If you live where snow is a regular fact of life for the winter months, chances are good the sports car gets parked in the garage around Thanksgiving, with only token appearances on dry and salt-free roads until spring rolls around.

Porsche doesn’t think its sports cars should be limited to three-season use, which is why it also builds the iconic 911 in an all-wheel drive version. It’s a popular car, too, as evidenced by the fact that the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet are the third and fourth models of the new Type 991 variant to be released.

In a new series of videos, Porsche’s chief driving instructor from its Silverstone, England, Experience Center, Gordon Roberston, takes us through the benefits of a 911 that sends its power to all four wheels.

All you really need to know is this: Roberson says he’s more comfortable driving his family in all weather conditions behind the wheel of the Carrera 4, which he claims has the same character and feel of the rear-drive version. It’s different, as Gordon tells us, when it needs to be different, but otherwise feels exactly like a 911 should.

Like the two-wheel drive Type 991s, the new Carrera 4 models are lighter, faster and more fuel efficient than the cars they replace. New to this version of the Carrera 4 is a dash-mounted gauge that shows the amount of torque sent to each of the four wheels, allowing a driver to sense what the available grip is like.

New Carrera 4 models get a 3.4-liter flat-six engine, good for 350 horsepower and available with either a seven-speed manual or a seven-speed PDK gearbox. Opt for the Carrera 4S, and you’ll get a 3.8-liter flat six, rated at 400 horsepower and mated to the same choice of transmissions.

Carrera 4 models should begin arriving in Porsche dealers in early 2013.