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2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S

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Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
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So you live in the nation’s capital — perhaps you live in a condo or only have room for one or two cars. But man, you cannot live without your sports car. What is one to do? It snows a lot in Ottawa, so you want your all-wheel drive, and that means you have to head to the closest 4×4 dealer to pick up a gigantic SUV right? Wrong!

This week, delivered during a snowstorm, I’m out to prove that you can have your cake and drive it all winter long, even at the worst of times. I’m behind the wheel of the new 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. That’s 400 horsepower of tire-shredding, snow-flicking fun in a four-seat sports car — hey, it’s even practical!

Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
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You won’t find many real-world winter driving articles on the 911. Our neighbours to the south? Well, forget it from them, but do a search on this site back a few years and you will find some from Mr. Porsche himself, Laurance Yap.

But back to my tester and eventful day behind the wheel. After I took delivery, I headed out onto the highway to try out the seventh gear of this seven-speed manual transmission — a little odd at first but I’ll get used to it. Then on my way home, some back country roads — well that was a mistake. If you drive in Saskatchewan you know what I’m talking about when I say that farmer’s fields, high winds and a fresh snowfall can spell disaster. But to be honest I was glad to navigate these roads in this car instead of many other less capable cars.

The large and wide tires, though, certainly floated a little bit on the deeper snow, but mostly I was worried about oncoming traffic ramming into me. At $139,655, this ride doesn’t come cheap and I certainly wouldn’t want to ditch it — so stay tuned for a real-world 911 winter driving test!

MSRP as tested (including destination): $139,655

For more information on Porsche and the 911 Carrera 4S visit Porsche Canada

For even more on this car FOLLOW James on Twitter

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
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I’ve heard a lot of comments from people, both off and on the internet, that they would never drive such a car in the winter — but that is the point. Those saying this really don’t know what they are missing! I will certainly never tire of the sound of the 3.8-litre boxer engine as it fires to life in the morning, or after a hard day of work.

The low centre of gravity and excellent maneuverability make this car the perfect winter runabout — although I will admit that getting in and out is a bit of a pain and with slush and snow your pants are going to get dirty if they are of a lighter colour.

Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
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Once you do get inside, though, the perfect seating position, the torso hugging seats and the view of those fenders make your worries instantly disappear. Everything inside the 911 is perfectly laid out in a driver-oriented fashion. Buttons along the centre console that allow for quick access to the Sport or Sport Plus modes, instant access to turn off PSM (Porsche Stability Management) — you know, just in case. And of course instant access to the sports exhaust flap that opens up that exhaust note… oh the sound.

Believe it or not, there are amenities in the Carrera 4S for everyday use as well. Two cupholders are accessible in front of the passenger seat just above the glovebox — a little bit of a reach but good enough for me. And there is a small change tray directly under the shifter for parking or a quick coffee for those that dare drink it.

Amenities such as heated seats, automatic climate control, navigation, and a stereo that can play with the best of them keep you and your passenger entertained and comfortable on your daily commute or weekend errands — so far I see no downside here.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
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So can you have a night on the town with a 911 and bring along three friends? Well yeah, you can, sort of. The two in the back can be no taller than five-foot-six and the two in the front should be under six foot to be comfortable but it is possible in a pinch. Even with a six-foot-four passenger in the passenger seat, a trip to the bar was not an issue.

And will your new Porsche impress the ladies at said bar — unfortunately most likely not. What’s with that anyways? Most of the women I know just don’t get it, I guess….

Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews

Seriously though, I’ve driven this vehicle around the city and gotten the thumbs up as expected, and so far it receives two thumbs up from me. On the highway it is comfortable and surprisingly quiet as it hums along in seventh gear at around 2,000 rpm at 120 km/h.

The torquey engine leaves it up to the driver if they wish to shift or not; fifth gear around town at 50 km/h is easily achieved without ever lugging the engine or feeling like one is down on power. Of course the fun really is in the shifting and accelerating in this car around town as the engine sound is intoxicating — fuel sippers need not apply.

Sport Plus mode sharpens up the steering, the throttle response and stiffens up the suspension to the equivalent of riding on cement blocks for shocks. But in standard mode this is not an issue at all, in fact, it is very comfortable. Most surprising for me is the ease of maneuverability and visibility — unlike most low and wide sports cars, the 911 is easy to see out of and interact with traffic.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
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What can I say? I’m going to miss my test car from this week. There really isn’t much bad to say about it; it proved to be a perfect ride for a week of foul weather and lots of travel. I will take a moment to complain about the GPS system that took me on a whirlwind tour of Montreal when all I wanted was the simplest route to the 40.

And I’ll mention a few features that I did not previously, like hill-hold, perfect so you do not roll back on the large inclines downtown Montreal. Or the rev-match downshift that provides perfect, crisp downshifts every time when Sport Plus mode is enabled. Or the auto start-stop feature that shuts the engine down when you are stopped at red lights, perfect for bumper-to-bumper traffic and really non-intrusive.

Of course everyone wants to know what kind of fuel consumption occurs when you have 400 horsepower underfoot. And in true Porsche fashion I averaged just 9.5 L/100 km over the week — including a little hooning and more than your average share of spirited bursts.

I’ll miss you, Racing Yellow 911 — back to reality I go.

2013 Posrche 911 Carrera 4S
Acceleration Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
Handling Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
Comfort Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
Interior Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
Audio System Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
Gas Mileage Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews
Overall Day by Day Review: 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S car test drives porsche daily car reviews

*Rating based on vehicle’s classification
MSRP as tested (including destination): $139,655

For more information on Porsche and the 911 Carrera 4S visit Porsche Canada

For even more on this car FOLLOW James on Twitter




About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. James holds a national FIA race license and actively races and stewards at race events.