Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

Lighter with better precision and 4 wheel traction

With 400 horsepower at our disposal and a tremendous roar from the exhaust, the Carrera 4S can only be described as a beast on the road despite its less than bullish appearance. Since our test drive was confined to Dubai, we were restricted by the 120km speed limits, but we still tried our best to push the car’s seven-speed automatic transmission, bearing in mind it has a zero-to-sixty time of 4.3 seconds- you can actually hear the change in pace of the gears as they shift down.

Lifting off or braking mid-corner unsettles the 911, but the all-wheel-drive system and sophisticated stability programme will ensure that you don’t swap ends. The ride is impressive for a sports car and Porsche’s PASM adaptive damping system (standard on the S models) takes the credit here.

The handling of the 911 is smooth, once you get to grips with the anatomy of the car and its rear-biased weight distribution. For us, the noise of the engine became too loud and a bit overwhelming at times when sitting in traffic, but that’s easily dealt with — just deactivate the exhaust and go back to a smooth and more quiet ride.

A series of weight-optimization measures has pared the kerb weight to 45kg, bringing the new base weight down to around 1380kg. Along with being lighter, the grip of the 911 is something to be marveled at, with the wheels sticking to the tarmac like glue. This can even be measured by the ‘G force’ meter displayed in the instrument cluster.

The most noticeable aspect of the interior is the greatly improved finish compared to the previous 911.The update follows the new interior style guidelines initiated by the Panamera’s design. Considering we were cruising around in temperatures that soared to 40 degrees the cooled seats made our ride a lot more pleasurable, of course for colder climates they also heat up. For entertainment a Burmester premium stereo delivers one of the most articulate sounds available in a car today.

The only remaining problem is space. While front passengers have some newfound space, the 911 Carrera 4S’s pair of rear jump seats still won’t carry adults comfortably for any length of time. But fold them down, and you get a bit more luggage space to complement the Porsche’s 1,251 litres of front trunk room.