Porsche torques up gains

Watch the Ger­man’s ad­vance, writes GORDONLOMASin Europe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

SOME of the big­gest ad­vances in the his­tory of the clas­sic Porsche 911 are re­flected in the latest Car­rera 4 and Car­rera 4S. The gains in fuel econ­omy, per­for­mance, re­duced weight and emis­sions are pal­pa­ble.

Yet, as far as ex­te­rior give­aways go, the up­dated 997 Se­ries coupes and cabri­o­lets re­main dis­creet. Just like the Car­rera 2 cars which led into the latest up­date of the 911, the new 4 and 4S pick up di­rect-in­jec­tion, flat-six en­gines and Porsche’s seven-speed, dou­ble­clutch gear­box.

The big dif­fer­ence is an elec­tronic four­wheel-drive sys­tem that re­places the vis­cous cou­pling ar­range­ment used on the 911 for al­most 20 years.

The Car­rera 4’s new all-wheel-drive sys­tem can shuf­fle torque by up to 100 per cent to ei­ther the front or the rear axles if needed, whereas the pre­vi­ous sys­tem had a lim­ited max­i­mum torque split of 10 to 40 per cent.

Prices and fi­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tions are yet to be fi­nalised be­cause of the on­go­ing con­fu­sion about the in­crease in the lux­ury car tax, but the new coupes will cost $220,000-$230,000 for the C4 and $250,000-$260,000 for the C4S. The rag­top ver­sions are $240,000-$250,000 for the C4 cabri­o­let and $270,000-$280,000 for the C4S.

All will be on sale from Oc­to­ber 25, lit­tle more than a month af­ter the two-wheel-drive ver­sions reach the show­rooms.

On the out­side, Porsche has day­time run­ning lights at the front, the neat LED rear tail-light treat­ment and a re­flec­tor strip on the lead­ing edge of the en­gine bay lid. Inside, the C4 and C4S of­fer gen­er­a­tional gains with 8.5 per cent more power and use up to 12.9 per cent less fuel. Car­bon emis­sions drop 15.4 per cent.

The C4 coupe lifts from 239kW to 254kW yet re­duces fuel use from 11.6 litres/100km to 10.1 litres/100km. Torque rises 20Nm to 390Nm. Gains for the 3.8-litre C4S are 283kW (up from 261kW) and a re­duc­tion in fuel use from 11.9 litres/100km to 10.5 litres/100km. Torque jumps 20Nm to 420Nm.

On the PDK gear­box, Porsche is al­ready hint­ing it may re­view what it does for the new 998 (un­of­fi­cial code) model, which could be out by late 2010 and have proper pad­dle shifters.

The ar­gu­ment against all-wheel-drive lay­outs con­tin­u­ing to have rel­e­vance be­cause of their weight im­post hurt­ing fuel econ­omy and per­for­mance doesn’t ring true in the case of the Car­rera 4. De­spite weigh­ing 55kg more than a C2, a C4 has lapped Nur­bur­gring’s Nord­schleife cir­cuit two sec­onds faster than its twowheel-drive equiv­a­lent, in 7min 56sec.

Rac­ing ahead: the Porsche S4 cabri­o­let picks up di­rect-in­jec­tion, flat-six en­gines and Porsche’s seven-speed, dou­ble-clutch gear­box.

Hot wheels: (left to right) a cabri­o­let wheel, the com­mon coupe and cabri­o­let in­te­rior, and the S4 coupe with an all-wheel-drive sys­tem that shuf­fles torque by up to 100 per cent to front or rear axles.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.