Review: 2012 Porsche Carrera 4 PDK

Posted on 14. Nov, 2011 by in Auto News

I know what you're thinking.

I think it also.

Why would I? How, with a large number of competent hot-shoes, serious journalistic scribes and industry insiders are doing here at TTAC, the key to a presser Porsche 911 with the guy who was in public, not a very good driver and who got to pass a unfortunate tendency, four long words when a short one would do well? Would not that be better served the audience of someone who could give you a thorough, accurate 10/10ths dynamic assessment or a brief, sober buyer Summary?

Oh, probably. But there are two very good reasons, I've got this thing.

First I asked Porsche beautiful. And again and again. Is that I'm in Canada, courtesy works here like a Jedi mind trick.

Secondly, this 911 is no adrenal gland urging trackday GT3 supercar still blitzing Turbo S. Neither is it the new 991 or the 997, that any other publication has already said, "the one you want is" – the GTS. Scope The information on this particular piece of Stuttgart spizzarkle: Four-wheel drive, automatic transmission, the "base" 3.6L engine – it might as well fastened training wheels.

Quite simply, what we have here is a 911 for Mr. Average, and if you ignore the fact that I'm a ginger, I am. I'm going on a hat on and drive it.

A stylistic criticism of 997, model year 2012 or not, would be pointless. Porsche has been honing the 911 Silhouette since 1963, and this particular variant has been kicking since '05 model year.

Provided that you do not live on the moon, you have undoubtedly created some trim level of the current 911 seats curbside and seen your own conclusions about the slippery reversed teardrop with the cello hips. Corporate bars be damned, every nuance is a 911 burned in the form of the collective zeitgeist. This is the Porsche, the stallion crest flag bearer, and I suppose the only cosmetic things I can show you here is that something beautiful optional turbo wheels my tester is installed, and the fact that the last few years 997S fitted with larger been, are air intakes and the ubiquitous LED daytime running lights.

But here's the thing, the thrill I feel is me, as I slide into the near perfect seats and spend tried a few awkward seconds, the car with the key in my right hand (oh right, ignition left) start, is short-lived. Despite the flawless autumnal splendor of a rare sunny day in the Pacific Northwest, it takes all of ten blocks for an unseen hand the dimmer on the flashing neon sign that is turning "OH EMM GEE – I drive a 911!" in my head.

In rapid succession, I will pass by a V10 Audi R8, a white 458 Italia and a bright orange Lamborghini LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni. Hmmm.

Here in the City of Glass, with its many narcissism-inducing reflective surfaces – the place of the butt-sculpting yoga pants (not that I had anything to do with it, but you are welcome) invented – a 911 Carrera is insufficient for posing I might as well drive one 2012 GTi for all the attention I'm anchoring. The 911 could the Porsche, but here it is only a Porsche.

The muted gray this car Platinum Silver Metallic paint may not have to do anything, but the happy fact is that the 911 has over the years gradually shed the Gordon Gekko display of a crimson, Wal-tailed Convertible 964th In an age where hot Bimmer M badging in and bowling alley shady slathered entry level coupes are boasting as the Hyundai Veloster big, blingy, matching rims, mid-line versions of the 911 seems reticent, discreet, cautious. In my opinion, this is a good thing.

A Carrera4 not – supposedly – to be pampered, then a 911 my commuter car through the week. This is not as much fun as it sounds: I have a short commute to work, but at this time of year it is a mess, clotted with lumps of slow SUVs hissed, through the construction and confused by the sheer volume. Every day I go out, learn from penetrating moisture greeted by a West Coast winter and a little more about the idea of a 911 as a daily driver.

Most of it is good. The PDK is a bit clunky from cold but soon warmed and starts shuffling through the gears quickly and imperceptibly, sixth and seventh gear sometimes achieved at little more than minor road speeds of 30 mph. Smooth yes, sporty no.

The sports seats, as already mentioned, are fantastic: grippy cosseting yet. The steering wheel is blissfully free of buttons and gently pushes your hands on the correct 3-and-9-position. The rest of the interior is quite spartan and not very different from the base Boxster equipment. Satellite navigation is easy to use, the iPod interface is tricky.

Visibility is excellent. Ride is firm but acceptable. Tire roar ends just before the Nissan 370Z levels. Parallel parking on the first brings beads of sweat on his forehead in anxiety which contain low-offset wheels, but is a snap with a few days practice.

Whatever visceral tug that iconic shape gave me on Monday morning was eroded by Saturday evening. The Carrera4 was knowledgeable, friendly, even useful on the fuel, but in the day-to-day in the city, it is run to shine yet. At this point, it may be tempting to scan the list of options and start grumbling about the outrageous cost of extras that should be standard on a $ 100K Car – $ 400 for auto-dimming mirrors Really?

Instead, it is time to head East.

As the sun slips behind us and the landscape changes from skyscraper-and-supercar for pickup trucks n 'Holsteins, I can feel a little knot of anticipation is growing in the pit of my stomach. I'm heading home.

