All-new for 2012 in rear-drive Carrera and Carrera S form, the 991 Porsche 911 gets another update for 2013: the arrival of the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 and 4S.
The 911 Turbo, GT2, and GT3 models carry on with the last-gen 997 platform for now, but will join the rest of the updated 911 range on the 991 platform over the coming years.
Back to the 991s: the new Carrera 4 and 4S share their key powertrain specs with the rear-drive models. That means a 3.4-liter, 350-horsepower flat six for the Carrera and Carrera 4, and a 3.8-liter, 400-horsepower engine for the S and 4S. All engines can be paired with either a seven-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch.
Handling is superb across the 911 range. The Carrera 4 gets a wider rear track and, of course, all-wheel drive, potentially giving it the edge in performance over the otherwise very similar Carrera.
The Carrera and Carrera 4 range can also be had in either coupe or convertible form. The 911 Cabriolet's soft top retracts quickly, and, when up, does an admirable job of emulating the quietness and comfort of the Coupe. The hardtops are the choice for the performance nuts, however, with slightly better rigidity and easier transfer to the track.
Inside, the 2013 Porsche 911 range is surprisingly friendly--at least for those unacquainted with the 911's effortless combination of daily comfort and focused performance. The front seats are the place to be, with plenty of room for a range of body types and sizes; the rear seats are best reserve for children.
Cargo room is better than you might expect, with a deep front trunk that can hold a weekend's worth of gear for two people rather easily. In-cabin cubbies and storage aren't abundant, however, and the drink holders are just this side of ridiculous, but hey--it's not a Tahoe.
On the safety front, the 2013 Porsche 911 hasn't been crash tested yet, but it does offer a range of advanced electronic safety systems. Short stopping distances and a nimble demeanor could also help drivers avoid accidents in the first place.
For more details on the 2013 Porsche 911, read our review at The Car Connection