastating, vice-free (or character-free?) competence of the above, but subjectively there feels slightly more to engage with in this car than the rear-wheel drive Carrera.
Anything else I need to know?
A seven-speed manual gearbox comes as standard, with the PDK twin-clutch transmission an option. The Carrera 4S uses Porsche’s 394bhp 3.8-litre flat-six engine, with prices for the more powerful car starting at £87,959.