New 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S first drive

Greater traction, stability and those distinctive Carrera 4 looks have always been a draw, but the C4’s unquestionable appeal hasn’t meant a faster car. A different one, yes, but traditionally a slower one. That’s no longer the case.

The Carrera 4 now puts its traction advantage to better use, in 991 gen II guise it out accelerating its rear-driven relations in the sprint to 62mph. In this 420hp Sport Chrono equipped manual Carrera 4 S coupe that means 4.2 seconds.

To put that into perspective that’s 996 Turbo S fast. Choose PDK and Sport Chrono Plus and you’ll have a C4S that’ll beat a 997 Turbo to that benchmark 62mph. Fast, then, and enough to have you asking why you’d need anything else.

991 Carrera 4S pan

Particularly if it’s raining, as it has been at the Kyalami track in South Africa. For all the investment in the new facility there are some obvious drainage issues, leaving some parts of the track resembling rivers. Perfect Carrera 4 conditions, then.

It’s the reassurance that it brings, particularly in these conditions, that adds the speed. It’s borrowed from its Turbo relation, the Porsche Traction Management four-wheel drive is quicker reacting, and can deliver more torque than previously to the front axle.

There’s a handy display in the instrument cluster that allows you to see where that torque is being distributed, it necessary, as unlike previous Carrera 4s where the effect could be quite noticeable, the 991 gen II Carrera 4S’s operation if subtle enough to be all but unnoticeable.
What is obvious is that the revisions the gen II changes brought to the standard Carrera are equally as impressive in the Carrera 4S. There’s been some criticism about Porsche’s adoption of turbocharging, but the 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six is a sensational, both in its performance, and its aural appeal.

991 Carrera 4S track

For the latter you’ll need the optional sports exhaust to really enjoy it, but the engine’s greater tractability, yet retained keenness for revs make for a compelling 911 experience. Subtly different than its naturally-aspirated predecessors, of course, but not in a bad way.

The other changes also appeal, the Carrera 4S’s steering uncorrupted by that drive, the weighting, accuracy and feel on offer being among the best out there for an electrically assisted system. The improved manual gearshift also means PDK is no longer a default option when specifying your 991.

Around Kyalami it’s hugely impressive, its speed relentless, its stability impressive – even in the testing conditions. A Carrera 4 without some of the compromises then, but with all the advantages, it’s enough to have the purists consider one over the standard rear-wheel drive Carreras, and that includes me.

What do you make of the new 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S? Has our first drive convinced you to get one on your driveway? Join the debate in the comments below or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.

991 Carrera 4S rear

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