Porsche has uncovered its new generously proportioned wide-body 911 models, the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S Coupe and Cabriolet.
The new 911 Carrera 4 models adopt the same major changes introduced on the new 991 generation of the Porsche 911, which went on sale earlier this year.
Porsche has yet to unveil its New Zealand prices but it could slot in somewhere between the current $272,000 for the Carrera S Cabriolet and the $342,000 for the 911 Turbo.
In Australia, the new 3.4-litre 911 Carrera 4 Coupe is priced at A$255,400 (NZ$327,936) plus on-road costs (up A$14,200 over the previous version) and the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet is now A$17,400 pricier than its predecessor at A$280,900. The more manic 3.8-litre 911 Carrera S 4S is priced at A$289,400 for the Coupe (up A$18,400) and the 911 Carrera Cabriolet model is up by A$21,600 to A$315,000.
The four-wheel-drive 911 Carrera 4 and 4S models are 44mm wider than the regular 911 at the rear end, and the tyres are also 10mm wider.
The new 911 Carrera 4 wide body models will also introduce new features for the brand, including an optional radar-based active cruise control, which can control the car's speed and distance from other vehicles ahead. With the automatic transmission, this also includes an emergency braking system, which monitors cars in front and can automatically apply the brakes to potentially avoid a front-end collision.
There's also a new screen that tells the driver where the all-wheel-drive system is sending the engine's power.
In terms of styling, the 911 Carrera 4 and 4S both feature a new light strip between the tail-lights that further accentuates the extra width across the hips.
While the wide body hips over the rear wheel arches aren't as pronounced as in some previous Porsches (the classic 993 generation 911 springs to mind) enthusiasts will still spot the difference.
Lighter is better when it comes to performance, and the new 911 Carrera 4 delivers in that regard, as the new model is up to 65 kilograms lighter than the previous version.
However, the wider body and addition of the four-wheel-drive system means the Carrera 4 models are between 50 and 100kg heavier than the equivalent 911 Carrera (two-wheel-drive) variants. The difference in weight between the two- and four-wheel-drive Cabriolets is up to 110kg, whereas the Coupes are as low as 50kg.
The extra weight of the four-wheel-drive underpinnings does come with a very slight penalty to the 257kW/390Nm Carrera 4, which is 0.1 seconds slower in the claimed 0-100kmh sprint times, at 4.5 seconds for the Coupe and 4.7 seconds for the Cabriolet (regular 911: 4.4s Coupe and 4.6s for the Cabriolet).
The 0-100kmh times for the more powerful 294kW/440Nm 911 Carrera 4S versions are identical as the regular 911 S at 4.1 seconds for the Coupe and 4.3 seconds for the Cabriolet.
In combination with lighter components and more efficient engines – and in line with changes made across the 991-generation 911 range - the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and 4S both offer significant improvements over their predecessors in terms of fuel use.
A seven-speed manual transmission is standard fitment, but when fitted with the dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission for $5400, the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe is rated at 8.6L/100km (was 9.9L – a 13 per cent drop), and the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet is rated at 8.7L (was 10.1L – a 14 per cent drop).
The 911 Carrera 4S is also better on juice, down from 10.3L/100km to 9.1L (down 11 per cent) when fitted with the PDK, and the 911 Cabriolet 4S is rated at 9.2L/100km (down 12 per cent).
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