The new Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe is an explosive version of the iconic 911. With near-volcanic power, it’s got enough to satisfy the enthusiasts, while the addition of turbochargers means that it’s cheaper to run than ever.
Those turbochargers mean that the 911 has strayed from its action-packed script a tad, but there’s no need to worry – this is still the car we’ve come to know and love over the years.
However, how different really is the Carrera 4 from the rest of the range?
Find out how Porsche went from designing the Beetle for Volkswagen to the supercharged sports cars being driven off the lot today in our brief history of Porsche.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe review.
Overview of the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe
On the Road
The problem the Carrera 4 faces as it vies for your cash is that not a lot actually sets it apart from other models in the 911 range, and this applies to its performance as much as it does to anything else.
If you stick to the manual gearbox, the Carrera 4 has a 0-62 time of 4.9 seconds. That’s fast but it’s far from the quickest in the 911 range. That said, not everyone will need a 911 that sprints from rest to 62mph in 3.8 seconds anyway.
However, this Carrera 4 model does come with 50bhp less than the S 911 and develops 345bhp. As a result, it’s easier and less intimidating to drive. At the same time, it’s far from underwhelming and will still entertain you in the same way that a Carrera has always entertained drivers. Max speed is 177mph, while the engine is paired up with a 7-speed manual ‘box as standard.
Four-wheel drive comes as standard, which means there’s plenty of grip on offer to cover your back in testing conditions.
Other than that, you don’t need to worry about Porsche’s controversial decision to add turbochargers. It hasn’t diluted the driving experience at all. Meanwhile, the car’s classic layout means its handling is still as characterful as ever, although it is more balanced this time around – which is a good thing.
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe Interior, Design and Build
The 911 has never been the comfiest car to drive or ride in, and while it still isn’t, it’s more comfortable than ever before. It’s refined, too. Cruise along the motorway in seventh gear and you’ll be able to hear your passenger breathing.
However, the Carrera 4 is a bit different. Because it’s lighter than the standard 911 model, refinement isn’t quite as good. Less soundproofing has been used, and tyre roar can be a problem at times.
Still, when you consider how ferocious this car looks, it’s remarkably comfortable at speed. Over longer journeys, you won’t feel the pinch as you would have done in older models and its suspension setup – while firm – does a decent job of smoothing out road imperfections.
Meanwhile, the low driving position shouldn’t compromise comfort, and Porsche have been kind enough to place the controls within easy reach.
As usual, the 5-dial layout is present and correct on the dashboard, and the cabin as a whole is very modern. Top notch materials have been used and build quality is exceptional. The red upholstery is glorious.
Is the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe practical? It does seem like a silly question to be asking of such a car, but let’s not get this twisted – for a sports car-come-super car, the Carrera 4 is surprisingly usable.
Porsche didn’t have a lot of dimensions to work with but they’ve got as much out of them as possible. There’s a fair amount of interior space on offer, the big windows mean visibility is not a problem, and the car is easy enough to park.
There is a pair of rear seats but we strongly suggest you keep them reserved for either kids or your luggage. Storage spaces include a reasonably-sized glovebox, while the boot – which you’ll find under the bonnet – measures 145-litres.
How reliable are Porsche? They are known for luxury and style, but does this equate to the reliability you’d associate with high-quality?
Equipment and Safety of the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe
Standard kit for this model is good and includes LED rear lights, bright bi-xenon headlights, split-folding rear seats, 19” alloys, leather upholstery, a digital radio, a 7” touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and a CD player.
Safety-wise, the car hasn’t – and won’t – be subjected to a Euro NCAP crash test. Because cars like this are small, light and fast, there’s always the worry that they won’t be safe but standard kit here includes tyre pressure monitoring, electronic stability control and 6 airbags.
Optional extras include electronic aids that help to stabilise the car, carbon ceramic brakes and adaptive cruise control.
Costs of the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe
Prices for the new car start at £77,294. For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, if you pair the Carrera 4 Coupe up with the PDK automatic gearbox, economy is pretty good and you can manage returns of 32.8mpg on a good day. Emissions, meanwhile, stand at 203g/km of CO2 – high but acceptable.
Pros and Cons of the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe
Four-wheel drive is standard
It’s a good system that arms the car with all the traction you need.
The 911 silhouette is arguably one of the most recognisable silhouettes in the motoring world.
The fact that it can return over 32mpg if you drive it sensibly, means that it works just as well as an everyday car as it does a high-performance machine.
