BEHIND THE WHEEL: Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2013

On the first day of Chinese New Year, I was presented the keys to a Carrera 4S. Ahh~ another 911, the car that has been around for half a century where there's no need for more introduction. The last 911 I drove was a 355 horsepower Carrera S with Tiptronic, PASM and sports exhaust. This one though has 2 more drives, 30 more horsepower together with PDK instead of the older Tiptronic. I have been looking forward to photographing the Carrera 4S a lot but first, some driving. I oozed off in it slowly to keep the owner happy however moments later, I could not bear the itch any longer but to activate sports exhaust.

 " In the first 5 minutes of acquainting, Carrera and I

was going rather too well... as if

we've met before "

The quad exhausts might be a tad expensive to buy but the way they expel noise, it is worth every single dime. I then went to my favourite dragstrip to find out how soon can it get from 0 to 100km/h with Launch Control. According to an app called Dynolicious, it did it in 5.8 seconds which is a whole 1.5 seconds slower than Porsche's claim. To be fair, I've got a passenger who weighs 60 kilos while the street has a slight elevation. The Carrera 4S does the straights very well by sending all of its 385hp to the ground with its foolproof all-wheel drive layout.

PRO

Inspires real confidence

Raw 911 emotions
Sounds magnificent with sports exhaust system

CON

Rear wheel drive's even more fun

SPECIFICATION

 3.8-litre flat-6

385hp 420Nm

7-speed PDK

0-100 km/h: 4.5s (4.3s Sport Plus)

Top speed: 295 km/h

From RM 930,000

What I love most about CNY is that most people (idiots) have left for their hometowns and it may be the only time where anyone could drive fast in the day. The 4S can go fast and it shows on its speedometer but it does not feel that way because the four-wheel-drive is truly confidence inspiring. It isn't demanding, yet so rewarding. Just about anyone could drive this Carrera fast. Push it hard in the corners it would understeer, just give it a second then apply more throttle. Having Sports Plus mode activated, PDK shifts more ferociously, traction control be backed down and stiffens the damping. Despite that, be it on rougher road surfaces or going over potholes the ride on this Carrera will never be jarring. It is nothing less than composed, civilised even for its occupants compared to the mid-engined Cayman.

At speeds of about 200 kilometre an hour, the Carrera 4S doesn't intimidate the person behind the wheel and it does not require much to drive fast. Although it did not scare me but I'm not too sure about the person who was seated next to me. In short, it goes fast, it turns well. The only thing that is a little bothering is that it might be difficult to convince buffoons that it is quick because of its cute face. That aside, the Carrera is an everyday car that can do both, grand touring and sports car stuff. It will give you sufficient comfort in a world that's filled with traffic and still do naught to a 160 in fewer than 10 seconds when traffic loosens up.

Surely I would recommend anyone to get the 911 as their first sports car but the Cayman and Boxster are attractive in a value for money proposition. While the Cayenne or the Panamera can come alongside after having yourself a coupe. No question Porsche's people carriers are the best driving cars in their class but lets remind ourselves on what the company is best at making are sports cars.

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