A couple of weeks ago, when we first posted about Porsche's brand new turbocharged Carrera and Carrera S models, a few of our readers were quick to point out that there was no mention of the all-wheel driven Carrera 4, Carrera 4S, Targa 4, and Targa 4S models. So, what do these new turbocharged four-wheel drive cars offer that their naturally aspirated predecessors don't?
Like their two-wheel drive brothers, the new 4 and 4S use their smaller displacement and turbocharged engines to great effect with more power and more torque leading to faster acceleration and better fuel economy. The other upgrades, such as standard PASM, optional rear axle steering, optional 918-inspired mode switch, and updated PCM with Google Maps accessibility are also welcome.
The new models feature the same visual modifications of the Carrera models, including headlights with four-point daytime running lights, door handles without recess covers, a redesigned rear decklid with vertical louvers, and new rear lights with four-point illumination. Additionally, the Carrera 4 and Targa 4 variants are distinguished by a light strip between the rear lights which is now particularly distinctive thanks to its three-dimensional design. The rear light strip, which has been a unique marker of 4-wheel drive 911s for almost 20 years, also underlines the wider body of the all-wheel drive 911, the rear width increased by 44 millimeters over the two-wheel drive models. The popular 991 Targa also returns with its characteristic Targa bar in place of B pillars, retractable roof section over the front seats, and wrap-around rear window without C pillars. From the photos, this model looks to have made the transition from 991.1 to 991.2 without losing any of its beauty.
Like their 2-wheel drive partners, the new 3.0 Turbo engine is employed in all of the new 4-wheel drive models. The new twin-turbocharged engine offers an increase of 20 horsepower compared to previous models. The 911 Carrera 4 (and Targa 4) now develops 370 horsepower and 331 lb/ft of torque versus the old 3.4 liter engine's output of 350 hp and 287 tq. The new 911 Carrera 4S (and Targa 4S) now makes 420 horsepower and 368 lb/ft of torque, whereas the outgoing 3.8 liter engine only managed 400 hp and 325 tq. Both engines offer significantly greater torque than their predecessors, which is available across a broad power band from 1700 to 5000 rpm.
Thanks to the new electro-hydraulically controlled all-wheel drive, the 911 Carrera 4 accelerates even better than its comparable two-wheel drive counterpart for the first time. This is important, because traditionally the traction advantage was often outweighed (pun intended) by the weight trade-off of all-wheel drive.
Equipped with PDK and Sport Chrono package, the 911 Carrera 4 sprints from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds (0.3 seconds quicker than the previous model, and 0.1 seconds quicker than the 991.2 Carrera), with the S model taking 3.6 seconds (0.3 seconds less than the old naturally aspirated model, and 0.1 seconds quicker than the 991.2 Carrera S). Targa and Cabriolet models need just 0.2 seconds longer each. Top track speeds range from 178 to 189 miles per hour, depending on the transmission and model variant. All 911 Carrera 4 and Targa 4 models come with a seven-speed manual transmission as standard and seven-speed PDK (Porsche DoppelKupplungsgetriebe) optional.
The new 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Targa 4 range will be available in the U.S. beginning in April 2016. U.S. pricing is listed below, excluding a destination charge of $995. Hopefully Canadian pricing will be released soon. Updates will be made at that point.
911 Carrera 4 $96,300
911 Carrera 4S $110,300
911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet $108,600
911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet $122,600
911 Targa 4 $108,600
911 Targa 4S $122,600