2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S

David Gluckman
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In typical Porsche fashion, the updated 911s are being rolled out in batches. We've already driven the coupe and convertible versions of the Carrera and Carrera S; now there are four more models, all with four driven wheels.

The big news for the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S coupes and convertibles is a new-to-Carrera all-wheel-drive system that's been nicked from the 911 Turbo, called Porsche Traction Management. The electronically controlled system replaces a viscous multi-plate clutch.

Engines and transmission choices mirror those found on the non-4 Carreras. Both engines now feature direct injection, which adds power while increasing fuel economy. The Carrera 4 gets a new 3.6-liter flat-six producing 345 hp and 287 lb-ft of torque, while the 4S features a 3.8-liter that sends 385 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque through the new all-wheel-drive components. Both come standard with a traditional six-speed manual and can also be had with Porsche's new PDK (for Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

The 4 and 4S get all of the visual changes that are applied to the rear-wheel-drive cars - bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime running lights and taillights - with one notable extra at the back. In addition to the rear-haunch widening that accompanies the cars, a reflective strip has been added between the taillights. The all-wheel-drive 911 will now be identifiable from a distance, even at night.

Also like the rear-drive cars, the 4 and 4S get an updated interior with the new Porsche Communication Management system as its centerpiece. The new head unit is a touch screen affair and will manage its communications with Bluetooth, USB, and an iPod interface.

The updated Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S go on sale in October of this year.

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