5 Reasons Why the 2013 Porsche 911 C4 is Fabulous as Usual
Porsche has a knack for sticking to their guns. Despite it being the completely wrong engine layout, the Porsche 911 has been evolutionized into a nearly perfect everyday supercar. As for the recently revealed 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S, the formula is even more rewarding. Here's five reasons to love the latest all-wheel-drive 911s, a car that you should totally expect to love at this point.
Porsche 911's have always been quick and manage pretty respectable fuel economy for the performance they deliver. With the introduction of the 991-based 911, the car got larger, but mysteriously lost weight in the process. No, the laws of physics haven't been turned off, it's just that Porsche (along with it's soon-to-be-owners, VW Audi Group) have always obsessed about cutting weight when possible.
Thanks to refinement of the body, suspension and drivetrain, the Carrera 4 loses around 140 lbs. and gets fuel economy of 20/28 mpg. It wasn't that long ago that a Toyota Camry would brag about those kind of fuel mileage numbers. Even with that efficiency, it still cranks out 350 hp, 0-to-60 mph of 4.3 seconds, and a top speed of 177 mph. Now, if the Porsche engineers could only figure out how to do the same trick with my expanding body size.
You often find automotive journalist bemoaning cars they review with auto-manual transmissions or "flappy-paddle" gearboxes. Rightly so, as many of them sacrifice a lot of feeling and car control compared to a simple manual transmission. However, Porsche has been making their PDK transmission since 1983 when it was used exclusively in racing.
Cautious to roll out the transmission initially until electronics technology could catch up, the Carrera 4 will be offered with both the 7-speed, dual-clutch PDK tranmission and a 7-speed manual transmission (hey, where'd that extra gear come from?) If you equip the manual tranny with the Sport Chrono package, and put it in Sport Plus setting, the transmission will automatically double declutch all of your downshifts, helping you to look the part of the rock star rather than a gear-grinding driver's ed student.
If you haven't ever driven a car with Adaptive Cruise Control, and have driven in traffic or on long trips, then you are really missing out. Adaptive Cruise Control uses special radar sensors to judge the distance to the car in front of you, and adjust your vehicle's speed to keep the distance the same. It's a great safety and anti-nuisance feature, because who loves constantly adjusting the cruise control? Seriously. Set it and forget it people. As as added benefit, if you get the PDK transmission, ACC will included Porsche Active Safe (PAS) which will warn the driver of a impending frontal collision and prime the brakes.
In practical terms, the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 is probably as much car as any of us with really need, or use, for 99% of our driving. Nevertheless, we are lucky to live in a world where the 4S exists. And if it exists, then we must have it. With an larger 3.8L flat six engine spitting out a sensible 400 hp, you can easily see yourself going from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. "Easily" I say, because with all-wheel drive and the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system distributing the torque to the wheels, even your grandma could look like a real speed demon leaving a red light. If you get the Sport Chrono package, you can even watch the torque distribution move around on a special menu screen. Just try to watch where you are going as well.
Porsche is nothing if not predictable. After they rolled out the 2013 911 Carrera two-wheel-drive models, we all new it was just a matter of time before we would see the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S. Both the Coupe and Cabriolet will be available after we see the Carrera 4's at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Now that we've gotten those four models out of the way, the clock starts ticking until we can get our hands on the upcoming Porsche 911 Turbo, the monster 911 that will consume us all. Like every new version of the 911 Turbo, we can't wait to see the astonishing performance numbers it will produce. At least until then, we can comfort ourselves knowing 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S will still blow us away, if only a tad slower than the Turbo.
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