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Think ‘Porsche 911‘ and a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive icon comes to mind. But did you know that more than one in three 911 buyers opt for a ‘4’ badged all-wheel drive variant? With that in mind, today’s announcement of the 911 Carrera 4 and Targa 4, along with 4S versions, is significant. Three bodystyles to choose from – coupe, cabriolet and the midway Targa – and they will appear at next month’s LA show.

The 991-generation facelift made its debut at last month’s Frankfurt show with evolutionary styling but big news in the engine bay – turbocharged engines, which are detailed here. The biturbo 3.0 litre flat-six does 370 hp and 450 Nm in the Carrera, and makes up to 420 hp/500 Nm in S models via modified compressors for the turbo, specific exhaust system and tuned engine management.

Combined with AWD, the 911 Carrera 4 accelerates faster than its rear-wheel-drive counterpart for the first time. With PDK and Sport Chrono options, it does 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds (0.4 sec less than the pre-facelift), with the S model registering 3.8 seconds (0.3 sec less). The cabriolet S and the 911 Targa 4 with comparable equipment need just two tenths longer. Top speeds vary between 287 km/h and 305 km/h depending on model and equipment.

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The point of turbo is efficiency, and less fuel consumption is expected. FC in the Carrera 4 Cabriolet with PDK drops by 0.8 litres to 7.9 l/100 km. Variants with the most significant improvements are the Carrera S Cab and Targa 4S, each with PDK, in which average consumption falls by 1.2 litres to 8.0 l/100 km.

The Sport Chrono package now includes a mode switch on the steering wheel inspired by the 918 Spyder supercar. A rotary ring with four positions – Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual – it allows drivers to alter the mood of the car or configure their own set-up; parameters include PASM, active engine mounts, PDK shift strategy and sports exhaust system if fitted.

In combination with PDK, the mode switch has an additional control called the “Sport Response Button”. Press this and you get maximum acceleration for 20 seconds.

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Power goes to all wheels, of course. The now electro-hydraulically controlled AWD is faster and more sensitive thanks to the tech adopted from the 911 Turbo. Porsche says that it enhances directional stability during “extremely sporty driving” without sacrificing any agility. The retuned PASM chassis with its 10 mm lower ride height is standard on all Carrera models. New shock absorbers improve comfort and body control. Rear-axle steering is an option for the S.

There are new steering wheels with a design based on the 918 Spyder’s. Besides the standard 375 mm diameter item, there’s an optional 360 mm GT sports wheel. Also cool is a hydraulic lift system with integrated lifting cylinders in the struts of the front axle. Pressing a button increases ground clearance at the front lip by 40 mm (within five seconds) to avoid scraping the ground at ramps.

Looks wise, all-paw cars get the traditional strip between the rear lights, now with an “especially distinctive effect” thanks to 3D depth. The strip also underlines added width, with rear wings that arch further outwards by 44 mm as in previous models. 991 facelift cues include four-point DRLs, door handles without recess covers, redesigned rear lid with vertical louvres and four-point brake lights.

The 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Targa 4 will be available in Germany from end-January 2016.