For the very first time, every Porsche - save the limited-production 911 R model - features forced induction.
The 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S takes a bold step forward, and not just in terms of the striking styling updates that have been made to the popular sports car. In addition to the adoption of the German brand's new quad-LED headlight treatment, as well as a revised interior and gorgeous wrap-around LED taillight arrangement, all versions of the Carrera now feature turbocharged engines.
This means for the very first time, every Porsche - save the limited-production 911 R model - features forced induction, regardless of whether it's advertised on the outside of the automobile or not. Inspired equally by Porsche's unending quest to squeeze more performance from its 50-year old rear-engine chassis as well as the very real demands of modern fuel efficiency standards, the Carrera 4S (and each of its Carrera cousins) has left its larger-displacement past behind and instead stuffed its trademark flat-six engine with as many parts of the atmosphere as possible.
- The 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S' twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre 6-cylinder engine might be smaller than the motor it replaces, but power is up, big-time: 420 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of twist are an improvement of 50 hp and 43 lb-ft over the 3.4-litre unit it replaces. Even the base model Carrera benefits from a boost in brawn, posting 370 hp and 331 lb-ft from a more modestly-tuned version of the same 3.0-litre six.
- As might be expected, more power equals better performance, especially for models equipped with Porsche's seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automated manual transmission in place of the 911's standard 7-speed traditional manual gearbox. With launch control active, all-wheel drive models like the Carrera 4S can reach 100 km/h in a stunning 4.4 seconds, and a new Sport Assist button lets cars equipped with the Sport Chrono package to instantly spool up the twins, drop down to the most favourable gear, and enjoy 20 seconds of pure acceleration bliss.
- Porsche Active Suspension Management is now standard across the board, allowing drivers to switch between touring-friendly chassis response and more hardcore dampening that's better suited to the track via console-mounted button. In a world where adaptive suspension systems are quickly becoming a must-have on high end sports cars, it's a nice gimme from Porsche's product planners.
- Equally welcome is an all-new infotainment interface for the 911 that incorporates more attractive graphics, quicker response times, and a thoroughly modern menu layout. Simpler to use than past Porsche efforts, this feature, too, is included free of charge starting with the base Carrera.
- Part of the 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera's cabin refresh includes the relocation of the car's drive mode buttons from their original home on the centre console to a circular glob of plastic affixed between the right-side steering wheel spokes. The rotary dial is not only a bit of a hassle to use, but it also looks completely out of place on what is otherwise a very nice wheel. This is a Porsche-wide styling cue that you'll find in every new model from the automaker.
- The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S comes with a set of rear seats, unlike rivals from Jaguar (the F-Type), Chevrolet (the Corvette), and Audi (the R8). Unless you're under the age of five, however, they're really just for insurance purposes. Think of them as a complement to the storage found in the small trunk at the front of the car, and don't try to stuff any adults back there.
- Porsche has spent untold millions of dollars engineering the lively handling that comes hand-in-hand with a rear-mounted engine out of the picture, but if you push hard enough on a race track you'll still encounter that familiar sliding sensation as the mass at the back of the Carrera 4S steps out on you in a corner. It's important to understand that at this point in the electronic stability control game this is more about character than being a true liability, but if you're used to the supreme balance of a mid-engine automobile or the predictability of a front-engine car, you'll definitely notice the difference.