2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 goes turbo

Following an announcement at the Frankfurt Auto Show that all rear-drive members of its 2017 911 Carrera lineup will be fitted with new and more powerful 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-6 engines, Porsche has confirmed the same update is coming to the all-wheel-drive models. Arriving here in April of next year, the 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and 4S Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa models also will receive the same minor visual and infotainment enhancements while further benefitting from tweaks to their chassis and a new AWD system.

Although smaller than the current 3.4-liter naturally aspirated flat-six, the new turbocharged 3.0-liter engine is more potent and efficient. The standard version will make 370 horses and 331 lb-ft of peak torque versus the current 350/287 figures while the S-spec engine ups output to 420 and 368 compared to the 400/325 numbers of the 2016 S models. Despite the extra muscle, the new engines offer better low/mid-range response and are roughly 12 percent less thirsty on the European driving cycle, a factor that bodes well for their still-pending EPA ratings. All versions of the 911 Carrera/Targa 4/4S are marginally quicker than the existing models and can be fitted with a standard 7-speed manual transmission or optional 7-speed PDK twin-clutch transmission.

Also: Class of 2016 -- New Cars Ready to Roll 

Sharper handling 

Culled from the 911 Turbo, the revised electro-hydraulically controlled all-wheel drive system reacts more quickly and precisely to driver inputs. Paired with the lower-riding PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) system standard on all versions of the car, these new all-wheel drive 911s promise to be the most capable ever produced. And significantly enhanced shocks improve both ride compliance and roll control in corners. Like the rear-drive models, the S-spec cars can be upfitted with rear-axle steering, also borrowed from the 911 Turbo and GT3. Cars fitted with the available Sport Chrono Package boast a new 918 Spyder-like rotary control on the steering wheel to quickly dial up one of four driving modes  as well as a Sport Response Button that allows for 20 seconds of sustained full-throttle operation. All versions will offer a splitter-saving front lift system to raise the nose by about 1.5 inches when encountering a steep drive entry or speed bump.   

On the creature-feature front, these new AWD 911s will come with an all-new and more capable Porsche Communication Management system that features a 7.0-inch multi-touch center display and an integrated navigation system that recognizes typical smartphone-style inputs and better integrates various devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cable. The one-year subscription brings real-time traffic alerts as well as things like Google StreetView and Internet radio.

Pricing for the 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 will start at $97,295 with the Carrera 4S commencing at $111,295. The 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet and Targa 4 are set to open at $109,595 while the 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet and Targa 4S kick off at $123,595.

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