Introducing a wide range of new highlights in technology, Porsche is raising the sportiness, efficiency and environmental compatibility of the classic rear-engined 911 to an even higher level than before. The all-new power units in the 911 Carrera models with their 3.6-litre and the 911 Carrera S versions with their 3.8-litre power units come with direct gasoline injection and are even available as an option with Porsche’s new double-clutch transmission (PDK).
The flat-six power units featuring direct fuel injection develop 345 bhp (254 kW), that is 20 bhp more than before, in the 3.6-litre version. Output of the 3.8-litre power unit in the S-models is up by 30 to 385 bhp (283 kW), pushing the extra-powerful S-version beyond the magic speed barrier of 300 km/h or 186 mph.
Despite this supreme power and performance, the new models in the 911 range once again boast a significant reduction of fuel consumption, the 911 Carrera Coupé with manual gearbox making do with an average of just 10.3 litres/100 km (equal to 27.4 mpg imp), the PDK version offering even greater fuel economy with average fuel consumption of just 9.8 litres/100 km, equal to 28.8 mpg imp (combined overall fuel consumption to the EU5 standard).
The new Carrera models are Porsche’s first sports cars for the road to feature the Porsche double-clutch transmission (PDK). Having introduced the PDK transmission in motorsport more than 20 years ago, Porsche has been acknowledged ever since as the pioneer of this outstanding technology.
The double-clutch transmission in Porsche’s new sports cars comes with seven gears shifting electrohydraulically without the slightest interruption of traction, power and pulling force. Hence, the brand-new transmission combines the benefits of a manual gearbox with those of an automatic transmission, ensuring the outstanding dynamic performance of a thoroughbred sports car together with superior gearshift comfort and fuel economy.
Featured as standard on the Carrera S models and available as an option on the “basic” versions, Porsche Active Suspension Management or PASM for short has been further refined for the new model generation, giving the new 911 even greater smoothness combined with the same dynamic performance and response as before.
The new sports suspension available as an option lowering the entire vehicle by 20 millimetres or 0.79” is now based on this active suspension technology, improving performance in both sports motoring and everyday use.
The new 911 Carrera features upgraded, high-performance brakes ensuring superior stopping power and short stopping distances under all conditions. The brake discs now measure 330 millimetres or 12.99” all round and come on the 3.6-litre models with new brake callipers. PSM Porsche Stability Management now also comprises the Brake Pre-Filling and Brake Assistant functions previously available only on the Carrera 4 and the Turbo to ensure even faster and more powerful brake response whenever required.
The all-wheel drive system has a multi-disc viscous coupling and transfers between five and 40 per cent of the tractive force permanently to the front wheels. Porsche Stability Management (PSM) has two extra functions on the 997 4S over the previous model: the brake system is pre-filled ready for a full brake application, thus eliminating the air gap between the pads and the disc and making stopping distances even shorter. The second new PSM function is activated if the driver depresses the brake pedal quickly but not forcefully. In this situation, the hydraulic pump builds up extra pressure to bring all the wheels into the ABS range and ensure optimal braking.
In its regular setting, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) offers a sporty but comfortable basic shock absorber setup, but operation of the sport button activates a noticeably firmer mapped setting. In both settings, however, the suspension ratings are matched at all times to the driving style and road conditions. The active shock absorber system is a standard feature on the 911 Carrera 4S and an optional extra on the Carrera 4. On request, both models can also be fitted with sports suspension to lower the body 20 mm closer to the ground; this option includes a mechanical rear axle differential lock.
2009 Porsche 911 Carrera 4/Carrera 4S Coupe
The all-wheel-drive, brawny Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and its higher-performance variant, Carrera 4S Coupe offer the skilled enthusiast driver exhilarating dimensions of dynamic driving enjoyment, even in inclement weather.
Both the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S boast a unique body over their all-wheel-drive powertrains. The broad-body design is more than an aesthetic statement; it’s a function of the flared wheel arches that are needed to accommodate the Coupe’s wide track, large wheels, and tires.
What’s New for 2009
Since their introduction, the 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Carrera 4S have received continuous refinement. That constant improvement takes a quantum leap for the 2009 model year. Both cars receive dazzling new technologies for their core components: engines, transmissions and all-wheel drive systems.
The new, more potent and more fuel efficient engines boast direct fuel injection systems among other enhancements for improved performance and better fuel economy.
