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.