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Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow Porsche 911 Carrera 4
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 PDF Print E-mail


It is 50 years since the Porsche 911 was launched but although the basic external shape remains, what a difference the latest models are to anything previously seen. The model tested was the 911 Carrera 4, which as the name implies has the benefit of all-wheel drive.  For the majority of journeys however, the torque bias is to the rear and only a burst of hard acceleration induced an even split of power to the front and rear wheels.
And talking wheels, with typical Jebsen attention-to-detail, every vehicle in its spacious Gloucester Road showroom has the Stuttgart shield that graces the centre hub of the wheels is in the upright position.  A tiny detail which implies this is a distributor that cares.
When Porsche introduced the sports model in 1963 it was originally designated the 901 but an outburst by Peugeot that insists the rights to the central figure is theirs, induced Porsche to rechristen it the 911. (To the present day, there has still never been a Peugeot 901 …).  Subsequently there have been a variety of engine types and transmissions but essentially the model remains true to the original concept of 50 years ago.
The first 911 had a two-litre, air-cooled, flat-six engine; the car tested has a 3.4 litre, water cooled motor, producing a healthy 350 bhp (257 kW) and delivering a massive 390 Nm of torque.  The benchmark 0-100 km/h time comes up in just 4.5 seconds with a top speed of 283 km/h.
Drive to the front- and rear-wheels is computer controlled according to the conditions and road speed.  Come to a stop in traffic and the engine switches off, restarting as soon as the accelerator is depressed again.   
The Carrera 4’s suspension is firmer than in previous models; not ideal on the roads of Kennedy Town and surrounding area, but once down at Cyberport, it was smooth and effortless.  It is, however, always supremely comfortable thanks to the superb sports seats, finished in hand-stitched leather.

On the Road
This writer has driven many Porsches over the years and indeed, owned a 911 at one time, but the car tested is a completely different animal to the majority of its predecessors.  It is hard to convey exactly how far advanced the latest 911 is compared to anything else.  It is a car you would be happy to climb into every single day without any concerns about reliability or comfort.  During the test a heavy downpour occurred, courtesy of the fringes of a typhoon, but the Porsche behaved impeccably: visibility was good, the variable windscreen wipers did exactly what they were required to do and the all-wheel drive, although not needed, would have ensured absolute sure-footedness no matter what the conditions were.
The seat, steering column and exterior mirrors are all electrically adjustable and this ensures excellent visibility no matter the conditions.
It is a pleasure to report that the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 – and presumably the others in the range – is a joy to drive.  Although the 911 has been around for those 50 years, it has changed with the times and demonstrates no feelings, nor characteristics of age.  It has changed along with the times and each decade has seen an improvement.

The list of options available is immense and it is possible to make your Porsche different to anyone else’s.  Included in the options is a sports exhaust package, seat ventilation (this comes at a rather hefty $10,000), a BOSE surround sound system at $13,600.  A leather interior in black is available as a no-cost option, although adaptive sports seats with an 18-way electrical function and memory is an additional $9,700.
Standard equipment includes power windows with a one-touch feature, Bi-xenon headlamps with dynamic leveling, LED rear lights and a 9-speaker audio system.  Safety is taken care of by front, head and thorax airbags in both front seats and ISOFIX mounting points in the rear seats for child safety seats.
As tested, the Carrera 4 would sell for $2,261,280.

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© 2019 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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