991 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 review - (2011 - 2016)

We review the first of the all-wheel drive 991s, the new Porsche 911 Carrera 4 coupe

Evo rating
Price
from £77,924
  • A grippier Porsche 991
  • Character issues may remain

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.

Technical highlights

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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

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.

How does it 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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Specifications

EngineFlat-six, 3436cc
Max power345bhp @ 7400rpm
Max torque288lb ft @ 5600rpm
0-604.5sec (claimed 0-62)
Top speed177mph (claimed)
On saleDecember 2012
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/porsche/911/201958/porsche-911-gt3-vs-gt3-rs-vs-gt2-rs-track-battle
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 GT3 vs GT3 RS vs GT2 RS - track battle

15 Nov 2019
Visit/porsche/911
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 review

4 Nov 2019
Visit/porsche/911/201904/992-porsche-911-carrera-s-manual-finally-detailed
Porsche 911

992 Porsche 911 Carrera S manual finally detailed

31 Oct 2019
Visit/porsche/911/201865/porsche-919-hybrid-review-driving-one-of-stuttgarts-most-successful-racers
Porsche 911

Porsche 919 Hybrid review - driving one of Stuttgart's most successful racers

18 Oct 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/seat/leon-cupra/202143/seat-leon-cupra-r-st-abt-review-spicy-spanish-dish-gets-even-more-sizzle
SEAT Leon Cupra

SEAT Leon Cupra R ST Abt review

50 horsepower boost puts extra pep in the Leon Cupra’s already athletic step
23 Jan 2020
Visit/dodge/202135/police-spec-dodge-charger-given-1500bhp-widebody-kit-and-awd
Dodge

Dodge Charger given 1500bhp, widebody kit and AWD 

US-based Speedkore Performance works its magic for one-off creation
22 Jan 2020
Visit/volkswagen/golf-gti/22866/new-volkswagen-golf-gti-to-be-revealed-at-geneva-motor-show-plus-new
Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI to be revealed at Geneva motor show – plus new insight on the next Golf R

2020 VW Golf GTI returns in eighth-generation form at this year’s Geneva motor show
20 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019