What is it?
We’ve already covered a lot of bases with the new turbocharged Porsche 911 range, but this is our first go in the four-wheel drive, automatic Carrera 4S on UK roads.
This upper mid-range model is one of the most popular, offering the extra all-weather peace of mind of four-wheel drive, and the seven-speed dual-clutch PDK auto gearbox for lazy traffic progress, plus the added titillation of the more potent, 414bhp S engine.
What's it like?
Rabidly fast, in a virtually effortless way. The new engine – now with two turbochargers strapped to the flat-six, of course - pulls with fairly breathtaking voracity all the way from around 2000rpm up towards a lofty redline. There is a touch of lag and a kink in power delivery as the turbos start to stoke the engine properly, but this elastic-feeling engine still pulls cleanly and without feeling choked at very low revs, just as it will rip through the rev range to the peaky 7500rpm redline.
The gearbox does much of the work for you, with shifts barely encroaching on your consciousness in normal driving. Our car came with Sport Chrono (£1416), which brings varying driving modes, and if you stick it in Sport or Sport+ the gearbox quick-fires up and down the ratios, picking the right one at the right moment. We still reckon the paddles are more satisfying; ultimately, having the control yourself is just more involving if you fancy getting all white-eyed and sweaty-palmed.
In fact, if full control is your kind of thing, the manual may be more enjoyable at those critical moments. However, for most 911 users who also want a fairly easygoing daily ride, the PDK automatic is hard to fault.
Adaptive dampers are now standard on the 911 C4S, and they do a fine job, even when mated to the 20mm lowered Sports PASM suspension of our car (£558). Predictably, vertical damper movement is quite firm, so you get the full sportscar-effect, involuntary diaphragm-squeezing experience over fast compressions, and it bobs about quite a bit – particularly in the firmer setting – over undulating surfaces.
For all that, there is a supreme control to the ride quality of most 911 models that means they avoid ever feeling uncomfortable. Firm, yes, but the bump absorption is soft enough, the tyre contact resolutely unaffected by the road surface and the body control impeccably well mannered.