Here, high up in the hills above the fertile Fraser Valley, I wake up early on Sunday morning, the coated 911 with crystalline ice, caked his badge in hoarfrost. The day is breaking, brilliant and brittle-blue, brilliant with all the promise of a cloudless winter sky. I cheer on the six-cylinder and a deep thrum the percussive support tappeting valves as clouds of steam issue from two exhaust in the cold, clear air hanging.

During the frost clears from the windshield, I retire to the warmth of the kitchen chat over a cup of coffee with my father. About what I can not remember: it is not important.

"You want to go for a ride, Dad?"

The Porsche-summer tires – I'm the last one to drive this car so fogged – hard as hockey pucks and scrabble at the cracked and heaved pavement frozen at the foot of the driveway. I have worked the car in sport mode with Porsche Active Stability Management. This vehicle is equipped with Sport Chrono – a must-have for PDK-equipped cars – and while it is sport + on a public road is the province of sociopaths, who turned 911 in the contact sport it.

We go haring the first of several hills, the pleasant whuffling the Carrera exhaust crescendoing in a sonorous tenor turbine, banging hard first-to-second, second-to-third shift us. Return to their seats with a blow Porsche finally seen fit to add the proper paddle shifters, although they are mounted steering wheel instead. To the steering column We climb.

These are the streets that I grew up, intestinal loops of off-camber, often slippery asphalt, with hasty repairs, crumpled, patchworked rutted, rippled, dimpled and undulating. I rode the school bus on them, have sat shotgun in my father's '85 535i as we flew along tree-dappled sunlight have, used a recalcitrant Land Rover along imprudent speeds during my rash driven teenager they have back home in the first car, which I paid for with my own money.

Dad taught me how to drive stick-shift here in the E28, and here I am taking him for a ride in one of the finest pieces of machinery ever developed. We exploded on winding, sunny country roads with snow capped mountains and frost-coated areas as a backdrop, stir to swirl red and yellow leaves swirl in our wake. If all this is beginning a bit of a Porsche commercial, that's pretty much how it felt sound.

With a dual clutch transmission, all-wheel drive and a hefty price tag, this 911 invites direct comparison with the Nissan GT-R. In fact, picking Godzilla would this car (as optioned) leave about $ 10K remaining your jeans. As a child, I would have said it was a no-brainer: the car that has the better numbers the better car.

However, I had. A decent amount of seat time in Nissan scalp-taker, and it is a very angry, impatient, heavy thing Where the GT-R stomps, crushing curving asphalt like a steamroller with R-compounds, the dancing in the streets rather 911.

Porsche has created a taut, muscular sense, as you feed it into a corner and then squeeze out the gas, a feeling of mild hip-pivot swing by the mild effect of this rear engine. We are not rushing, just flowing through known and well-worn twists and turns, just for slippery patches and keep an eye out for the neighbors on horseback. The streets remain abandoned.

I slowly than we. In a corner where I get one to remember the ice last winter, and sure enough, a few poorly excavated ditchwork has two rivulets flowing over the steep streets and freeze in thin and fragmented Journal Just for a lark, I lightly goose. The throttle from low speed as 911 his way across the ice-patch takes careful shift of power around like a cat lifting and shaking his paws as she goes on a wet floor The result is undramatic: This car is with the new electrically controlled all-wheel-drive system from the 997 Turbo, the set capable equipped 100% of the power either axis. As the front wheels grip dry asphalt, I am temporarily a pilot project for a front-wheel-drive 911th Blasphemy.

It is also able to activate an incredible standing start with launch control. After stopping for a quick picture, I try to take it: Sport + button activated. Step on the brake pedal, the throttle buried in the carpet. 6500rpm. Release the brake.

The result? 0-60 in 4.6 seconds and a few difficult impressed Herefords. Or they might get bored. Or hungry. Cattle are a pretty unfathomable amount.

I was able to drive the car here forever, endless loop these empty streets, but that's a fleeting moment, and it's time the reality and hand the keys back. But not before handing out another free ride.

On our way back to town, we stop to see a very good friend who is completely useless on cars. His son is currently playing five, and somehow neglected to develop into a full gear despite his dad Honda Civic and practical minivan. The house is full of Hot Wheels and Pixar characters. Will he go for a ride?

Seconds later, we are all strapped in, windows down with the heat on full. Bang-bang-bang through the gears and then hard on the brakes, as we all dissolve into helpless laughter. "Uncle Brendan, this car is more fun than I thought it would be," I am informed with all the irony-free earnestness that can manage only the very young. Amen.

You can buy a 911 different in eighteen flavors, and while this car is slightly distorted from the way I would get me (Skip PDK, spec "S", hold off on the four-wheel drive and sat-nav and spend the money on driving lessons take place), it is still a very special car. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

The new 991 is already there, and I can not wait to drive it and compare it with the low-mile 993 I drove a few weeks ago, and this last hurray of the 997th The truth of this car? If you save and manage to swing the lease payments, or select a used discover with 30K on the clock for the same price as a new STi, then the same thing I have. Occasionally there is meat behind the legend. Only occasionally the reputation is deserved.

Porsche provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.