Buyers also get the choice of either the six-speed manual gearbox carried straight over from the previous 911, or a new, spectacularly efficient seven-speed double clutch unit with remote shift buttons on the steering wheel and a launch start mode.
It is further along the driveline, however, where Porsche has focused much of its engineering efforts with the new 911 Carrera 4. In line with the developments brought to the 911 Turbo, the new car adopts a multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system.
Called Porsche Traction Management (PTM) and replacing the viscous coupling arrangement in use since 1989, it is capable of apportioning up to 100 per cent of the drive to either the front or rear wheels and, on the S, comes in combination with a standard locking differential on the rear axle.
What’s it like?
The difference on the road is subtle but noticeable. At 1470kg, the new Porsche 911 Carrera 4S carries an extra 20kg over the car it replaces. However, those added engine reserves and even greater traction ensures performance is more impressive than ever. With the optional SportChrono system enhancing the throttle mapping, the 4S is claimed to storm from 0-62mph in just 4.3sec and hit 185mph flat out – pushing it within 0.4sec and 20km/h of the mighty 911 Turbo.
The driving experience is enhanced, too. There’s a more even weighting to the steering, which in combination with a smoother and faster apportioning of power between the front and rear wheels and the locking effect of the limited slip differential promotes supreme confidence.
On undulating B-roads the Carrera 4S feels terrifically well planted and equally as agile as its recently facelifted rear-wheel-drive siblings, although there’s more understeer as you edge up to the car’s limit. It’s equally rewarding to just slot the gearbox into drive and flow along with the traffic; the breadth of ability is quite astonishing.
It is not all roses, though. While we have no qualms with the rapid and highly efficient way Porsche’s new double clutch gearbox channels drive to each corner, the remote shift buttons are too big and get in the way when you wind on a meaningful amount of lock. They also seem to be back to front: Instead of having the upshift buttons on the face of the wheel and the downshift ones on the back, it would make more sense to have them the other way around.
Should I buy one?
The 911 Carrera 4S is a hugely desirable car – all the better for its contemporary new four-wheel drive system, which helps provide it with an added feeling of security, whatever the weather or road conditions.
In that sense, it is an even more enticing everyday proposition than the 911 Carrera S.