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The all-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4S delivers ample all-weather capability, while still retaining the model's iconic dynamic excellence.

29 May 2019



It's crazy to think just how far cars have come - 20 years ago, the 996 Turbo (a high-performance variant) featured a turbocharged 3.6-litre flat-six engine producing 420bhp and 563Nm of torque, sending power to all four wheels. Now, you will find similar figures in the 'entry' models of the new generation 911.

Eight generations on, Porsche continues to deliver on its benchmark-setting sports car. This new 992 model first comes to market in two variants - Carrera S and Carrera 4S, and many, many, many more variants will surely be launched down the line.

The new eighth generation 911 is initially available in both Carrera S and Carrera 4S guises

So, just how different are these two variants, and how much of a difference does it make?

A touch of difference

Understandably, the key difference between this variant and the Carrera S variant we also drove is the powertrain. Specifically, the Carrera 4S sends power to all four wheels.

The AWD system affords you ample traction even when going around a corner on damp roads

This certainly has an effect on the way the car behaves. It's detectably heavier, and the front end doesn't have the same sharpness of the rear-wheel driven Carrera S. It loses a touch of overall agility as a result.

The plus side of having All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is, of course, traction. While definitely rear biased, the AWD system sends torque to the front wheels to pull you out of corners when necessary. This means that you can boot the throttle mid-corner and not have to worry about the tail immediately coming loose.

Also, the AWD system grants the car an added degree of point-and-shoot ability. You can put down all of the turbocharged 3.0-litre engine's 443bhp and 530Nm of torque onto the tarmac, allowing you to rocket off the line at traffic lights if you so desire.

443bhp and 530Nm of torque is drawn out from the turbocharged 3.0-litre flat-six engine

Keen advancements

Beyond that, the two variants are effectively the same. Previously, the wide body style was reserved for only the AWD models, but with this new generation 992, all the models have the same wide body and bulbous rear wheel arches. As a result, trying to tell them apart visually is basically impossible (unless you can squint and spot the '4' on the car's rear). 

The significant improvements in the cabin are what customers will likely be most delighted with. The new 10.9-inch display runs the same tile-based Porsche Communication Management System you will find in the Panamera or the Macan, giving you easy access to the car's multitude of functions.

Also, two configurable buttons on the centre console can be programmed to your preferred functions (the Carrera S we drove had one button specifically configured for the optional front axle lift function).

Two configurable quick function buttons gives you instant access to key vehicle system settings

In general, there's a new tidiness and simplicity to the cabin that is very much welcome, compared to the complex smattering of buttons you'd find in its predecessor's cabin.

Straight up

The 911 Carrera 4S has a wide ranging breadth of ability across all driving situations. There's no doubt that in temperate countries where you have to deal with four different seasons and all manner of road conditions, the additional breadth of traction and ability offered by the AWD Carrera 4S would be of great value.

The new 10.9-inch infotainment display is a significant technological upgrade from the 991

Additionally, the car doesn't significantly compromise the authentic 911 dynamism and driving experience. It's perhaps 95% as good to drive as the Carrera S, but 95% of great is still pretty damn good.

That said, in Singapore, it's slightly harder to make the case for the Carrera 4S, simply because there are few situations where you would really need the AWD. Also, the car's $584,088 price tag (not inclusive of COE) makes it $37,500 more expensive than the Carrera S.

The 911 Carrera S has ample dynamic breadth across all driving situations

Unless you really want the added straight line performance that the Carrera 4S gives you (it's 0.2 seconds quicker to 100km/h), we'd suggest getting the Carrera S and spending that extra money on some fancy options instead. 
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