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Turbo turbo über alles – 2016 Carrera 4 and Targa 4 join Porsche 911 revolution

Published: 08 October 2015

► New 3.0-litre twin-turbo for 4wd 911s
► 4wd faster than 2wd 911s for first time
► Updated design, extra tech, on sale now

It was only a matter of time, but Porsche has now confirmed four-wheel drive versions of the 991.2 generation 911 are getting an upgrade to the new 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat six. This follows the introduction of the new engine in the rear-wheel drive 911 Carrera and Carrera S in September. 

Available in two variants, the new motor replaces the old non-turbo 3.4-litre and 3.8-litre engines in the Carrera 4, the Carrera 4S and the Targa 4, bringing increased performance and efficiency.

How much extra power do the turbocharged 4wd Porsche 911s get?

It’s a 20bhp boost, bringing the standard Carrera up to 365bhp and the Carrera S up to 414bhp. The change is applied to coupe and cabriolet variants simultaneously – including the Targa 4. Torque increases to 332lb ft and 369lb ft, respectively, peaking at just 1700rpm and hanging about all the way to 5000rpm, meaning mid-range wallop is significantly improved. That's a bonus for entry-level buyers in particular, as the 991.1 Carrera has always felt a bit weedy. 0-62mph drops 0.4sec for this model to a best of 4.1sec for a coupe equipped with the optional PDK transmission and Sport Chrono package.

The S gets its extra oomph from modified turbos, exhaust and engine management, but its 0-62mph time ‘only’ falls by 0.3sec – which means a scant 3.8sec at best. That is astonishingly fast. Especially given it’s still one of the lower rungs on the 911 performance ladder…

Behind the wheel of the Porsche 911

More significantly, changes to the electro-hydraulic four-wheel drive system itself mean that these sprint times are now quicker than their rear-wheel drive equivalents for the first time. Top speed ranges from 178mph to 189mph, while efficiency improves to as much as a claimed 36mpg. 

What else is new for the 991.2 Porsche 911s with 4wd?

The light strip that links the rear light clusters on the four-wheel drive 991.2 now features a ‘three-dimensional’ design (begging the question of what kind of physics-bending capability its predecessor deployed), plus the same ‘four-point’ headlight and brake light enhancements as the rest of the range. As before, four-wheel drive also means wider hips – rear wheelarches that extend 44mm further than on two-wheel drive 911s.

As with other 991.2 models, the new turbo four-wheel drives get Porsche Active Suspension Management and a revised infotainment system as standard, and some exciting new optional extras. The Sport Chrono package now features a mode switch on the steering wheel, including ‘Sport Response Button’ where PDK is fitted (essentially the Turbo Boost from Knight Rider, right? Although maybe without the gravity defying jumping action), while the Carrera S is available with rear-wheel steering.

You can read more about the differences between the 991.1 and the 991.2 in our original story about the incoming turbo engines by clicking here.

How much are the 4wd 991.2 Porsche 911s, and when can I buy one? 

Prices start at £81,398 for the Carrera 4 and £90,843 for the Carrera 4S – add just under £9k more if you fancy a cabriolet. The turbocharged Targa 4 is £90,240, the Targa 4S £99,684.

One in three 911 buyers chooses a four-wheel drive model, a figure we suspect is only going to increase given the improved performance of the 991.2. You can order one right now, but first deliveries aren’t expected until early in 2016.

4wd Porsche 991.2: take your pick

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count