2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S – Track Tested

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2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

For more than half a century, Porsche has methodically fine-tuned its iconic 911 resulting in one of the most refined sports cars on the road today. Now in its eighth generation, the 2020 992 911 features a twin turbocharged 6 cylinder 3.0 litre boxer engine with 379 hp in the base model and 443 hp in the car we are driving, the 2020 911 Carrera 4S. As one would expect, all of this refinement and performance comes at a bit of a price. The 2020 911 C4S has a base price of $137,400 CAD. Check off a few of the performance offerings on the extensive options list, then add in destination charge, fees, taxes, etc., and you can quickly approach the $200,000 CAD mark. But what you end up with is one of the most usable four-season sports cars available. To safely tackle all four seasons, a set of Porsche wheels and winter tires will set you back an additional five to ten thousand dollars.
Our all-wheel drive 911 C4S lays down its horsepower, and 390 lb-ft of torque, through an extremely capable 8-speed PDK dual-clutch paddle shifting transmission. The result are sprints from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in just 3.6 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 306 km/h (190 mph). Is It TrackWorthy? The most obvious answer to this question is, yes, all Porsche 911’s are track worthy. But there’s more to it than that. The first generation Porsche 911 was a small nimble sports car weighing just 2,300 pounds and measuring 168 inches long and 66 inches wide. The 2020 911 C4S is 10 inches longer, more than a foot wider and 1,200 pounds heavier. The current 911 is now thought of as more of a grand tourer than a pure, stripped down, sports car. But make no mistake about it, this 911 C4S is very TrackWorthy!
First up for us was the extremely tight and technical autocross-style handling course. We were surprised at the amount of understeer in the slower corners. This is a fairly common byproduct of all-wheel drive and we’re not sure if we would experience the same amount of understeer in a rear wheel drive 911. The C4S’ acceleration and braking performance is simply amazing. This 911 puts all of its power to the pavement through a seamless all-wheel drive system that really delivers. Launches from a standstill are rocket straight, and provide the driver with a huge amount of confidence that, as long as you point the car in the right direction, it is going to take care of everything else. You get the impression that you could perform acceleration and braking runs in any kind of weather on any type of surface, and the C4S would not be fazed. Braking is equally as impressive and confidence inspiring.
The tight and twisty autocross course really isn’t the ideal stomping ground for the C4S. It has so much performance on offer that very little of it can be extracted in such strict confines. Having said that, we attacked this course as aggressively as we wanted to and 911 was unfazed. Everything comes at you very quickly on the course because this car performs at such a high level. Next up was the flowing 2.8 km (1.7 mile) Driver Development Track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, Ontario. This was a much more suitable environment for the 911 as it was possible to really build up speed around the 18 turn course. With every lap around the track, the C4S instills the utmost confidence that its all-wheel drive and PDK transmission can safely and predictably propel you around the race track. Sure, a rear wheel drive and a manual transmission configuration might get the driver more involved in the process, but it also makes going fast, so much more demanding on the driver’s ability. The average driver can extract a lot more out of a PDK 911 C4S because it is so capable.
Our C4S would really have the ability to shine on a longer more flowing race track, like the 3.9 km (2.4 mile) Grand Prix track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. You only get a brief sense of this 911’s accelerating, braking and cornering capabilities on the Driver Development Track. Out on the Grand Prix track it would be possible to experience much more of just what this refined 911 has to offer. As we walked towards this C4S, we assumed that it would deliver all of the legendary performance that is associated with the iconic Porsche 911. We expected that it would deliver acceleration, braking and handling characteristics at the highest level, and do it all without it, or us, breaking a sweat. It delivered. As you walk away from this 911, you take away with you a real sense that this car is the result of more than five decades of relentless Porsche engineering refinement. It is a real treat to be able to experience this car’s capabilities on the road and on the track.
 

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