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Porsche has kept the basic lines of the 911 little changed in more than 40 years, merely refining the car to its current incarnation as a light-weight, high-performance machine.
In this version of the 911, "4" means all-wheel-drive, the "S" marks it as a sport version, and "Cabriolet" is a fancy word for convertible.
Although it is all-wheel-drive, the torque is heavily biased towards the rear wheels, with five to 40 percent shifted to the front wheels as needed.
The Cocoa-colored top on the Porsche goes up easily. Just hold down the convertible button, and the top powers up and latches into place.
The 911 Carrera 4S' handling is fantastic. The car goes in the direction you point it, and it takes a lot of speed on a corner to get any kind of slip.
Porsche keeps the tradition of mounting the engine in the rear, as opposed to the mid-engine placement of its recent Cayman model.
The 3.8-liter flat six cylinder engine is very efficient, producing 355 horsepower but still getting over 20 mpg in our testing.
The cabin of the 911 is very nice, especially with the $3,795 Natural Leather option. There are two rear seats, but they don't seem very usable.
In the cabin, we especially like the body colored metal transmission tunnel cover, which brings a little bit of the exterior inside.
The six speed manual transmission is standard on the 911, while a five speed automatic is optional.
The steering wheel controls are well-designed, with rollers at the top of each spoke for turning the audio volume up or down and making selections from an on-screen menu.
Befitting a sports car, the tachometer is dead center, with the speed gauge off to the side. The speed is also displayed in digital format on the tach dial.
This attractive gauge comes as part of the Sport Chrono package, and can be used to measure lap times.
The Sport setting on the 911 makes a significant difference, lowering the car .4 inches.
Although the maps look good on the navigation system, the feature list is mediocre.
The points of interest database is somewhat limited in the 911, only offering basic travel services.
The navigation system's Tour Planning feature makes it easy to set multi-point routes.
As an interesting but not very useful feature, the 911's audio system lets you name your CDs.
The upgraded Bose audio system produces excellent sound.