Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe road test

  • All-wheel drive Carrera 4 provides more traction
  • Zero to 62mph in 4.7 seconds, top speed of 175mph
  • Prices start from £77,924, on sale in December

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe is an impressively capable sports car.

Its iconic silhouette makes it instantly recognisable, while the Porsche name is famous the world over.

Porsche's Carrera 4 adds another dimension to the 911's already substantial performance credentials. It's all-wheel drive, as opposed to the conventional 911's rear-wheel drive configuration.

The new generation 911 Carrera 4 will please enthusiasts with its stunning performance but it will also appeal to those who want to use it on a daily basis thanks to its good fuel economy, improved traction and superior stability.

That doesn't mean there have been compromises on the performance front, however. Powered by a 3.4-litre flat-six engine developing 345bhp, the Porsche can complete the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in in 4.7s.

All models have a seven-speed manual gearbox fitted as standard, or the automatic seven-speed PDK gearbox as an option. With the PDK transmission the car can reach 175mph where legal.

Pick the Carrera 4 with the PDK automatic gearbox and it can potentially average 32.8mpg. CO2 emissions are high but, given the performance, acceptable. With the PDK transmission this version of the 911 Coupe will emit 203g/km. That means road tax of £270 a year.

Detractors may moan about the electromechanical power steering system, used for the first time on the latest 2WD version of the 911. Fortunately the steering is direct, precise and gives the driver lots of feedback.

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4 excels on twisty B-roads while on motorways it is refined, allowing you to arrive at your destination feeling refreshed. It's comfortable enough to be used regularly, yet when the opportunity presents itself there's plenty of performance on tap.

Standard kit includes sports seats, climate control, bi-xenon headlights, a 4.6-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav, MP3 player connectivity and stability control. Every 911 is fitted with Porsche's Vehicle Tracking System, which is designed to allow the vehicle to be located if it is stolen..

Rivals for the new Porsche 911 include the Jaguar XK R, Audi’s R8 and the Nissan GT-R. That’s tough competition but the 911 Carrera 4 has stolen a march on its rivals. It really is very good.

The new Porsche 911 Carrera 4 is available to order now, with prices starting from £77,924.

Also consider:

Jaguar XK R

The XK R is the high performance version of the standard XK. It uses a supercharged version of the XK's V8 engine to provide thunderous pace along with a wonderful noise.

Audi R8

Recently facelifted, the updated V10 version of the Audi R8 is able to get from zero to 62mph in just 3.6s. That's 0.2s faster than the outgoing V10 with the R Tronic transmission.

Nissan GT-R

Combining blistering performance with ease of use, the GT-R is a very capable and accessible car. The downside is that it can be horrendously expensive to maintain.