In lieu of the optional Tiptronic S transmission, Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S owners may now specify the driver-shiftable Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe, or PDK. This ground-breaking seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission is lighter, more efficient, and quicker-shifting than the previous Tiptronic S.
For 2009, engine power is distributed to all four wheels via the same electronically controlled Porsche Traction Management system found previously only on the Porsche Turbo. The electronic controls respond to driving conditions even more instantaneously than the previously used hydraulically activated all-wheel drive system.
Commensurate with the increased performance potential, Porsche engineers have increased the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S Coupes’ braking ability. Night visibility is also enhanced as both cars come standard with BI-XENON™ headlights and L.E.D. driving lights as well as brake- and taillights.
Driver and passenger comfort and convenience have also been enhanced for 2009 with the availability of ventilated front seats and through the redesign of the Porsche Communication Module which boasts a larger screen, simplified operation, Bluetooth® connectivity and the ability to play music from such external sources as an iPod® and MP3 players.
More Power from Less Fuel
Both the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and 911 Carrera 4S Coupe receive new engines for 2009. The engines both boast direct fuel injection, new two-piece crankcases and revised intake and exhaust systems along with Porsche VarioCam Plus intake-valve timing and lift system.
The results are felt and appreciated immediately by the Carrera 4 Coupe driver. Thanks to a 6.2 percent increase in horsepower, the 3.6-liter engine goes from 325 to 345 hp. Similarly, there’s a 5.5 percent gain in torque, from 273 to 288 lb.-ft. Thanks to these improvements, a manual gearbox-equipped 2009 911 Carrera 4 Coupe accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.8 seconds.
Even more impressive, when the car is equipped with the new PDK Porsche double-clutch in place of last year’s Tiptronic S, the Carrera 4 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, a full half second more quickly than its predecessor.
The 3.8-liter engine in the still-more potent 911 Carrera 4S Coupe exhibits equally awesome results, delighting its driver by sprinting to 60 mph in only 4.5 seconds when equipped with a manual gearbox and making that run in a mere 4.3 seconds with the PDK. This hedonistic acceleration is compliments of the new 3.8-liter engine’s gain of 30 hp, from 355 to 385 hp, or 8.4 percent, and a 5 percent improvement in torque, from 295 lb.-ft. to 310.
Even with the substantial increases in horsepower and torque over the predecessor models, neither the 2009 3.6-liter 911 Carrera 4 nor the 3.8-liter Carrera 4S carries the stigma of a gas-guzzler penalty. And both engines earn their respective cars federal Low-Emissions Vehicle, category two (LEV-II) certification.
Two Clutches, No Clutch Pedal
To take full advantage of the newly designed engines, Porsche is offering drivers a transmission that delivers quicker acceleration than is possible with the standard manual gearbox while maximizing fuel efficiency. The new PDK (from the German Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe), or Porsche double-clutch, replaces the Tiptronic S as the optional gearbox in both the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe and 911 Carrera 4S Coupe.
Porsche was the first automaker to successfully use this transmission technology back in the 1980s when the transmission was developed for the mighty Porsche 962 Group C race car. The 911 Carrera 4 Coupe or Carrera 4S Coupe driver can allow the seven-speed PDK to shift up and down automatically, or he may opt to shift personally via steering-wheel mounted paddles or the console-mounted lever, the same as with the Tiptronic S.
2009 Carrera 4/Carrera 4S Short
Essentially, the PDK is a conventional, seven-speed manual gearbox with two electro-hydraulically controlled, oil-bathed multiplate clutch packs. One clutch pack controls the odd-numbered gears and Reverse, the other the even-numbered gears. As one clutch pack engages the appropriate gear based on engine speed, load, and vehicle speed, the other clutch simultaneously disengages the previous gear. The results are seamless, instantaneous up- and downshifts, performed more quickly than could be done by even a skilled test driver.
Gains Through Loss
The newly revamped engines, both 3.6-liter and 3.8-liter, each weighs about 6 kg, or 13.2 pounds, less than its predecessor. The new engines offer increased structural rigidity for a quieter, more comfortable driving experience as well as improved durability. The innovative PDK, despite offering more gear ratios than the Tiptronic S is about 10 kg, or 22 pounds, lighter than last year’s Tiptronic.
