Inner strength, it is said, is what makes a sports car a 911. In the 911 Carrera 4S, you get the inner strength of the 911 to the fourth power. The engine delivers bone-crushing torque, the suspension eats corners for breakfast and the all-wheel drive system takes what’s already phenomenal and makes it awesome, in the most literal sense of the word.
All-wheel drive 911 models have been available for 22 years now, but the technology in today’s 911 Carrera 4S has the benefit of the research and development that went into Porsche’s other all-wheel drive vehicles, the Cayenne and the Panamera Gran Turismo.
Make no mistake: Porsche engineers believe that rear-wheel drive is the optimal means of sporty driving characteristics. That’s why the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system found in every all-wheel drive Carrera 4S directs two-thirds of the engine’s available torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions. But when the system determines that traction should funnel to the front wheels, PTM can divert engine power and torque to the front axle in millisecond cycles, and vary the torque split “infinitesimally and absolutely,” according to Porsche, between the front and rear wheels. This permanent all-wheel drive system is comprised of an electronically controlled multi-plate
clutch, an automatic brake differential (ABD) and anti-slip regulation (ASR). In combination with Porsche Stability Management – which monitors a number of variables to help the 911 Carrera 4S driver maintain the car’s intended path as the driver pushes it toward the edge of its dynamic limits – PTM facilitates amazing handling and acceleration, even in the worst of conditions.
The 3.8-liter, six-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine in the 911 Carrera 4S provides a staggering 385 hp without the use of forced induction. Torque of 310 lb/ft at 4,400 rpm provides a zero-to-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission. With the seven-speed PDK transmission – which you’ll read about momentarily – 60 miles per hour comes in at just 4.3 seconds. And with the Sports Chrono Package, it drops to 4.1 seconds, or about the time it took you to read this sentence. The 911 Carrera 4S is equipped to tick off a top test-track speed of 185 miles per hour.
It has long been the rule that a skilled driver can achieve better acceleration times with a manual transmission. Plus, there’s the control and the fun of shifting your own gears. The Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission turns that rule on its head. Not only does it allow the Carrera 4S to perform demonstrably quicker than even the most highly trained racecar drivers on the planet, it does so in a way that is breathtakingly enjoyable to experience. In both manual and automatic modes, the transmission is capable of lightning-quick, smooth gear changes with no interruption in power. Essentially two transmissions in one, the PDK gearbox requires two wet clutches and two separate input shafts. Engine power can only flow through one semi-gearbox at a time. During gear changes, the PDK transmission no longer “shifts” and stops the transfer of power. The clutch from one semi-gearbox closes, and the second clutch opens simultaneously, allowing gearshifts to take place in a hundredth of a second. The transmission is also compact, resulting in lower weight, which all adds up to that two-tenths of a second advantage over a six-speed manual-equipped 911 Carrera 4S. Please, don’t take someone else’s word for it. This is truly something you’ll want to experience for yourself. You’ll understand why more and more drivers are selecting the PDK as the transmission of choice.
As you’d expect, the 911 Carrera 4S is a richly appointed sports car. A few stand-alone options include a Comfort Package, which provides heated front seats, automatically dimming mirrors and power seat adjustment. The Infotainment Package includes Bose® Surround Sound, the Navigation Module PCM, and XM® Satellite Radio. Most critical for sporting drivers is the Sports Chrono Package Plus, which provides even sportier tuning of the engine and chassis, and a digital and analog timer. The “Sport” select button allows the EMS SDI 3.1 engine management system to modify the throttle map, allowing for greater throttle response. The optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system switches to “Sport” mode for harder damping and more direct steering. In PDK-equipped cars, shift times are shorter and gear changes are sportier. Under braking, the system initiates a quicker brake-induced downshift. It’s like having a professional racing driver along for the ride.
The 911 Carrera 4S continues to be one of the world’s most exhilarating sports cars. In the rich stable of 911 models, thanks to its all-wheel drive system, it’s the vehicle of choice for those who expect to drive a 911 every day. Click the link below to sign up for a test drive and experience this amazing sports car yourself.