Questionable power-steering system
This electromechanical system is still fairly new, and probably still needs to undergo a few more tweaks.
Not as fast as rivals
0-62 in 4.9 seconds is good, but many rivals are significantly faster.
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe vs Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe vs Lotus Evora Coupe
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe review.
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe vs Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe
The new two-seater Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe poses a serious threat to the Porsche with its dashing good looks and awesome engine soundtrack.
Powering this hardcore sports car is a 4.7-litre V8 petrol engine that covers the 0-62 sprint in 4.9 seconds. If that isn’t quite fast enough for you, a Vantage S model tops you up with another 10bhp and covers the same sprint in 4.6 seconds.
As it is, the Vantage is on par with the Carrera 4 in the speed stakes, but with the standard Vantage model developing 420bhp, the Aston Martin is able to offer more hair-raising power.
That said, you will need to work the car hard to get the best out of it. Naturally, that’s all part of the fun but you might soon find civilian streets can’t satisfy you. Indeed, this car’s natural habitat is the race track.
The Aston Martin is available with either a manual or a semi-automatic gearbox. Last time around, its semi-auto ‘box was hard to recommend, but Aston Martin have made changes and it’s now a lot faster and more responsive.
Running costs? This is one area where the Vantage falls massively short of the now fairly efficient Carrera 4. The standard model returns 20.5mpg at the very best and emits 321g/km of CO2 if you stick to the manual transmission. Those figures are improved if you specify the semi-automatic ‘box, but the differences are marginal.
Inside, the Aston Martin is a thing of luxury and opulence. Due to a firm suspension setup, it doesn’t always feel the most graceful, but a hand-built interior is a huge part of its timeless charm.
However, while we can’t argue with the quality of the materials used, the Vantage doesn’t look as modern as the Porsche. Design-wise, it still feels behind the times.
Is the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe practical? Having just the two seats puts it at an immediate disadvantage to the Porsche, but it’s still a usable car for its type.
For example, a hatchback-style boot lid is a bonus, as is the fact that its boot measures 300-litres. That totally blows the Porsche out of the waters.
Moreover, while there are no rear seats, there is another storage area back there. Meanwhile, leg and headroom is good for the driver and their passenger.
Porsche – £77,294
Aston Martin – £120,900 +
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe vs Lotus Evora Coupe
The new Lotus Evora Coupe might be small, but it’s fast, powerful and sexy.
When the Evora first appeared on British roads, its 3.5-litre engine developed 276bhp, which seemed to suit this pocket rocket well. However, Lotus have since decided that wasn’t enough, and in 2018 its engine now produces 400bhp.
It’s cold-blooded stuff on the road, with a 0-62 time of 3.9 seconds enough to excite even the biggest Porsche fan.
As well as adding more power to its engine, Lotus have slimmed the car down so that the Evora now weighs 1,430kg. There’s barely any body lean in bends, the tyres provide lots of grip, and the car is an absolute joy to drive.
Running costs? If the Evora’s captivating speeds are enough to intoxicate you, you’d probably be willing to bet that its fuel costs would sober you up. However, returns of 29.1mpg are not only on par with the Porsche, they’re also really not bad at all for a car of this type – especially when compared with the Aston Martin above.
Emissions, meanwhile, stand at 225g/km of CO2.
Inside, this may be a mean, lean speed machine but ride quality is so good that you’ll be pretty comfortable in the cabin. It never gets too hot, the seats are perfectly positioned, and the dashboard is easy to operate.
There’s nothing flash or fancy about the cabin; it’s very driver-focused, which is what a lot of buyers will appreciate. Heated seats are standard, as is an infotainment screen and air conditioning.
Is the Lotus Evora Coupe practical? Like the Porsche, the Evora hasn’t been designed with families in mind. Like the Porsche, it comes with rear seats that are for (very) small kids or luggage that won’t fit in the boot. That said, a more powerful 410 version doesn’t come with rear seats.
The boot measures 160-litres and it sits behind the engine.
Lotus – £73,500 – £82,000
If you want a practical sports car, on the other hand, we’d rather point you in the direction of the Porsche Cayman.
Verdict of Our 2018 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe
It’s a sports car and a highly desirable one at that. But the 911 is more than your average sports car – it’s an icon.
Not just that, but the Carrera 4 is more family-friendly than ever. It’s usable, more composed and it’s fairly economical.
Enthusiasts fear not. When it wants to be, the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe is also an animal that’s fast, fun and exciting. What a time to be alive, hey?