Through such careful weight management, Porsche engineers were able to keep the 2009 911 Carrera 4 Coupe within 50 pounds (23 kg) of last year’s car, while the 911 Carrera 4S Coupe weighs only 11 pounds (5 kg) more than its predecessor, despite the new cars’ added equipment and features.
All-Weather Maximum Performance
Mechanically, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S Coupes are defined by their all-wheel drive capabilities. For 2009, these cars benefit from the same electronically controlled Porsche Traction Management (PTM) found under the awesome Porsche 911 Turbo. PTM can vary the torque split infinitely and absolutely between front and rear wheels as needed for optimum traction. However, since most purists feel—and Porsche’s engineers staunchly believe—that rear-drive is critical for optimum sporty driving, PTM directs two-thirds of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions.
When the system determines it is needed, PTM diverts engine power and torque to the front axle in millisecond cycles. Particularly at very high speeds, all the driver feels is the car’s significant stability.
Bigger, Grippier Brakes
Among the added features are even more potent brakes than before. Porsche engineers firmly believe that a car’s deceleration ability must always out-perform its ability to accelerate. Commensurate with the gains in engine performance, the 2009 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S Coupes receive added braking capability. All four brake rotors on both cars are cross-drilled, inner vented and now 12.99 inches (330 mm) in diameter.
In addition, the monobloc, four-piston calipers are now the same as those used on the 911 Turbo. Critical refinements have been made to the airflow around the wheels to increase brake cooling all around as well.
Distinct Yet Readily Familiar
As dramatic as are the changes in the Carrera 4 and 4S Coupes’ drivetrains this year from last, is how elegantly subtle the exterior differences are. Knowing full well that Porsche owners prize the classic shape of the 911 Carrera 4 and 4S, and that wanton and radical redesigns simply for the sake of change undermine a marque’s value, Porsche’s designers and engineers allowed only minor refinements to the appearance of the model range for 2009.
When viewed head on, the most notable differences are the new, horizontal covers for the BI-XENON® headlights and the L.E.D. daytime running lights, which extend over the air inlets. Also noteworthy are those air vents which boast larger cooling openings. The keen-eyed observer will also note the absence of a center radiator on cars equipped with the PDK.
The side view reveals new, larger exterior mirrors with aerodynamic twin-arm mounts as well as new lightweight alloy wheels. The standard wheels on the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe are 18 inches in diameter, and the 911 Carrera 4S Coupe comes with 19 inch wheels.
In the rear, all the lighting elements, save the reversing lamp, are now light-emitting diodes, for improved luminosity, longer life and instantaneous response. Finally, in the back, the 911 Carrera 4 Coupe sports two single oval exhaust pipes while the 911 Carrera 4S Coupe shows dual round polished exhaust outlets.
The 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S Coupes are visually distinct compared to their two-wheel drive siblings by their brawny stance and their muscular fenders. The all-wheel-drive versions of the Porsche 911 Carrera are 1.73 inch (44 mm) wider than their two-wheel-drive counterparts. Despite the extra width, the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S Coupes are stunningly aerodynamic. The 911 Carrera 4 has a coefficient of drag of only 0.30 and the Carrera 4S is even slipperier with a Cd of only 0.29, despite their larger tires.
More Sophisticated and Comfortable
Interior refinements include a revamped center console highlighted by a new Porsche Communication Management system (PCM) and the availability of ventilated front seats.
The latest iteration of the PCM boasts a 12 percent larger screen than before, 6.5 inches vs. 5.8. In addition, the PCM is now controlled via an easy-to-clean touchscreen which incorporates a simpler keyboard. The optional navigation module now has a 40 GB hard drive. Other available features with the newest PCM include an internal GSM mobile phone module with Bluetooth® handsfree operation, as well the ability to connect with external music sources such as an iPod® or USB memory sticks.
Interior comfort may be enhanced regardless of front seat selection thanks to optional seat ventilating fans, available in conjunction with heated seats. These circulate air through the seatback and cushion upholstery to expedite cooling, heating and/or drying the driver and passenger.
All-weather capabilities or not, the 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S Coupes boast luxuriously appointed passenger cabins. Like all Porsche automobiles, the Coupes offer their occupants the protection of six airbags: dual frontal-impact airbags; as well as two seat-mounted, thorax-protecting, side-impact airbags; and two head-protecting, side-impact, curtain door-mounted airbags.