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Porsche beefs up AWD system for new 911 Carrera 4 coupe and Cabriolet

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Article by Damon Lowney
Photos courtesy Porsche

Yesterday the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 coupe and Cabriolet were added to the lineup of Porsche's 992-generation 911 and should reach dealers in early 2020, the automaker says. The new models join the rear-wheel-drive Carreras that were announced in late July.

The biggest change is, of course, in the drivetrain, which now sends power to all four wheels, but Porsche has also upgraded the AWD system to include water cooling of the unit containing the front differential and clutches, which apply variable amounts of torque depending on driving conditions. The clutches themselves have been beefed up to handle greater force as they're accuated as well as increase durability. The result of all of this that pertains to driving is better traction and handling through more accurate adjustment of clutch force, Porsche says.

Otherwise, the Carrera 4 gets the same 379-horsepower twin-turbocharged flat six as in the Carrera. Peak power is reached at 6,500 rpm, while torque plateaus at 331 pound-feet from 1,950-5,000 rpm. Due to the cars' heavier weight from the AWD system, top speed is down a bit — 180 miles per hour in the Carrera 4 coupe and 179 mph in the Cabriolet versus 182 mph and 180 mph in the rear-drive versions — yet zero-to-60 mph runs remain the same, thanks to the extra grip afforded by AWD. The Carrera 4 coupe will do it in 4.0 seconds (3.8 with Sport Chrono Package), the Cabriolet in 4.2 (4.0 with Sport Chrono). At this point, customers are only offered the eight-speed double clutch automatic transmission (PDK), with a manual transmission expected to surface at a later date.

The Carrera 4 feeds power to the ground via 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels standard, though customers may opt for staggered diameter 20s and 21s. Inside the wheel barrels, four-piston calipers clamp 13-inch cast iron brake rotors front and rear, though ceramic composite brakes are an option. Active suspension dampers (PASM) help to keep the wheels and tires planted with two suspension settings, Normal and Sport. An electronically actuated limited-slip differential with torque vectoring is an option.

To differentiate the Carrera 4 from the 4S, look to the tailpipes: The 4 gets two single-pipe rectangular outlets, one on each side; the 4S has quad pipes, two on each side. Look for the subtly different looking all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 coupe and Cabriolet in dealer showrooms in early 2020. The coupe's MSRP is $104,700, while the Cabriolet is a heftier $117,500. Prices do not include the $1,350 delivey, processing, and handling fee.

Full Porsche Press Release

Surefooted: The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet

379 hp 911 Carrera models now available with all-wheel drive

Following the introduction of the standard 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera Cabriolet, Porsche is now expanding the line-up further with the all-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet models.

Like the 2020 911 Carrera models, the new 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet are powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat six engine fitted with model-specific turbochargers, developing 379 hp at 6,500 rpm (nine horsepower more than the previous 911 Carrera 4 models) and 331 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,950 to 5,000 rpm. Fitted with the standard 8-speed PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) transmission, the 2020 911 Carrera 4 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds. When equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package, this time drops to 3.8 seconds. Both times represent an improvement of 0.1 seconds compared to the previous 911 Carrera 4 Coupe with PDK. The 2020 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet accelerates to 60 mph from standstill in just 4.2 seconds, and in 4.0 seconds flat when equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Package. Top track speed is 180 mph for the 911 Carrera 4 and 179 mph for the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet.

Like on the 911 Carrera 4S models, the increased performance of the 911 Carrera 4 models led to a further development of the front axle drive. The clutch and differential unit are now water-cooled and have reinforced clutches to increase durability and load capacity. The increased actuating torques of the clutches improve the latter's adjustment accuracy and thus the capability of the driven front axle. The enhanced front axle drive in combination with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) promote a further enhancement to the already impressive traction on snow, as well as in wet and dry conditions.

The new 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet are equipped with PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). Like on the other 2020 911 Carrera models, the electronically variable damping system comes standard and offers two selectable modes, "Normal" and "Sport", emphasizing ride quality and handling. A fully variable, electronically controlled limited slip rear differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), which is standard on the 911 Carrera S and 4S models, can be ordered as an option.  The wheels on the 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet feature a staggered diameter, measuring 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear. They are fitted with 235/40 ZR 19 and 295/35 ZR 20 tires, respectively. Larger wheels with a staggered 20/21-inch diameter (standard on 911 Carrera 4S models) are optionally available. The standard internally ventilated and perforated grey cast-iron brake rotors on the 2020 911 Carrera 4 models measure 13.0 inches front and rear and feature black four-piston calipers. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) can be ordered as an extra.  Like on the other 2020 911 variants, Wet Mode is included as standard equipment. This function automatically detects water on the road, preconditions the stability control and anti-lock brake systems accordingly, and warns the driver. The driver can then call up vehicle settings particularly suited for wet roads at push of a button, or by means of the mode switch on the steering wheel (when fitted with the optional Sport Chrono Package).

Visually, the 911 Carrera 4 models are characterized by the same striking design cues as the rest of the model range, such as the clearly defined fender arches and front luggage compartment lid with a recess reminiscent of classic 911 models, as well as the full-width LED light strip stretching across the rear. The only visual distinction between the standard 911 Carrera 4 and the 911 Carrera 4S derivatives are the exhaust openings in the rear fascia. To differentiate between the engine variants, the standard 911 Carrera 4 models feature one rectangular, single-tube tailpipe on each side, while the 4S models are fitted with a set of round twin-tailpipes on each side. The optional Sport Exhaust system distinguished by two oval tailpipes can be ordered for all models.

Inside, the new 911 Carrera 4 shares the interior with the previously introduced standard 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S models, including re-designed seats, the traditional centrally positioned tachometer, and the new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with a 10.9 inch touch screen and improved connectivity. A control panel of five buttons with the look of classic toggle switches creates the transition to the center console controls.

The 2020 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet are available to order now and are expected to reach U.S. dealers in early 2020. The MSRP for the 911 Carrera 4 is $104,700, while the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet retails for $117,500 – both not including the $1,350 delivery, processing and handling fee.

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