There is always going to be a better Porsche 911. Yet, that fact is hard to care about when in the driver’s seat of any variant on the performance ladder, because every single one of them is enchanting to drive. This time, it’s the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4. From a layout and specs perspective, it could be argued this 911 configuration is the most boring of the bunch. It has the lowest power output, and it's saddled with all-wheel drive, adding unnecessary weight (106 pounds more than a rear-drive Carrera) to a car that isn't some lurid, uncontrollable mess when power goes only to the rear. Basically, it’s the 911 you'd want on a snowy winter day, geared up with winter tires and heated seats. That’s where the Carrera 4 starts making sense on paper, but in practice, it also makes sense the rest of the time. Porsche claims 379 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque from the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six out back, which is 9 hp more than the previous-generation Carrera 4. With the Sport Chrono Package (as ours is equipped), it’s scheduled to hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Our internal stopwatch says that number is high, but that’s Porsche for you. Under promise. Overdeliver. It tops out at 180 mph, which is enough to leave most of the Autobahn in the rearview mirror. This may be a base Carrera 4, but it’s special from the second you twist the fob to the left of the steering wheel. Nothing else in the automotive world sounds like a 911. Other Porsches with a V8 or V6 sound good, but this flat-six lets you know it’s a different kind of animal right away. The whirring and raw mechanical goodness is there at idle, and it only gets better as the revs climb. Pay for the Sport Exhaust option. You’ll be happy you did. Taking advantage of this model’s all-wheel-drive system is the first thing on our minds. Porsche claims to have improved the front axle drive componentry for the 992. The clutch and differential are now water-cooled, and it features reinforced clutches. This increases both durability and load capacity, and it also allows for a more accurate adjustment of clutch force. The greater capability of the driven front axle should result in better traction and handling in all conditions, wet and dry. In most circumstances, the majority of the torque heads rearward (up to 100 percent). Unlike some all-wheel-drive performance cars, though, the 911 Carrera 4 doesn’t have a mode that fully disconnects the front axle. Activating launch control seems like the most obvious way to see how well Porsche is able to put all 379 horses to the ground. Just like every other new Porsche these days, the launch experience is akin to being punched in the chest. The engine revs up to 5,000 rpm, then you’re rocketed away without hesitation or lag as the eight-speed PDK transmission does its job flawlessly. Fair warning, the launch will cause …
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|MPG||18 City / 24 Hwy|
|Transmission||8-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||443 @ 6500 rpm|
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