2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, 4 S: First Look

  • Competes with: Nissan GT-R, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo
  • Looks like: The new 991 series finally gets its crucial all-wheel-drive models
  • Drivetrain: 350-hp, 3.4-liter flat-six engine or 400-hp, 3.8-liter flat six; seven-speed manual transmission or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Early 2013

For the 2013 model year, the seventh-generation Porsche 911 Carrera gets a new all-wheel-drive system and two new models — the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 S — that will use the new drivetrain. The Carrera C4 is an important component of 911 sales, making up more than a third of total sales of the sixth-generation 911, according to Porsche.

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4 gets an updated version of Porsche's all-wheel-drive system, called Porsche Traction Management. Besides that, the rest of the mechanical upgrades are the same as the ones found on the 2012 rear-wheel-drive Carrera. That means it benefits from the longer wheelbase, lightweight aluminum-steel body, new flat-six engine, seven-speed manual transmission and the electromechanical steering (which we thought was well-executed). Porsche says you can identify the Carrera 4 by its slightly wider rear wheel housing; each extends an extra 22 mm outward, and the rear tires are each 10 mm wider. Let's be clear, though: There's no way you'll recognize a few millimeters' difference in the sizes of the rear wheels. If you want to know the difference between the Carrera and Carrera 4, just look at the taillights: On the Carrera 4, there's a center brake light strip. And of course, there are different nameplate decals.

With the addition of the Carrera 4, Porsche is making adaptive cruise control and a collision warning system available on all 911 models. The latter, called Active Safe, pre-charges the brakes in an imminent front-end collision. There's also a new glass sunroof option for the 2013 911 Carrera coupe, the automaker says.

The 2013 Porsche Carrera 4 will be priced at $91,030 for the coupe and $102,930 for the convertible. Destination fees were not available. The Carrera 4 S will start at $105,630 and $117,530, respectively. The 2013 Porsche Carrera series will go on sale early in 2013.

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